- Author: Mary E. Reed
Researching gluten-free recipes has unearthed a wealth of information about various ways to prepare these favorite items, made without gluten, so they taste and look good. Usually, simple substitution of gluten-free flours for wheat flour tends to render traditional recipes either too wet or too dry, crumbly, tough or tasteless. We learned that the addition of a small amount of xanthan or guar gum helps to thicken and bind together the ingredients for a more palatable texture, and additional flavorings really help liven up gluten-free flours. Our first batch of cinnamon rolls were dense, tough and refused to brown, the second had better taste and texture but still didn’t look very appetizing.
Another challenge has been that of finding out if grocery items might have gluten hidden in them. As we sleuth through micro-font labels, looking for ingredients such as “malt”, “soy sauce” or “hydrolyzed vegetable protein,” many an item doesn’t get placed into the shopping cart due to an offending ingredient. On the positive side, we have been tickled to find, tucked away in previously undiscovered niches of our favorite markets, a decent selection of gluten-free foods. Even Betty Crocker has come up with Gluten-Free Bisquick, which we were happy to discover at a small Garberville market during a camping trip to the Redwoods.
Restaurant dining, take out, and even eating at a friend’s house requires advance planning and research, with sometimes the need for creative solutions. Yesterday at my sister’s house, build-your-own deli sandwiches were the main item on the lunch menu, so I asked if she happened to have any corn tortillas. Voila! A wrap was enjoyed just as much as a sandwich.
We’ve had some successful forays into recipe adaptation, and found some very helpful online resources that have helped us learn why an adapted recipe has not succeeded and how to make it better the next time. I expect that by this time next summer we’ll have a good assortment of new favorite recipes, tasty “GF” products, and restaurant options.
Chocolate Beanie Cake (Gluten Free)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
15 oz. can garbanzo beans (chick-peas) rinse well and drain
4 eggs, separated
¾ c. granulated sugar
¾ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease and flour a round 9 inch cake pan (or spring form pan)
- Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl (at 70% power if possible) for approximately 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stop cooking when chocolate is smooth and completely melted.
- Separate eggs, set the whites aside. In food processor, process beans and egg yolks until very smooth. Add in the sugar, baking powder and salt, and pulse food processor to blend. Pour in the melted chocolate and blend until all ingredients are well mixed.
- Beat egg whites with a mixer until stiff, fold gently by hand into chocolate/bean mixture until well mixed.
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pan, bake 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before inverting onto a serving tray.
Good drizzled with raspberry syrup, chocolate syrup, and served slightly warm.
Note: Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats.