Friday, November 29, 2013

Gluten Free - Rice Flour Cranberry Walnut Muffin Cake

From the Kitchens of Cheesecake Farms

Here's another gluten free recipe that guests at our Bed & breakfast frequently ask for.
They like it because it tastes good.

As I've said before, gluten free eating is NOT about giving up something and using a lesser quality substitute.  It's about making different choices from a whole world of yummy things to eat.  

Some foods contain have gluten.  Some don't.
When you learn which do and which don't, you can make easily make the best choices for you.

By the way, you can serve gluten free foods to those who eat gluten with out even mentioning that it's gluten free.  
All anyone really cares about is how food tastes anyway. 

Gluten Free - Rice Flour Cranberry Walnut Muffin Cake

Makes 1 (6 inch) cake 
Serves 6 to 8
Uses a 6 inch spring form pan lined with baking parchment


1/2 cup rice flour (or Gluten Free Baking Mix like Bisquick)
1/4 c sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup whole fresh cranberries
1 small fresh apple (Cored and cut into random 3/8 inch chunks - peeling is optional)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 egg
1 T orange juice
2 T vegetable oil

Assemble the spring form pan and mist with baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of baking parchment.  Lightly mist the parchment (in the pan) with baking spray. Set aside.

Position oven rack so cake will bake in center.  Preheat to 350 degrees. 

In a small bowl, mix together flour, sugar and baking powder.  Add cranberries, apple chunks and walnuts. Toss to coat with flour mixture. Stir in egg, juice and oil.  Pour into pan and smooth out batter.

Bake in preheated oven until cake is set, very lightly browned on top and pull away a little from the sides of the pan - about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes of cooling, cut around the cake with a knife to release it from the pan. Open the latch and remove pan sides.  Invert onto a tray or flat dish.  Remove the parchment paper.  Immediately re-invert cake onto serving dish.  Cool or serve warm.   

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gluten Free - Rice Flour Cinnamon Coffee Cake

From the Kitchens of Cheesecake Farms

Some people, for health reasons, need to eliminate gluten from their diets.
Other people, for any number of reasons, choose to decrease the amount of gluten they eat.

What ever you reason for being concerned about gluten, think of the food you eat simply as choices you make rather than as things you can't have.

There is a whole, great big, wonderful world of yummy things to eat.... many of which, it just so happens, contain no gluten at all.

Rice flour is a perfect example.
It's a lovely flour and, like the rice kernel, doesn't contain any gluten.

Rice Flour Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Makes 1 (6 inch) cake
Uses a 6 inch spring form pan

1/2 cup rice flour  (See Karla's Tips #1 below.)
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
3 tablespoons butter (softened - margarine, oil or butter substitutes not recommended)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup rice flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk (approximately)

Drizzle Icing
1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted if lumpy)
Enough water to make a runny icing - about 1 1/2 teaspoons

Position oven rack so cake will bake in center.  Preheat to 350 degrees.
Assemble spring form pan.  Coat sides and bottom with baking spray.
Set aside.

Prepare streusel. 
Place everything into a small bowl and work with your fingers until it's just crumbly.  Do not over mix or it will come together into a solid ball.  Set aside.

Mix flour, sugar and baking powder together in a medium bowl.  Stir in oil, egg and 1/3 cup milk.  Add a bit more milk, if necessary, to make a batter. (See Karla's Tips #2 below.)

Pour about 3/4 of the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle prepared streusel over top.  Plop the remaining batter here and there.  It will not cover the top of the streusel completely.

Bake in the preheated oven until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan a little bit - about 35 minutes. Cake will not brown much.

Immediately after removing the cake from the oven,  run a knife between the cake and the pan to release the cake. Place cake (still in the pan) onto a cooling rack to cool completely - about 30 minutes.

Remove from pan by opening the latch and lifting away the ring.  Leave cake on pan bottom or slide the cake off and onto a plate for serving.

Drizzle Icing
Mix water into powdered sugar.  Add a bit more water if too thick to run in a stream off a spoon.  Alternately, add a bit more powdered sugar if too runny.

Using a coffee spoon, drizzle icing randomly over the cake just before serving.

Karla's Tips
1.  Always check the ingredients on the labels.  For example, Gluten Free Bisquick is not the same as regular Bisquick.  Regular Bisquick is wheat flour, shortening, salt and baking power.... plus preservatives, of course.  Gluten Free Bisquick is simply rice flour with some added vitamins.  There is no shortening or baking powder.  You can use Gluten Free Bisquick in this recipe.  

Always measure the flour by spooning it into the cup and leveling it off with a knife.  Do not shake cup to measure the flour.  You'll get too much.

2. Depending on the type and brand of rice flour you use, you may have to add a bit more milk.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thanksgiving Recipes - Roasted Acorn Squash with Orange Rice Stuffing

 From the Kitchens of Cheesecake Farms

Here's a nifty little recipe that we're asked for all the time. 
It's yummy, easy and very forgiving.

Great for fall and winter dining!
Perfect for Thanksgiving!

BTW, unblemished acorn squash from your garden or farmers' market
(even grocery store squash)
will last for months in a cool spot like a mud room or unheated basement. 
 No need to wash, can or freeze.  
Just put into a box, milk crate or laundry basket.
So stock up when they're in season and cheap.
You can enjoy them all winter long!!  


Roasted Acorn Squash with Orange Rice Stuffing

Serves 6

3 acorn squash (each about 3 inches in diameter - see Karla's Tips #1 below)
3 cups cooked rice (any kind - we like jasmine rice)
1/4 cup sweet orange marmalade (see Karla's Tips #2 below)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter (margarine or oil not recommended)
1/3 cup sliced, natural almonds (the kind with the brown skins - see Karla's Tips # 3 below)
Parsley for garnish - about 4 springs to yield about 2 tablespoons, snipped or chopped
3 tablespoons honey (more or less to taste)
3/4 cup (approximately) thin vegetable or chicken gravy
Parsley for garnish

Position oven rack to center oven.  Preheat to 375 degrees. (See Karla's Tip #4 below)

Wash squash well.  Remove any labels.

Using a heavy knife, carefully cut each squash in half from the stem end to the (pointed) blossom end.  Remove seeds and any fibrous material.  Discard.  Rinse squash again.  Drain.

Cover a baking sheet with foil. (See Karla's Tips #5.) Spritz with cooking spray. 

Place squash, cut side down, on prepared pan.  Roast till soft - about 45 minutes depending on the size and freshness of the squash. (I like a bit of brown on the cut sides)

While squash is roasting:
Cook rice. (Using leftover rice is OK).  Stir orange marmalade into hot rice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Melt butter in a small frying pan.  Add almonds. Cook over low heat, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until very light brown.  Do not over cook.  When done, immediately stop the cooking by pouring the almonds and the butter out of pan and into a bowl.  Set aside.

Finely snip (using scissors works great) or chop parsley leaves for garnish.  Set aside.

To assemble squash: 
Heat gravy.

Put roasted squash, cut side up, onto serving dish.  Press down lightly so squash doesn't roll around on dish.  

Divide honey between the squash - drizzling into the cavities.

Fill cavities with orange rice.  

Pour hot gravy over rice - dividing evenly.  

Top with prepared almonds.  

Keep warm until serving time. (See Karla's Tips # 6)  

Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Karla's Tips
1.  The most important part of this recipe is choosing the squash.  It should be dark green with only a little (if any) yellow or orange.  Yellow or orange (on a green acorn squash) means that the squash is starting to over-ripen.  There is a variety of orange acorn squash but I don't find them as good tasting as the dark green kind. 

The squash can be any size but it must be heavy for its size.  A "heavy for its size" squash means it weighs more than you thought it would.  It will be fresh and full of moisture.  

A squash that's light for it's size is old (even if the skin looks OK) and the natural moisture has started to evaporate. It will taste bitter and be dry.

2.  "Sweet Orange Marmalade" is different from plain "Orange Marmalade".   Both kinds of marmalade have the same amount of sugar.
Sweet Orange Marmalade is made without the white pith of the orange so it is not bitter.  
Plain Orange Marmalade is made with the pith.  It is bitter. 

3.  "Natural almonds" have the brown skin left on which makes for a nicer look.  
You can use "blanched almonds" if you prefer or happen to have them on hand.  Blanched means the brown skin has been removed. 

4.  The exact temperature of the oven doesn't matter.  You can roast the squash along with anything else you're roasting - adjusting the roasting time according to the temperature of the oven.  

Oven temperatures lower than the suggested 375 degrees will require longer roasting.  

Higher oven temperatures require less roasting time.  

Also, the size of the squash will determine the exact roasting time.

Avoid roasting the squash when baking a cake or bread - unless the cake or bread will be done way before the squash.  You can open the oven door on the squash but not on a baking cake.

5.  A pan with sides no higher than 1 inch works best.  The sides keep the squash from sliding off the pan when you put them into the oven or take them out.  But any pan will work.....even a cookie sheet - just be careful.  

Pans with sides higher than 1 inch will require longer roasting.

6.  Squash can be prepared up to an hour before serving. Simply cover pan/or heat safe serving dish of rice stuffed squash with foil and place in the oven (200-250 degrees).  Spritz foil with cooking spray to prevent rice from sticking.  You can also refrigerate stuffed squash and microwave (uncovered) to heat just before serving.