Category Archives: Gluten-Free Baking Tips

Autumn in New York Cream Pie

Today it is Athanasia’s father’s birthday! So, Happy Birthday George! What better way is there to share the joy of a birthday than making a birthday treat? When Athanasia (my better half) and I were discussing the options for a sweet treat, I came up with this idea. I will admit, Athanasia was a little bit hesitant (because of her dislike for cinnamon) so she said to me: “sell me on it”. Well, I am proud to say after she tried it she is not only sold on it, but is a believer! Try it for yourself, it’s the perfect autumn treat!

First you will need to prepare a cinnamon hazelnut cream (for a recipe click here).

Pre-heat oven to 150° Celsius (302° F)

Add the following ingredients to a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix). Begin on a slow speed gradually increasing the speed to the highest setting.

  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 6 dates – remove pits
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup

Once mixture is almost smooth, spread in a pan like a crust. You may use a circular or rectangular pan. We used a 27 cm by 18 cm glass pan (about 10 inches by 7 inches)

You will want to bake this crust for 5 to 7 minutes at 150° Celsius (302° F) to bring the excess moisture to the top of the crust. Pull the crust out of the oven and attempt to soak up the excess moisture off the top of the crust using paper towels or cloth.

Turn the oven’s temperature down to 100° Celsius (212° F).

Put the crust back in the oven at 100° C (212° F) for 20 to 25 minutes. The crust will still feel soft and should not be browning very much at all around the outside edges.

Take crust out of the oven and let it cool to harden for 10 to 20 minutes. Cover with cinnamon hazelnut cream, cover and place in refrigerator overnight. We doubled the recipe for the cinnamon hazelnut cream for this purpose. This is mouthwatering!

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Green Tart with Vegan Blue Cheese

The most effective  inspiration is the deadline they say. We had some broccoli that was starting to look not as fabulously green. It was making me nervous ,yet inspired!

I always wanted to make a tart, open salty pie or quiche lorraine as some call it! I was afraid of making the crust. You see those amazing wavy golden crusts and you get intimidated to a point! However, we owe it to ourselves to face our fears, don’t we?

We certainly owe ourselves a perfect tart so here you go:

Ingredients:

For the crust (which is very easy by the way)

  • 320 grams of all purpose self-raising gluten-free flour ( 2 1/3 cups)
  • 225 grams of vegan butter cold, straight from the fridge (7 Tablespoons)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a teaspoon of sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons of cold water

In a bowl, mix the flour, sea salt, sugar and butter. Work with your hands until the butter and the flour are mixed. It is crumbly, I know, but now you will pour spoon by spoon the cold water and you will keep working with your hands and fists, lovingly handling the dough until it becomes consistent. We always put parchment paper between the pan and the food because we are trying desperately to reduce the amount of washing we have to do (we do not have a dishwasher of course). So move the dough in a tart pan (ours is 26 centimeters and this amount of crust was ideal) and patiently spread it to cover the whole pan. With a fork poke the crust so that it can bake nice and evenly; the heat can distribute throughout the crust this way. Put it in the oven at 160° Celsius (320° F) for 10 to 15 minutes to pre-bake it. The crust is about done when it blushes a bit and gets a hint of color. Take it out of the oven, set it aside, good job!!

For the contents of this pie you will need:

  • 1 leak
  • 5 green onions ( the ones we bought were small , i don’t know how yours are!)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 cups chopped white mushrooms
  • 3 broccoli (which were also rather small, we shop for organic produce so they are tiny and cute)
  • a pinch of cumin
  • olive oil

Chop the leak, green onions, pepper, and 2 cups of mushrooms. I boiled the broccoli in very hot boiling salty water for about 5 minutes. Then, I removed it from the water and chopped the flowery part off them and discarded the stems. You can mash the juicy green part in a Vitamix or blender to put it in the stuffing if you would like 🙂

Coat a frying pan with olive oil and heat it up over medium heat on the stove. Place the fine chopped green onions and the leak in the frying pan. Soften them up by sizzling them and then throw in the mushrooms with the peppers and a pinch of cumin (which makes the mushrooms taste amazing). When everything is mostly soft, remove from the heat, add the broccoli and broccoli mash then mix it well together. Add 8 tablespoons of the amazing blue cheese Jake made and make sure the stuffing is juicy!

Spread this mixture on top of the crust, insert in oven, bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 160° Celsius (320° F) until the crust turns a golden brown color!

Take out of the oven, sprinkle vegan Parmesan cheese generously on top and enjoy with no regrets because broccoli is super healthy!

NOTE: if you are too busy or simply too bored to make the blue cheese, you can use  cream from almonds or rice, but you will need something creamy 🙂

Hazelnut Cream Filled Cookies – Eggless

Prepare your cream, we used a Cacao Hazelnut Cream

Pre-heat the oven to 190° Celsius (375° F)

In one large mixing bowl add and whisk:

  • 3 cups of gluten-free, all purpose, self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Set this aside and proceed.

In another large mixing bowl add:

  • 3/4 cup (150 ml) of vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Mix and mash this into a smooth mixture, then add:

  • 2 Tablespoons of ground flax seeds mixed or whisked with 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder

Mix this as smooth as you can. Then take the first bowl you set aside that contains the dry ingredients and add them into the wet ingredients bowl. Stir completely until it resembles a cookie dough.

Now take a slightly larger than average ball of cookie dough and flatten it with your hand on a sheet of parchment paper.  You should be able to do this 18 times with this recipe and still have some dough mixture left over. You will need this left over dough so keep it. Once you have flattened cookie dough balls 18 times you can take the Cacao Hazelnut Cream and put about 1 teaspoon of it on top of each flat “cookie”. From here you will fold up all sides of the flat cookie to almost cover the cream. Be careful not to rip the dough though so do not worry if it does not completely cover it. This is why you kept the left over dough, to fill in the top of each cookie. Then mold and shape the final cream filled cookie into a round shape, using very gentle pressure. Too much pressure will cause the dough to rip and leave you with cream oozing out of the cookie.

It is not as complicated as it sounds! Once you have all 18 cookies made, you may sprinkle some brown sugar on top of them or bake them as they are. We did not sprinkle anything on top of ours due to there being a lot of sugar (to us) in the recipe already.

Remember, cookies continue to bake even after you take them out of the oven! 8 to 9 minutes is all it should take at 190° C. If they are turning brown on top, they have been in too long! We hope you like them!

A special note: the flavor really comes to life after sitting in the refrigerator overnight!

Cheesy Spinach Bread

Here is something that is easy to make and delicious!

Preheat the oven to 150° Celsius (about 302° F)

In a large bowl add the following and mix thoroughly:

  • 6 Tablespoons (1/2 cup) of sunflower oil
  • 1 cup (200 ml) of water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 140 grams (about 5 ounces) of vegan cheddar cheese
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) of rinsed and gently packed spinach (it’s best to rip the spinach with your hands into pieces or even chop it if desired. Do not let spinach dry completely but drain it so it is not soaking wet before adding it to mixture.)
  • 1 cup of gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (if you cannot find it to buy it is easy to make, contact us for a recipe).

We take a small cake pan or bread loaf pan and fill the insides with parchment paper. We pack the mixture into the pan inside the parchment paper. We bake it in the oven for 20 minutes inside the pan. After 20 minutes remove the parchment paper from the pan and place the parchment paper directly on the oven rack for another 15 to 17 minutes (or until the knife comes out clean). The end result is so good you will never believe it does not have gluten or eggs in it! Enjoy!