GF Fat Tuesday

Well, for the next few minutes anyway. If I’d really had my act together, I would have done the baking yesterday, and done the blog this morning.

What took so long is that my husband came home early and took me out to dinner for Fat Tuesday.  Sorry guys, he wins.

So, I had to test this [a second time] after 8 pm, and I halved the recipe to try to get more data. The thing is, it came out differently, and I’m not sure if it’s because I over baked it, I’d fortuitously forgot some ingredient the first time around, or if it’s just something like cosmic rays, the temperature of the fat, or some other factor I had not envisioned. I’m not a real food scientist, and there’s a reason why gluten free baking is hard.

Turns out, I did not make Chebe paczkis.  I thought seriously about doing that as well as my final dessert, but… once again. Events outside of my control and all that. 😉  However, to get to where I wound up, you have to understand where I started.

I looked at a LOT of gluten free recipes on line, and discovered the internet clogged with recipes requiring mixes made by major brands– like Bisquick and the red spoon people. NOT what I was interested in, but they had some interesting ideas.  Somewhere I’d seen a lemon upsidedown cake– but it turned out it wasn’t actually an allergen free recipe, it just got caught up for some other reason by Google’s search algorithm.

After looking around and not finding my usual haunts for such things (blogs by food scientists and the like) I got frustrated and vowed not to spend the entire day sitting at my computer with no dessert in the offing.

Besides, I was starting to get irrational.  So… I went to freezer and pulled out all the GF flour. Then I went to my recipe book, thinking I might run across something interesting with some overlaps to my stock.  I did– sorta. I found a coffee cake recipe that contained rice farina and such, which handily made up for the fact I did not have a relatively light weight whole grain flour that could be the body of my recipe.  But it was boring compared to what I was looking for. So I subbed in a fruit filling instead of a coconut/pecan filling, which required more sugar than I really wanted to eat anyway.

I decided to make them kind of like Sally Lunns– that is, individualized servings in muffin tins. But… with sizes that small I couldn’t really make two layers successfully, so I put the fruit on the bottom and the cake on the top.

These turned out really well. They puffed right up and looked wonderful– and smelled great, too.  I quickly pulled them out and let them cool for a while. As it happens, I ate one right out of the oven and was surprised by a gritty texture. Oh, yeah. There’s the problem with there being farina in it.  Only this was tough enough that it threatened my teeth. Ack!

I waited for a bit, letting things cool a bit.  Apparently that is very important, because the rest of them were much better. Yes, there was a somewhat toothsome texture, but it was more like corn bread than sand paper.

Now, It happened that I had not made enough fruit filling to fill all the cups, so some were baked without. They were a bit tougher and more prone to grit– the latter were lighter and more awesome. I think next time I’ll just make cobbler with this recipe and be done with it. IT will be much easier than actually having to clean out the muffin tins twice.

However, I also thought that they were– a little under done. So I made a second half-batch and baked it for ten minutes longer, and measured them out more evenly. The units were also smaller– which might or might not be a factor.  I changed the flavorings a little bit– added some frangelico as well as the vanilla, plus a touch of butter flavor. These did taste better, and did brown better. But… they were not light at all.

They were the opposite of light. Heavy gritty little hockey pucks, and I am not sure what went wrong.  It really does seem like there wasn’t enough liquid, and maybe the fat did not get distributed quite so well this time. Which is odd, because I kind of messed up the first time and added the leavening and sugar after the fat introduction. Also, I’d heated up the fats slightly on top of the oven and kneaded them together into one very loose mass. I figure that would be the opposite of what one wanted.  But no, I think what I did the first time was better.

It is also possible I forgot one of the flours or maybe it was the oat bran. I will try it without next time, and maybe I will get the awesome stuff back.

As an aside, because of my various dietary restrictions and health problems, I’m exempt from all fasting in the Church. I could, if I wanted, re-do the recipe tomorrow if I wanted to, technically speaking. But that seems– violently uncharitable to my Catholic viewers.  I will abstain from writing about most desserts for the next 40 days, and come up with more savory dishes for the time being.

For your elucidation: here is my recipe, which may or may not yield my initial results. If it doesn’t, try it without the oat bran, and use your 40 disher instead of your 50 disher.

Oh, and I want to apologize for my photos. They turned out particularly poorly this time around– just barely acceptable by my standards.

Margo’s dubiously awesome cherry cake

cake

  • 1 cup of brown rice farina,
  • 1-1/4 cups of GF AP Flour,
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax seed,
  • 1/4 cup of amaranth flour,
  • 1/4 cup of tapioca flour 1/4 cup of oat bran
  •  1-1 teaspoon of baking powder,
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar sweetener
  • 1/4 cup of almond or coconut milk; I used a 50-50 combo,
  • 2 tbs of coconut aminos,
  • 2 tbs of vanilla,
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon,
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves,
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg.
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 cup of palm oil (shortening)

sauce

(if you actually want to make this, I advise making twice this ammount)

  • 3.5 oz of frozen cherries and a rough puree (plus pulp),
  • 3 tbs of flax seed,
  • 2 tbs (or less) of brown rice syrup

method

Heat up your oven to 375 degrees. Grease 2 of your favorite 12 unit muffin tins. Measure out all the flours and the brown rice farina, and add them to a large mixing bowl.  Mix absurdly well. Then, take your fats and put them together on a plate  (or better yet, a bowl with a flat bottom) sitting on the top of the stove, where they will warm up, but not melt. Stir vigorously with your VERY CLEAN hands (what a great manacure!) until they become a large, translucent, reasonably uniform mass. Remove them from the stove so they don’t melt. Dump in with your flours and mix with a dough blade, until you get a texture like fine wet sand.

Now start your fruit by measuring it out on a scale and tossing the other ingredients with it into the bowl. Toss the whole mess into Chef Mike on the defrost setting, and just let it cook until you see steam rising.  This process is somewhat deceptive– the fruit likes to stand in it’s former shape even after it’s been defrosted. Stir, and note that it’s actually quite warm.  That’s about perfect. You don’t need it hot– the oven will do the rest.

If you are NOT like me and keep your favorite fruit purees in the freezer (oh, heavens! 😛 )  You can  get frozen fruit and toss it directly in your blender or food processor, pulse it until you get your texture right, then add the ingredients and then nuke it for a minute or so, and your work is done.

After the microwave dings and you stir well, you can just ignore it for a while while you put your batter together.

So… The lumpy fatty stuff is sitting there, staring at you unpleasantly as you realize, “Oh, heavens! I forgot the leavening! That won’t turn out well, will it?” So you put in your measured out baking powder, then your powdered sugar. Mix well, with a spatula.   Now, you measure out all your liquids into one measuring cup as listed. Dump it all in at once, and stir until everything is just mixed together. Make sure there aren’t any dry pockets, but don’t get over zealous.

Now, measure out the fruit filling with a size 50, and your batter with a size 40.  Turn down your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes.

Done! Just barely on time! Sorry folks!

UPDATE: I will update the pictures later. I don’t have time to get this out before Ash Wednesday. Ack!

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