FLOURLESS ALMOND COCOA BROWNIE

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut or sunflower seeds, optional


Butter an 8×8 inch cake pan. Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the butter and cocoa powder until well incorporated. Add the sugar, eggs and almond extract.
Whisk well to combine.

Combine the almond meal and baking powder in a separate bowl. Stir them into the wet mixture until you obtain a smooth uniform batter.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the coconut or sunflower seeds on top, if using.

Bake until set, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Serves 8

PEPPER-GINGER YELLOW RICE

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch fresh ginger root, minced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
1/2 tablespoon ginger powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
Salt, to taste
3 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup long grain brown rice
1 lemon, for serving


Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger root and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the curry, turmeric, coriander, ginger and cumin and cook until fragrant, 5 minutes. Sprinkle with a little water if it starts burning.

Season with salt. Add the broth and peas and bring to a boil. Add the rice. Cover, lower the heat to low and simmer 45 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid almost evaporated. Serve sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Serves 4

COFFEE WALNUT COOKIES

Thin, light and crunchy with a bright coffee aroma. Good anytime you need a mood enhancing sweet fix.
 

2 egg whites

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Pinch salt

1/2 tablespoon instant coffee

1 cup ground walnuts

1 tablespoon flour (AP, whole grain or GF)


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites until stiff. Gradually add the sugar, salt, and coffee while continuing to beat until combined. Fold in the walnuts and flour.

Spoon small amounts of cookie mixture (1.5 to 2 tablespoons) onto the prepared baking sheet, about two inches apart. Bake them until firm and crunchy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the cookies completely and gently peel them off the parchment using a spatula.

 

Makes 12 cookies

CAROB BROWNIES

Carob is naturally sweeter than cocoa and makes rich-tasting brownies without using a lot of sugar.
 
1/3 cup carob powder
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped pecans, optional

 


 

Place the oven rack in the middle. Preheat the oven to 335 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

Sift the carob, brown rice flour, tapioca starch and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and whisk well enough to incorporate all the ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and whisk well until shiny and smooth. Fold in the chopped pecans, if using. Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until set.

Let cool before cutting.

Serves 6 to 8

NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE OATEMAL BARS

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup nut butter
2 cups quick oats
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (optional)

 


Butter a square 8-inch pan. Set aside.

Place the butter, milk, almond extract, sugar and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Melt over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is boiling heartily.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the nut butter until well incorporated. Stir in the oats (and chopped nuts, if using) until well coated.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth it out evenly with a spatula. Let cool down a bit. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 to 5 hours before cutting into squares or rectangles.

Makes 12 squares

GLUTEN-FREE FRUIT TART

The crust
1.5 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 tablespoons unrefined brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg white
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ice cold water

The pastry cream
1 ¼ cups milk
2 large egg yolks
2.5 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

The fruit
16 ounces raspberries or other fresh fruit sliced

The glaze
2 tablespoons warm light honey

Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)

 


 

The crust

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the egg white. Mix the vanilla extract to the water and pour it in the food processor a little at a time, pulsing until the dough appears moist enough to stick together. Transfer the dough to a bowl and form it into a ball. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour before use.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let the dough warm up at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before stretching it. Sprinkle the dough with a little bit of flour, place it between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out into a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer the dough to the tart pan(s).

If filling your tart immediately, bake it for 30 to 40 minutes.

If filling your tart at the end with pastry cream and fresh fruit (as in the picture above), pre-bake (blind bake) the crust. Lightly pierce the base of the molded dough with a fork in several areas. Place parchment paper or foil on it and weigh it down with dried beans, lentils or rice. Bake it for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and bean weights and bake it for another 5 minutes. Let it cool completely before filling it.

The filling

To make the pastry cream, heat the milk in a saucepan, but do not boil it. Place the yolks, cornstarch and agave or maple syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk until smooth. Add the warm milk to the egg mixture and continue whisking until well combined. Place back in the pan over very low heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens into custard. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool.

Fill the cooled tart with the cooled pastry cream. Top it with fresh fruit. Brush the fruit with warm honey. Refrigerate the tart for 30 to 60 minutes before serving. Lightly dust it with confectioner’s sugar, if you wish.

Makes one 8-inch tart or 4 to 6 tartlets.

 

GLUTEN-FREE PIE CRUST

1.5 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 tablespoons unrefined brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg white
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ice cold water


 

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the egg white. Mix the vanilla extract to the water and pour it in the food processor a little at a time, pulsing until the dough appears moist enough to stick together. Transfer the dough to a bowl and form it into a ball. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour before use.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let the dough warm up at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before stretching it. Sprinkle the dough with a little bit of flour, place it between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out into a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer the dough to the tart pan(s).

If filling your tart immediately, bake it for 30 to 40 minutes.

If filling your tart at the end with pastry cream and fresh fruit , pre-bake (blind bake) the crust. Lightly pierce the base of the molded dough with a fork in several areas. Place parchment paper or foil on it and weigh it down with dried beans, lentils or rice. Bake it for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and bean weights and bake it for another 5 minutes. Let it cool completely before filling it.
Makes one 8-inch crust

 

GLUTEN-FREE LEMON LAYER CAKE

This recipe makes a small rectangular layer cake made from a single cake cut into thirds.

For the gluten-free génoise cake
¼ cup agave syrup
5 eggs, yolks and whites separated
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup millet flour (or all-purpose flour)

For the filling

8 ounces mascarpone
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus some extra for garnish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons agave syrup

For the syrup
4 tablespoons agave syrup
Juice of ½ lemon
1/3 cup water

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 8×9 pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the agave syrup with the egg yolks and vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl until frothy. Gently whisk in the flour. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and fold them into the egg yolk, agave and flour mixture. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 13 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the mascarpone, grated lemon zest, lemon juice and agave together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

When the cake is cooked, unmold it onto a large cutting board or dry surface, gently peel off the parchment paper and cut the cake into three rectangles of the same size. Let it cool.

Make the syrup by combining the agave syrup, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Cook the syrup over low heat for about 5 minutes.

Brush the first cake rectangle lightly with the syrup, spread a third of the mascarpone on the cake. Top it with the second cake rectangle, brush it with syrup and spread it with mascarpone. Repeat with the remaining cake rectangle and top it with a thin layer of mascarpone. Garnish with lemon zest, if you wish.

Serves 6

PEANUT TRUFFLES

1 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts
1 cup corn flakes
1/4 cup honey
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

 


 

Grind the peanuts and corn flakes into almost a powder using a food processor.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate.

Melt the chocolate over gentle stove heat or in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Shape the peanut mixture into 1-inch balls. Dip the peanut balls in melted chocolate and allow to harden on wax paper 30 minutes or so before serving.

Makes about 12

BLACKBERRY ALMOND TORTE

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup honey or agave syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
3 eggs
1 ½ cups almond meal
1 tablespoon coconut flour or 2 tablespoons millet flour (or 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup blackberries
 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch springform tart pan or individual tartlet pans.

In a large bowl, whisk the butter, honey or agave syrup, vanilla extract and almond extract until creamy. Whisk in the eggs. Combine the almond meal with coconut or millet flour and salt, and add to the wet mixture. Stir well to combine. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and scatter the blackberries on top, pressing them lightly in the batter. Bake until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
 
Serves 8

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