Friday, November 26, 2010

Feuerzangenbowle Cupcakes (aka Pots of Evil)

In Munich we have a great Feuerzangenbowle stand at one of the Christmas Markets.  It is a tradition that a lot of expats meet up there each Friday during the advent season when the markets are open.  I made special POE cupcakes for the opening day today.  They were chocolate with cinnamon and cloves and the frosting was Rum Buttercream.  They were decorated to look like fire (feuer in German).

I was very pleased that they went very fast and had to really guard the few that were left that were being saved for a few people who had not shown up yet.

For next Friday, I plan to make Ginger cupcakes.  But not sure what to do for frosting!!!  As our "American" style frosting is too sweet for the Europeans.  Not sure what to use that I can still pipe with that has the stiffness and taste, but not as sweet. Any ideas?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Test POE Cupcakes :)

Update for Tuesday 23rd November (3 days until POE)

What a difference when you have more than 5 min to come up with something and send it out the door :)  
I did another batch of cupcakes tonight.  I adjusted the spices and the rum amount in the frosting. 

Here is the nutritional value per my GF cupcake with buttercream frosting
291 Calories
10.5 g Fat
48.9 g Carbs
2.2 g Protein
12.9 g Fiber

As opposed to a normal chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting from a famous bakery in NYC
424 Calories
29.5 g Fat
43.4 g Carbs
5 g Protein
3.2 g Fiber

So, while there are a VERY few less carbs and a bit more protein - the GF cupcakes are indeed much healthier than normal cupcakes due to considerably less calories and half the fat plus loads more fiber!!  And they taste just as great (and sometimes even better ;-)

For those not in Germany, Feuerzangenbowle is a mulled wine that has rum poured over a rum soaked sugar cone that is on fire.  It is an awesome sight and the best Glühwein (mulled wine) there is.  A particular market (Kripperlmarkt am Rindermark) have the best in Munich and the expat crowd meets every Friday from around 5pm until they close for a huge meetup (20-40 people).  It is great fun and everyone loves it and we count down to it for several months beforehand!

Am very pleased with them.  Trying to figure out now what to do for decoration.  This is suppose to be fire coming - what do you think?

So, I did a test batch today of the Pots of Evil Cupcakes (aka cupcakes to go with Glühwein (mulled wine) at the Christmas Markets here in Munich).  I had to make the frosting (with I used Rum in, instead of milk) and frost them (they were still warm :( ) all in about 5 min total as had to send them  out the door with my Guy to orchestra practice so he could give them to a few special people!

I really wanted opinions on the flavor as I added some spices (christmassy ones ;-) to the chocolate cupcakes and then the rum to the frosting. I want to make sure they are the right balance.  So, am hoping that I get some honest feedback on them so that they are perfect for this Friday's first Christmas Market visit with friends.

Now for the super duper quick decorating job - not my finest :(  But just sprinkles some choco flakes and cinnamon on top and sent them out the door :) plus the pic colors did not turn out at all (the frosting is actually a red color ;-)

I will be making a large batch for this Friday, which I will put my usual time and talent into, so please forgive the primitive pic above ;-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gluten Free Granola Bars

I have wanted to try some granola bars for a while.  I have been home sick the last few days and bored outof my mind, so of course - baked :-)   These are the ones I chose to make (as had stuff on hand).  I found a recipe that sounded close to what I wanted and adapted it.  The original recipe is found here ' granola recipe.

2 cups GF Oats
1 cup Sliced Almonds

Mix the 2 together and spread out on cookie sheet - Bake 8-10 minutes until toasted a bit (stir several times in this time period)

Mix in a bowl while the above is toasting
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup Dried Cherries
Handful each of Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Flaxseed Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Puffed Amaranth

Add the Oats/Almonds to this mixture and then add immediately (so that it is still warm)
2/3 cup Coriander Honey
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Mix it all very well then press into a 9x14 cake pan and bake for 25 min at 180°C

Let Cool and then Cut into 24 bars

Nutritional Value Per Bar
130 Calories
5g Fat
20g Carbs
3 g Fiber
3.5g Protein

Mixed Paella

This is not my recipe, but one I got from Mama With Flavor a few months back.  It looked so yummy in her photos that I had to make it.  And like most rice dishes - it is Gluten and  Milk Free. Am home sick at the moment so catching up on a few things and thought I would post the recipe.  Thanks so much MWF for the delic recipe!!

Mixed Paella

30 threads saffron, crushed (a scant 1⁄2 tsp.)
1 lb. bone-in, skin off chicken thighs and legs chopped in half (I used frozen wings from Lidl)
10 large or 15 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used the small box of frozen from Rewe - 2.49)
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 oz. dry-cured Spanish chorizo, cut into small coins (again, from lidl)
1 tbsp smoked paprika (pimenton)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 dried bay leaves (I did not put these in as realized I didnt have any on hand)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped in half then grated, (throwaway or eat(!) skin)
1 small onion, grated
7 cups chicken broth (I use the powered stuff mixed in hot water)
2 1⁄2 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba (I used Arborio)
8 oz. fresh or frozen peas

Place the saffron and 1⁄4 cup hot water in a small bowl- let sit for 15 minutes. (This will color and flavor the dish better.) Season the chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large paella pan or large shallow skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, shrimp and chorizo. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes. Be sure that the shrimp are not overcooked, remove them form the pan before completely cooked.

Transfer the shrimp to a plate, leaving meats in the pan. Add the paprika, garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes and onions, cook, stirring often, until onions soften, about 8 minutes. Add reserved saffron mixture (with water), and broth, season with salt; bring to a boil over high heat. If you have time, reduce to a simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour. The longer this sofrito simmers, the richer the flavor in the end. It’s up to you.

Sprinkle in rice, distribute evenly the peas. Cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 10–12 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add reserved shrimp and cook until rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente (firm but not hard), 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove pan from the heat, cover with aluminum foil and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back from holiday and thinking Gluten & Milk Free Chocolate Chip Cookies this week :)

Back from a long weekend in Berlin and really missed baking!!  Decided I will try to make the perfect Chocolate Chip recipe Gluten and Milk Free... Stay Tuned!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gluten, Milk and Egg Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Lavender Buttercream Frosting!

I tested these last weekend with the Rose Vanilla Cupcakes and the Halloween Cupcakes and did the same substitution for the egg (using my Ultimate Awesome Gluten & Milk Free Chocolate Cupcake Recipe) For the egg, I substituted 1 Tablespoon if Flax Seed Flour mixed with 2 Tablespoons of Water.  It did not change the taste at all.

Also, a MAJOR change in my ingredients.  As I am baking so much and the flours are so expensive, I have tried using a bit more rice flour in each recipe (normally, I dont like using rice flour, but it does work).  I also found out that the Sanella margarine does have Whey in it, so I am now using Deli-Reform Das Original Margarine as it is 100% milk free.

Here again is the recipe I used for the cupcakes,
Gluten, Milk and Egg Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting
20g Amaranth Flour
20g Millet Flour
34g White Rice Flour
16g Tapioca starch
1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon GF Baking Powder (if using German, use 2x amount)
40g Baking Cocoa Powder
Pinch of salt
25g Milk Free Margarine at room temperature (I used Deli Reform Das Original)
140 g Mascobado Sugar
Replacement for 1 Egg (I used 1 Tablespoon Flax Seed Flour with 2 Tablespoons Water.  Mixed well and let set for 10 minutes).
½ teaspoon GF Pure Vanilla Extract
½ cup Soy Milk at room temperature (I used Alpro soya natural fresh)

Preheat oven to  180°C (350°F)

In a large bowl - mix the margarine, sugar, vanilla, egg replacement and soy milk together until blended. 

In a smaller bowl – mix the remaining ingredients and sift several times.  I usually sift at least 3x.

Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix with a spoon until the flour is all mixed into the wet mixture.  Then beat on medium speed with a mixer for 1-2 minutes.

Fill cupcakes liners 2/3 full.  I drop the cupcake pan then a couple times on a flat surface to get any air bubbles out.

Put into heated oven and DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR until the timer goes off - Bake for 17 minutes.  Check with a toothpick. 

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cupcake tin.  Place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.  When completely cooled, you can frost them.

Butter Cream Frosting:
I used the Wilton Recipe but altered as follows to make it milk free.
113g Milk Free Margarine at room temperature - again, used Delli Reform
113g Crisco or other shortening   
1 teaspoon GF Pure Vanilla Extract
520g Powdered Sugar (shifted)
2 tablespoons Soy Milk (again, used the fresh Alpro)

Cream the margarine and shortening together then add the vanilla.  Mix.  Then add the powdered sugar approx 1 cup at a time.  Then add the soy milk.  Adjust milk/powdered sugar to get consistency needed.

Food coloring is Gluten Free as are the toppings (Rice and or Potato Starch are used)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What is the difference between a Muffin and a Cupcake?

I continually get asked what the difference is between cupcakes and muffins.  Here is the best answer I have. 

A muffin is a quick bread that is baked in the shape of a cupcake.  The batter can also be baked in a loaf pan, but not in a cake pan (would not bake properly).  A muffin is usually does not have icing, however, some do have an icing/glaze and Muffins are normally eaten mainly for breakfast.

A cupcake is a cake batter that is baked as "little" cakes.  Cupcakes have frosting on them, are much sweeter (higher sugar and sweet ingredients ratio than muffins (which have a higher four ratio) and are often eaten as dessert.

In the end, they both end up making our bums and tummies bigger :-(  But they are also worth it :-)
There you have it :)   What do you think?  Do you agree or do you have a different definition?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gluten & Milk Free Pumpkin Muffins

I OVE LOVE LOVE pumpkins!!!  I had a couple Hokkaido pumpkins (small bright orange pumpkins we have here in Germany).  I baked one of them in the oven for about an hour and then when cooled, I put it in the food processor.  The other one is cooking as I type in some curry :-)

For breakfast this morning I wanted to make something different (normally when I have fresh pumpkin, I do pancakes or waffles).  They were so awesome that nearly all of them are gone already :-D

I still have some of the baked/processed pumpkin left so will make some pumpkin with (rice) white chocolate chips with (goat's) cream cheese frosting tomorrow. Can't wait!!!

Makes 24 medium muffins
·    1 cup Pumpkin (I used Hokkaido pumpkin, cut and baked down in the oven, then processed in the food processor)
·    2 Eggs
·    1/2 cup Soy Milk
·    1/2 cup Milk Free Margarine
·    75 grans Teff Flour
·    75 grams Rice Flour
·    25grams Tapioca Flour
·    1/4 teaspoon Salt
·    1/2 cup Raw Sugar
·    1/2 cup White Sugar
·    1 teaspoon Baking Soda
·    1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
·    ½ teaspoon Xanthum Gum 
·    1 1/2  teaspoon Cinnamon 
·    1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
·    1/2 teaspoon Ginger 
·    1/4 teaspoon Coves

1.     Mix pumpkin, eggs, soy milk, and margarine in large bowl.

2.     Sift together flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, xanthum gum and spices.  When mixed quite well (sifted 2-3 times) add the sugars and mix with a whisk.

3.    Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a mixer on medium speed, taking care not to over mix.

4.    Fill muffin tins (grease if not using liners) 3/4 full.

5.    Bake at 180°C  for 30 minutes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gluten, Milk and Egg Free Rose Vanilla Cupcakes

I was just in the mood to bake some cupcakes (ok, and eat some) and I had bought some Rose Water a few months back, but had not tried it yet.  So, I made some Rose Cupcakes.  I have to bake some this weekend that are also Egg Free (but chocolate, which I have worked out great already) but I still wanted to try it - just to experiement.

I did not use a recipe or even alter one - I just got out my bowl, my flours and other baking stuff and made a bowl from scratch.  So, there is no recipe this time - sorry.   

But they did turn out nice.  Although I would use twice the Rose Water next time as with the GF flours (all much stronger flavors than wheat flour) and the Flax seed flour - the aroma and taste of Rose is hidden.

For the Egg replacement, I used 1 Tablespoon of Flax Seed Flour and 2 Tablespoons of Water. I mixed it well and let it set for 10 min or so  - worked like a charm.