Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gluten-free, dairy-free, tasty!

I made a birthday cake yesterday. The person whose birthday it was can't eat dairy, and, of course, anything coming out of my kitchen won't have wheat....

So I came up with this cake (which could also be called a 1/2 cup cake, lots of half-cups)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cornmeal-I used Arrowhead Mills
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups almond meal
capful vanilla
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 360.

Blend the brown sugar and cornmeal in the bowl of a stand mixer, add orange juice, and mix thoroughly (the orange juice helps to rehydrate the cornmeal so its not as gritty). Add the olive oil and then the millet flour. Add the rest of the ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Put in a cake pan and bake in the oven.

I used a heart stencil and powdered sugar on top. I was not able to come up with a good dairy-free frosting with the stuff I had at home, although that is what the cake really needs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Yes, I know. I have been terribly, terribly lax in updating this site. Tsk, tsk, tsk on me. I've been cooking, just not posting the results. For instance, I had a lovely little dinner the other night of fresh garden peas tossed with gnocchi and a smatter of pecorino romano.... but on to why you are really here, the cheesecake.

There are umpteen kajillion recipes for cheesecake out there. Most seem to have an abundance of eggs and sour cream added in, and what one cookbook tells you to do, the others tell you the opposite. Lots add heavy cream, some cheesecake recipes use cottage cheese (Why? tell me why!)... Some recipes use an incredible amount of sugar, some use flour in the filling (another reason for not eating the filling out of things in restaurants!) My favorite cheesecake recipe ever is from the Nancy Drew Cookbook, just cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and sugar...Unfortunately, although I had a huge log of cream cheese, thanks to the joy that is a Costco membership, I didn't have enough eggs. So here's where I got inventive:

1 lb cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg (this was a pastured egg, so about the equivalent of an extra-large)
3 tbsp lemon curd
2 tbsp sour cream
1 capful vanilla

The cream cheese should be pretty much at room temp, as should the rest of the ingredients. (The sugar, of course, will be). Preheat the oven to 350. (there were a whole host of different oven temps too, I decided to just go basic).

Start the cream cheese beating until its smooth, add the sugars, and then the lemon curd, the egg and the sour cream. Keep scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla last.

Put into a pan (I just use a cake pan) and toss into the oven.

If you wanted to, yes you could make a crust. You could use gluten-free gingersnaps, whizz them up in a food processor, add a little butter and press them into the pan.

You could also add chopped candied ginger to the batter...