Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chocolate Rice pudding

I don't mean rice pudding with grains of rice. I mean creamy, custard-like pudding. I have been going crazy for this stuff! I have missed pudding so much and so has my oldest son. My middle son doesn't care since he never had pudding anyway, but is he ever in his glory as well!
Here you go!

Jacqueline's Everything free chocolate pudding
Makes 4-1/2 cup servings

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon oil
1 oz unsweetened dairy free chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup vanilla rice milk
1 cup plain rice milk (I ran out of vanilla)
3 tablespoons glutenous/sweet rice flour

In a small pot, melt the chocolate into the oil and mix in sugar until dissolved. Add the vanilla to the rice milks then add all but 1/2 cup rice milk to the chocolate mixture very slowly. Whisk the rice flour into the 1/2 cup rice milk then whisk into the chocolate milk mixture and bring to a boil. Allow to thicken, simmering and whisking to keep lumps from forming. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour into serving bowls, cover and chill about 2 hours.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sunflower Seed Butter

No time for anything fancy. Here's what I did.

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
4-6 tablespoons canola oil (would probably be good with sunflower too)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon (approx) raw honey

Put seeds in blender, cover and turn on. I used the "puree" setting on mine, which is setting 2 on a 10 speed blender. Add the oil until the seeds begin to resemble the texture you want them to be. I added mine a tablespoon at a time. You may need to help the blender churn things with a rubber spatula- be VERY careful if you do this. Once the texture starts to look about right, add the salt and honey and blend a minute more. Make sure the texture is where you want it by adding a little more oil, if needed. Turn off the blender and taste. Adjust seasonings (salt and honey) to taste.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jacqueline's Gluten Free Flour Mix

2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

This is the mix I'm presently using for my baking, including for the brownies I just posted. I'm not sure how the recipe will work with other flours, but feel free to experiment.

Brownies

Some time ago, one of my girls was complaining that she couldn't make/get a decent brownie. "A nice gooey brownie" is I believe what the request was (although I'm sure she didn't realize it was a request). Determined to help her out, and perhaps because I wanted brownies myself, I decided then and there to make brownies she would enjoy.
My original version of this particular brownie didn't turn out well. I believe I described it as "fried fudge", but the truth is it was more like fried fudge swimming in a puddle of oil.... After playing with the amount of oil, the amount of sugar and flour, the amount of cocoa, hoping for some kind of change, I posted to the Allergies forum letting them in on the fact that I was working on gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free brownies. I got several responses but one in particular about brownie mixes flopping without eggs gave me my "aha!" moment. To you I say a big THANK YOU, dannic.
For those who aren't aware, gluten free baking is more akin to a science experiment at times than actual baking. At least, it is to me. :D Did I mention I hated science? Anyway, one of the interesting properties of eggs is that they're an emulsifier. For those who aren't aware of what emulsifiers are and do, a simple description is that they allow water and oil to mix and stay mixed. The emulsifying "agent" in eggs is called lecithin. Soy and butter are also rich in this emulsifier. This is what makes soy, dairy and egg free brownies so difficult. There is not, to my knowledge, a non-soy, non-dairy egg replacer which simulates this particular property of eggs. Until now.
It should be noted that I generally try to stay away from any kind of equipment which people may not have, such as a blender or mixer. However, this particular recipe requires a blender.
Excuse me a moment while I put away my horn. ;) Anyway, I know what you're all really here for is the brownies... I have to say, these aren't perfected yet (when are any of my recipes actually perfected?) but they are good enough and I can't make my girls wait any longer. So here you go:

Jacqueline's Brownies:
1 cup Jacqueline's Gluten free flour mix
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ozs oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds soaked in 6 ozs water (at least one hour, preferably a day or longer)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (that's 350 for you Americans).
Place the sunflower seeds and water, vanilla, oil and salt in a blender container and liquify. You want the resulting liquid to resemble milk with no discernable "floaties" but appear to be one liquid.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa. Pour the sunflower seed mixture into the flour mixture and stir well with a spoon, making sure there are no hidden pockets of flour. Using a rubber spatula, pour and scrape all of this mixture into an 8" square pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. When you think it needs about 5 more minutes (A toothpick inserted in the center comes out sticky but not gunky), remove from the oven and allow to cool. Slice into squares (or just grab a fork) and enjoy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Strange plum-like thing.

I was happily taking a walk with my two younger sons today when I saw this bush growing.



You can't tell from the picture above, but it is FILLED with these strange plum-like fruits.

I picked one and tasted it. They're sweet. Having no clue what they are, I'm asking if anyone else does? They don't really taste like much but they have a pit like a plum or cherry. Here's a picture with one by my hand for size reference.