Category Archives: Baking Gluten Free

Piece of Cake!

Finding gluten free cake isn’t as difficult as it used to be, thanks both to entrepreneurial bakers yearning to share with others the tasty spoils of their kitchen wars and big food factories eager to cash in on the gluten free “craze.” Too often, however, the cakes look less like dreamy confections and more like clumsy claymation.

Finding a baker who can produce yummy, truly gluten and dairy free cake suitably beautiful for a wedding is no easy task. The gluten free bride can go with a strictly gluten free bakery or go with a wedding cake baker who offers both traditional and GF cakes. She also can make it herself or have a family member make it, or she can go to the nearest GF food grocer and purchase frozen confections to serve.

I quickly crossed off the bakers who make both traditional and gluten free cakes. I just don’t trust anything made in the same building where durum wheat wafts in the wind. I’m so sensitive, I once got glutened at a tasty national sandwich-bakery chain and I didn’t eat anything. How do they prevent flour from settling into the crevices or coating the work surfaces even if they clean the place with a fire hose and thick suds? How are they segregating ingredients so they don’t commingle on the apron or in the oven?

I also wasn’t going to make my own cakes. I already was DIY’ing the planning, the flowers and the decor, plus relying on family for hair and makeup. The cakes had to be professionally done and done so well no one would say, “Well, they’re that weird gluten free fad stuff; of course they taste like cardboard iced in muslin.” Continue reading Piece of Cake!

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Turtle Cake Is GFree and Yummy!

turtle cake cMy dad loves turtles. He had a slew of them as a kid, and when we were kids, he stopped the car to pick up a lovely box turtle that had found its way into the middle of a busy road somewhere near Lavalette, a popular place along the Jersey Shore. I only vaguely remember the incident as I couldn’t have been more than four or five. We named the turtle Mister T, and this was long before the A Team burst onto American television.

When we were a little older, from first through sixth grade, my sister and I participated with my dad in the YMCA’s Indian Guides and Indian Princesses program. My dad’s “Indian” name was Chief Walking Turtle. He was the head of not only our tribe, but was the head chief of the entire network of tribes participating in that particular YMCA’s program. When asked why he chose the name Chief Walking Turtle, he said it was because the turtle is a steady, deliberate animal that doesn’t rush off and make snap decisions; instead, he carefully chooses a path and follows it. That’s the kind of leader he wanted to be, he said. He sure was! Continue reading Turtle Cake Is GFree and Yummy!

Thanksgiving-y Dessert Dilemma + A Recipe for GF Apple Cake

ApplesOn Thanksgiving Day, how much variety is necessary when it comes to dessert? Do I need a chocolate dessert in addition to the pumpkin pie and apple pie? Is it apple overkill to have apple cake if the dessert menu also features apple pie and the main meal has apples in the stuffing and apple cider in the gravy? Am I shortchanging the chocoholics in favor of the fruit and veg set?

Somehow chocolate doesn’t seem Thanksgiving-y, but then, again, I don’t like chocolate, can’t eat it without getting a horrible headache and stomach pains. Chocolate seems much more Christmas-y, more appropriate for the first holiday of winter than the last holiday of fall. For Christmas, I’ll make chocolate chip cookies, orange glazed chocolate brownies, chocolate cupcakes with mint icing and maybe even chocolate fondue. I’ll go hog wild with chocolate for Christmas, but not for Thanksgiving.

It seems like apple cake would be nice on Thursday because apples are Thanksgiving-y and some people don’t like pie but they like cake. I like cake. I like cake a lot more than pie. I like the pie filling but I don’t like pie crust, even really good GF pie crust.

So, really, I want validation for making apple cake for me while I’m making pumpkin pie and apple pie and not making chocolate anything for everyone else. That’s totally un-Thanksgiving-y, I realize. It’s selfish to want my cake and to eat it, too. Continue reading Thanksgiving-y Dessert Dilemma + A Recipe for GF Apple Cake

The Making of a Birthday Party

Party TableI love to cook, bake, make and serve food. I love to plan events. When I get to combine food making with event planning with celebrating someone I love, well, it makes me very, very happy.  This week, I had the pleasure and joy of planning and making my sister’s birthday dinner. Yay!

I have become quite skilled at utilizing mixes and ready made condiments and food accessories to make meals and desserts people really like. When I ate and baked with gluten, I made all kinds of things from scratch and people scratched their heads wondering how I made it all taste so good: pizza dough and pizza, bread, cakes, muffins, appetizers, you name it. Continue reading The Making of a Birthday Party