Monday, April 25, 2011

Gluten and Milk Free Käsespätzle (German version of Mac & Cheese)

So, I have several Germans now following my Facebook page and my blog, so I decided since I live in Germany, I should try to convert more "German" dishes into gluten free dishes.  I have already done the brez'n (pretzels) and the Flammkuchen (thin pizza)  - now it was time to tackle Käsespätzle, the German version of Mac & Cheese!

The result was yummy!!!  I have never actually tasted proper "normal" spätzle in any form, as have only lived in Germany as a celiac.  But Guy has had it many times.  He said this tasted and looked like "normal" käsespätzle, this made me very happy :)

If you have made spätzle before, you will find that this dough does act differently than the "normal" stuff with wheat flour.  I am sure you could make this without the xantham gum and it would act more like the other stuff, but I felt it was needed to ensure that the spätzle held together in this recipe.  In the end, it worked beautifully.

Gluten and Milk Free Käsespätzle
makes 2 large portions

 For the Spätzle
100 Grams Potato Flour
50 Grams Millet Flour
50 Grams Amaranth Flour
½ Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
2 Egg
6 Tablespoons Water
Pinch of Salt

Mix all the ingredients in a stand mixer bowl until smooth.  Because of the xanthan gum, the batter will be thick, but smooth. 

Heat your oven to the lowest temperature.

Bring a large pan of water with salt to boil.  Also, fill a bowl with cold water (this will be used for shocking the spätzle once you remove them from the boiling water, to stop the cooking). 

Once the water is boiling, fill your spätzle  press with the batter and press out some into the boiling water.  I did this in 2 batches.  The spätzle will remain on the top (when using wheat flour, they sink and then rise when cooked).  Cook them for 3-4 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and place into the bowl cold water.  Then remove from the cold water with the  slotted spoon and place on a plate lines with paper towels.  Once the paper towel has absorbed some of the water, transfer the spätzle to a large baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in oven for 10-15 minutes (again, on the lowest setting) to dry out to Spätzle just a little bit, you aren’t cooking them more, just wicking some of the water away.

Now make the onion and cheese sauce:
1 Onion, Thinly Sliced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Margarine (for onions)
1 Tablespoon Margarine (for cheese sauce)
1 Tablespoons Gluten Free Flour
1/3-1/2 Cup Goat’s Milk
1 Cup Grated Semi-Hard Young Goat’s Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray pan with no-stick spray or smear with margarine. 

In a large saucepan, place 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons margarine over high heat. Add onions. Cook over high heat until the onions start to brown. Stir frequently. Reduce heat. Add salt. Cook onions until soft and golden brown, this can take 10 min or so. Stir frequently and scrape the juices off the bottom of the pan.  Then add the spätzle and heat through over moderate heat. It is ok if they brown a little. Set aside.

To make the cheese sauce, first make a roux by melting 1 tablespoon of margarine in the pan. Gradually sprinkle the flour and immediately begin stirring. Do not let the margarine/flour burn so stir constantly until a paste forms. This will happen very quickly. Slowly add the milk and continue stirring until you have a white creamy sauce. If the mixture gets too thick, add additional milk. You may use all of the milk, you may not, it depends on the flour you use.  Just keep stirring until it looks like a nice white sauce.  Then add the grated cheese and salt and pepper.  Continue stirring until all the cheese is melted. If you need, you can add some more milk here.

Mix the spätzle and the cheese sauce together and transfer to the prepared pan. Bake at 200°C until the cheese has melted and starts to brown on the top, approximately 20 minutes.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gluten and Milk Free Pasta & Baby Spinach with Baked Goat's Camembert

 As you can see, we have our camera back :-)

I was visiting a friend the other day and she had a new cookbook.  I was flipping through it and had to admit that even though I have never been a Jamie Oliver fan (mostly because I have only ever seen  him in German and the dubbed voice they have for him is extremely annoying!!!), I loved this particular cookbook.  As I was flipping through the pages, one of the pictures really caught my eye.  It was a pasta dish with camembert.  What caught my eye was that the camembert was baked in the wooden container it came in.  Something about this really appealed to me.  So, I made a trip to the larger Karstadt in the city with a large selection of cheeses.  I was able to find a nice French camembert made from goat's milk.  

By the time I got home with the cheese EVERYTHING stank!  I had never had soft cheese like this that had such a horrible smell. I was sure it had gone off.  I then chatted with another friend who said that yes, some of the soft goat's cheeses smell.  So, I stuck it into a zip lock and put it in the crisper.  By the next day, the entire fridge stank.  I was having my doubts about this recipe.

Today, we made it. I followed Jamie's recipe from "Ministry of Food" to the tee, except of course, I used gluten free pasta and for the cheeses, I used pecorino ramano and goat's camembert.  I also added 2-3 times the amount of rosemary (my Guy loves rosemary) as well as adding some rosemary and garlic to the water that the pasta was boiling in.

The result was a beautiful blend of cheeses and spices that went wonderfully with the pasta/spinach.   I was a bit afraid that the cheese would end up melting all over the place.  The last time I bought a goat's camembert (a much cheaper brand only wrapped, not in the nice wood holder) and baked it inside of some pastry dough, it leaked all over the place.  So, I made a little form of aluminum foil inside the wood holder and then put the cheese in that.  But to my delightful surprise, the cheese inside baked perfectly leaving the outer "skin" in tact.

I can not recommend this highly enough.  It was so delicious!!  I purposely only made 2 portions (cut the recipe in half) and am wishing I had not, so that we had left overs.

I won't retype the whole recipe, but here is a link to a condensed version (only the instructions have been a bit condensed, the ingredients are all listed.  Again, to make this gluten free, you only need to use any gluten free pasta that you like and if you are also cow's milk intolerant, just use goat's camembert. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gluten Free Easter Egg Cupcakes

I was not sure what to do for Easter cupcakes, so I decided to do a few different ones.  Knowing that we can not eat them all, I have boxed almost all of them up to give to friends over the weekend.  I really wanted to do some with the Cadbury cream eggs.  I was lucky enough to find a shop here in Munich that sold them.  They cost a pretty penny of course, so I only put them into 6 of the cupcakes.  I am not sure who will get them, as I mixed them all up.  But a few lucky people will be biting into some awesome goodness this weekend :) 

Gluten Free Easter Egg Cupcakes
Makes 20 cupcakes

Dry Ingredients:
20 grams Quinoa Flour
40 grams Millet or Sorghum Flour
40 grams Amaranth Flour
20 grams Rice Flour
15 grams Tapioca Flour
2 teaspoons GF Baking Powder
75 grams Dutch Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
150 grams Muscovado Sugar

Wet Ingredients:

40 grams Milk Free Margarine softened
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoons GF Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Goat’s Buttermilk
1/2 cup Goat’s Milk

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Mix all the wet ingredients in a stand mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer) until well blended.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer while on low (2) speed.  Once all ingredients are combined, mix on speed 3-4 for a minute or two until well mixed.  Do not over mix!

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.  Unwrap and place a Cadbury Cream Egg into the cupcake batter.  Bake at 180°C (350°F) 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool

Let cupcakes cool completely!!

For the grass, I used tip #233.  For a video on how to pipe grass, here is a good youtube video from Wilton.

I used the same tip with some brown frosting to make the nest and put Cadbury chocolate mini eggs into them.  For the Baskets, I used a licorice stick for the handle and peeps and jelly beans for the decorations.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sheep's Cheese with Chocolate. Yes, you read it correctly :)

So, I was at my local Karstadt (at Nordbad) yesterday searching for some different sheep's or goat's cheese to try.  I found a lovely pecorino with chili's - Yumm!!

I was sure that I had misunderstood the lady behind the counter when when she offered me "Schafskäse mit Schokolade" to try.  Now, my German is OK, but I was sure I misunderstood her.  She then pointed to a block of sheep's cheese with chocolate.  I was a bit skeptical, but I did try it.  It was actually quite nice.  It had a nice mild flavor with a nice bite of chocolate, as well as whole hazelnuts too.  The chocolate was not overpowering, nor was it too little that you didn't notice it was there.  I did not buy any (as I had already had her cut a huge chunk of the one with chili) and while it was nice, I could not see using it for everyday eating at home (the chili one however, I could eat every day :)  Perhaps next time we have company or make a nice little cheese try, I may buy some.

They also had (same brand) sheep's cheese with pistachios.  This I did not particularly care for.  It was not bad at all, just for me, the 2 flavors just didn't go well together.

Just wanted to share for any others of you out there in Munich who can't have cow's milk (or for anyone really).  This is a great alternative for cheese :)

Gluten Free & (cow's) Milk Free Flammkucken (also GREAT recipe for Créme Fraiche substitute)

Old camera again :(  Hopefully new one back this week!)

So, living in Munich where there are so many good foods and desserts that I can't have, I thought I would try to make a few of them gluten/milk free.  I have already perfected my Brez'n (Bavarian style pretzels) so next up was Flammkuchen.  It is not a pizza, but very similar.  The dough is rolled out extremely thin and the sauce is a mix of créme fraiche and heavy cream with some spices.  Well, I have been lucky enough to find loads of goat's or sheep's products to use as a substitute for most cow's milk products - however, the illustrious créme fraiche (aka sour cream) has alluded me :(

So, I decided to make my own.  This was not proving easy, as every recipe calls for cream.  You usually mix some yogurt or a bit or créme fraiche with cream and let it sit a couple days.  I set out to find some goat's or sheep's milk cream.  I only find cows, soy, rice, etc... in the  local shop.  So, I decided to just try something different.  I found at my local Bio shop (Basic) some goat's quark.  I thought I would try this instead and it worked beautifully.  I mixed 1 tub of quark and 1 tub of yogurt together - it really really does taste, act and bake/cook like créme fraiche.  They have both goat's and sheep's. I went with the goat's because the goat's yogurt they had there was super thick (greek style).

I searched for a good Flammkuchen recipe to transform into my own (gluten/milk free) and settled on this one form blogger Delicious Days.  I think though that most all Flammkuchen recipes are nearly the same (I did not find much variation in them).  I was very worried about the dough, wondering how it would turn out without the gluten to hold it together since it needed to be rolled so thin.  I typically ONLY use Xanthan Gum when baking bread (I omit it from all other recipes) but did use it for this recipe and also added twice what I normally would to ensure the dough would hold. In the original recipe, he actually forms the dough like you do pizza (stretching with hands up in the air) - no way I would attempt this with gluten free dough.  But rolling it worked supremely!!!

I must say that I was so impressed with the way this turned out.  The taste, appearance, texture - all the same as a "normal" Flammkuchen.  The only real "non traditional" thing we did was to add a bit of pecorino, Flammkuchen typically don't have cheese on them.  This will definitely become a favorite.  I only wish I had a nice pizza stone or wooden pizza board for better presentation ;-) 

So, here is the adapted recipe.  You could substitute any other gluten free flours you  like, however, I REALLY do recommend using the ones listed below.  I have tried many combinations when making pizza dough, and this combination will be my new go-to recipe for this sort of dough.  If you do not need to eat gluten free or milk free - you can substitute the same amount of weight of the flours with a normal flour and of course use normal créme fraiche - enjoy!

Edit: I just ate some of the left overs for breakfast - cold - YUMMY!!!
adapted from this one form blogger Delicious Days
Makes 2 Flammkuchen, 8 slices each
Per Slice
Calories: 183
Fat: 3.8g
Carbs: 16.9g
Protein 7.3g

100g Sweet Rice Flour (I get the "glutinous rice flour" from local Asian shop, don't let the name fool you, it is indeed gluten free, but it is sweet rice flour)
75g Corn Starch
75g Millet Flour
50g Gram (chickpea) Flour
1 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
175-200 milliliters Lukewarm Water
1 Packet (15g) dried yeast or 1 Fresh Yeast Cube (I normally use fresh, but did not have any, so used a packet of dried)

125 g Goat’s quark (I used Leeb brand from Basic)
125 g Goat’s very thick yogurt (I used Bergerie Brand from Basic)
Sea Salt to taste (be careful here, as remember if you are using bacon as a topping, it can get too salty)
Ground Black Pepper to taste
Nutmeg to taste (yes, this sounds odd, but traditional Flammkuchen calls for nutmeg or cinnamon - just add a bit (I added 2 good shakes)

Toppings (you can use any toppings of your choice, below is what we used)
Flammkuchen #1
Bacon, diced and cooked
Yellow Sweet Onion, finely sliced and sautéed just to take stiffness out
Sliced Green Onions
Chives, chopped
Salt/Pepper to taste
Pecorino Cheese

Flammkuchen #2
Serrano Ham
Yellow Sweet Onion, finely sliced and sautéed just to take stiffness out
Sliced Green Onions
Chives, chopped
Salt/Pepper to taste
Pecorino Cheese

Mix the flours, xanthan gum and salt and sift thoroughly.  Put into a Kitchen Aid bowl and make a well in the centre. If you do not have a stand mixer, it works just fine by hand, just a bit longer). In a small glass bowl/glass, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water (I added a pinch of sugar  to help it along). Let sit for a few minutes then pour into the well and add the olive oil.  Let your Kitchen Aid do the work and mix until smooth ball forms -roughly 3 to 5 minutes (medium speed). If it is too dry, add a tablespoon of the water (or more if needed).  If it is too wet, add a bit more flour. Shape into a ball, cover and let rest in a warm place for 45 minutes.  Once the dough has risen, punch it down, divide it into 2 equally sized portions, shape them into balls and let them rise again under a towel for 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 250°C (480°F) and put the baking tray in so it gets preheated as well.

Prepare the topping by mixing the quark and yogurt with spices (salt, pepper and nutmeg) to taste,

On a piece of baking paper on the counter, flatten one dough ball with your hands and roll it out thinly with a rolling pin. I drizzled a bit of olive oil over the surface halfway through the rolling to help it not stick.

Apply the yogurt/quark mix on top and spread evenly then add your toppings as you prefer. Transfer the baking paper onto the preheated tray and bake for 15 minutes or until it is a nice golden-brown colour.

Take out and sprinkle with fresh chives and enjoy.

Next weekend - gluten/milk free Spätzle!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flammkuchen - Coming this Sunday :) Stay tuned.

I will be converting a normal Flammkuchen recipe to a gluten free one this weekend and posting it on Sunday.  Wish me luck!!

And would love to know - what are your favorite Flammkuchen toppings???

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Gluten & Milk Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

(again, apologies for the poor photo quality, using our old camera while the new one is repaired)
Happy Birthday Lisa!!!

A friend has a birthday today and when I ask her boyfriend what her favorite color or flavor was, he didn't really know what to answer, so I asked what her favorite candy was.  He said Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.  So, I decided to make peanut butter cup cupcakes :)  This takes some time as you have to bake, then cool the cupcakes.  Then you have to melt and cool the ganache.  Then you have to put the genache on the cupcakes and allow to set for several hours, and finally the frosting - but well worth the time.

These Gluten and (cow's) Milk Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting are much significantly lower in calories, fat and carbs than most and also higher in protein.  They are absolutely delicious :)  (nutritional info at the end of the post)

Gluten & Milk Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 20 cupcakes

Dry Ingredients:
20 grams Quinoa Flour
40 grams Millet or Sorghum Flour
40 grams Amaranth Flour
20 grams Rice Flour
15 grams Tapioca Flour
2 teaspoons GF Baking Powder
75 grams Dutch Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
150 grams Muscovado Sugar

Wet Ingredients:

40 grams Milk Free Margarine softened
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoons GF Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Goat’s Plain Yogurt (can use any milk that you can have)
1/2 cup Goat’s Milk (can use any yogurt that you can have)

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Mix all the wet ingredients in a stand mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer) until well blended.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer while on low (2) speed.  Once all ingredients are combined, mix on speed 3-4 for a minute or two until well mixed.  Do not over mix!

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 180°C (350°F) 20-22 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool

Let cupcakes cool completely!!

Next step is to add the ganache

Chocolate Ganache
100 grams Good Quality Chocolate Bar broken up into pieces
20 grams Ghee

Melt the above ingredients together (you can use a microwave or stove top).  Allow mixture to cool (but not set), but you want it right at room temperature.

With a small teaspoon place a spoonful of the mixture on top of the cupcake holding it with your hand – and twist your hand slowly to allow it to run over the cupcake and into all the edges of the liner.  The result will be a glossy smooth layer of chocolate and if it is allowed to fill all the crevices around the edge of the liner - it will look  like a giant reeses cup :)

Allow to cool and set completely – this will take several hours!!!  You must be patient ;-)

Final step is adding the topping

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
50 grams Milk Free Margarine softened
350 g powdered Sugar
2-3 tablespoons Goat's Milk (or any milk you can have)

Mix the butter and peanut butter in your stand mixer for a couple minutes.  Then add the powdered sugar slowly with mixer on speed 2.   You can add the milk at any stage when the mix is too dry.  You may use more or less - depending on the consistency that you desire for piping. When all combined, have a taste and adjust to your liking (you can add more peanut butter, sugar etc..).  When you have the right consistency and taste, turn up to speed 4-5 for several minutes until fluffy.  

Pipe swirls (I used Wilton tip 1M with large coupler) onto the tops of each cupcake.  Top with a mini Reeses peanut butter cup.


Famous NYC Bakery Chocolate cupcake with Frosting
Serving: 1 cupcake; Calories: 485, Total Fat: 24.4g, Carbs: 62.9g, Protein: 3.9g

Babs GF Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
Serving: 1 cupcake; Calories: 321, Total Fat: 13.3g, Carbs: 44.4g, Protein: 4.3g,

Babs GF Chocolate Cupcake (without Frosting)
Serving: 1 cupcake; Calories: 110, Total Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 14.0g, Protein: 2.5g,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gluten, Milk and Egg Free Chocolate Cafe Amaretto Cupcakes - Take 2

Apologies for the poor photo quality.  Had to use the old old digital camera as the new one is not working at the moment :(

So, I have been sick all week and eating healthy for several weeks and today, I just wanted something sweet :)  So, I decided to make some cupcakes.  With the idea of eating a couple of them, putting a couple in the freezer for Guy for the weekend and then taking the rest to my German class tomorrow night.  This way, I only eat 2 :)

I was not sure what I was in the mood for, but it had to be chocolate.  Then I thought, everyone could use a bit of a boost as the German class is 6pm-9pm, so I decided to try the coffee cupcakes again, but with a few experimental changes.  

I must say, the last batch did turn out better as far as texture of the cupcake and the smoothness of the tops, but these were better in flavor with the changes (mainly I think adding the yogurt).  I think the unsmoothness (is that a word?) is because the batter was too thick.  I actually only used 1/2 cup of the rice milk in the recipe, but adjusted it below to be 3/4, this should be enough extra to solve this issue.  The other issue is that they baked a couple minutes too long.  Not sure if that is due to the thick batter, so will put a range in the recipe below. I did 20 min and it was about 2 min too long, but with the extra milk, it may need another min or 2.

So, here is the recipe with a few changes from last time.  I used some sheep's yogurt and adjusted some of the measurements.  Also, as I used the sheep's yogurt, it is obviously no longer Vegan - you can just leave that out and increase the rice milk to 1 cup to adjust for that if you wish.  I think next time I try this recipe, I will leave out the flax seed flour and just add an egg as well :)

Cafe Amaretto Cupcakes Take 2: 
Makes 16 cupcakes
Per cupcake (with frosting)
Calories  219
Fat 8g
Carbs 35g
Fiber 11g
Protein 2g

3/4 cup Rice Milk
1/2 cup Sheep’s Greek Yogurt
Espresso Instant Powder  (to equal 6 cups of espresso)
1/3 cup Mazola oil
125 grams Moscovado Sugar
2 teaspoons GF Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract

Mix above in stand mixer on speed 2 until well blended.  Then add

30 grams Tapioca Starch
2 tablespoons Flaxseed (ground/flour)

Mix for 1-2 minute on speed 2-3 or until it is thoroughly mixed.

Then sift together in a bowl the following ingredients

50 grams Dutch Cocoa Powder
80 grams White Rice Flour
55 grams Quinoa Flour
60 grams Millet or Sorghum flour
1 teaspoon GF Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Add this sifted ingredient to the mixture.  mix for a minute or 2 on low speed (2) until well mixed!!!!

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 180°C (350°F) for 18-20 min. 

For the Frosting:
(I did not use any margarine, as wanted the frosting to be white)
75 grams Crisco

Mix this for about 30 seconds to a minute on speed 2 of your stand mixer
Then add

250 grams powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon Amaretto

Mix for 2 minutes or so (If it is too dry, add a bit of the Amaretto, but just a bit, you want to mix this well before adding the rest of the liquid).

Now add 1-2 Tablespoons more of liquid (can be rice milk or Amaretto and use more or less to get the consistency you want)

Mix in stand mixer for 5-7 minutes or so - this will make it nice and fluffy and light and will not taste so sweet :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gluten and Milk Free Spring Peep Cupcakes

Finally it is Biergarten weather in Munich :-D So, made some cupcakes to take today.  They are very spring themed :)

I used the recipe from one of my previous post Standard Vanilla Cupcakes.