March 30, 2014

Gluten-Free Strawberry Tartlets

Just a quick post this time!  I spent the weekend trying out more recipes from ATK's How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook.  I don't have a gluten intolerance yet I find myself drawn to these gluten free treats.  Why?  Because you seriously can't tell!!   The chocolate layer cake I made the other week was so unbelievable that I was anxious to give the other recipes a go.  Luckily I had some pastry cream in my fridge and it made absolute sense to try out the tart shell recipe.  I tell you it's spot the kind you'd find at any patisserie.  The perfectly crumbly sablée-like crust is the ideal foundation for the pastry cream and fresh fruit.  Who needs Paris, or gluten for that matter???

Run, don't walk and get this cookbook!   Stay tuned for more testing....

March 16, 2014

Gluten-Free Chocolate Layer Cake and a Giveaway

Ask anyone who knows me really well and they'd probably tell you that calling me a skeptic would be quite apropos.   I can't help it if I don't believe something right off the bat, just my nature I guess.  Which is why I couldn't wait to get my hands on "The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook" when America's Test Kitchen asked me if I would like to do a review.   I was dying to find out for myself if their gluten-free recipes, especially the baking ones, were as incredible as they have touted.  Several people in my circle are gf and being able to bake for them without having to sacrifice taste and texture would be incredible.

I knew I had to test a baking recipe and it had to be something that I normally would never make from scratch without gluten.  I've dabbled a little bit in gluten-free baking before and although most of the results were pretty good they never really did compare to "normal" baking.  

A friend recently commented that I don't have enough layer cakes on my blog so I immediately honed in on the Chocolate Layer Cake.  Believe me when I tell you that this cake is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  Not only does it bake up beautifully, with a tight and tender crumb, but it tastes just like a rich chocolate cake WITH gluten would!  I was completely stunned by how delicious it was.   To corroborate my findings I had a few friends blindly taste a slice and they enthusiastically gave it two thumbs up.  Then when I told them afterwards that the cake was gluten-free they were completely shocked...and kept on eating.  If that's not proof, I don't know what is!

I can't wait to try the other baked (and non-baked!) recipes; think the the pies are especially calling my name.   Trust me when I say that this cookbook is the real deal, but I should have already known that when it's coming from the folks at ATK!

One lucky reader will be randomly selected to receive their very own copy of The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook.  

To enter just leave a comment to this post.

IMPORTANT: You MUST include your email address IN your comment.  Entries without an email included in the comment will be disqualified!  Sorry, but that's the only way I can contact the winner.  Contest ends Sunday, March 23 at 11:59 PM PST.  One entry per person.  Open to US residents only.  Good luck!

CONTEST CLOSED.  Congratulations to comment #43 who was randomly selected among eligible entries.  Your cookbook will be arriving soon.

March 3, 2014

Galette des Rois (King's Cake)

Since it's Mardi Gras tomorrow I thought I'd post about the Galette des Rois (King's Cake) that I made a while ago.  Full disclosure: I had intended to make the cake at the beginning of January, just in time for Epiphany, but laziness got the better of me.  Luckily the cake is equally appropriate for Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent.  

My first introduction to galette des rois was in Dijon during my junior year study abroad.  I had moved over to France right at the beginning of January and all the bakeries were selling these frangipane filled puff pastry cakes.  I learned at school there was a fève, a figurine or trinket, buried inside each cake and whomever found it was crowned king or queen for the day.  

For my cake I used some homemade puff pastry and the filling came from David Lebovitz.  Most people don't have the time or inclination to make the laminated pastry from scratch, neither do I normally, so feel free to use the store-bought kind.   Be a little stingy when filling the cake with frangipane because you may end up with a bit of an explosion like I had!  In honor of the Lunar New Year I used a tiny ceramic horse to put inside. 

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