CREAM CHEESE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, preferably at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brewed coffee (or liqueur of choice), optional
10 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or finely shredded coconut, for coating

 


In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese well until fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract and coffee or liqueur. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and slowly add it to the cream cheese while stirring. Continue stirring until the white from the cheese is no longer visible and the mixture is uniformly brown.

Refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out the chocolate and shape it into 1-inch balls.

Place the cocoa powder or shredded coconut in a shallow dish and roll the truffles in the coating.

Refrigerate leftovers. Allow them to warm up and soften a bit at room temperature before serving them.

Makes 16

GLUTEN-FREE MARBLE CAKE

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup milk
1 cup coconut flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water

 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 9- to 10-inch Bundt pan.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the milk and mix again until well combined. Sift the coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, soda powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the wet mixture and mix well to combine.

Pour half of the batter in a separate bowl. Add the cocoa powder and water and whisk to combine. Transfer the batters to the prepared pan alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter. Bake until the cake is set and slightly browned, 30 to 32 minutes. Cool before unmolding.
 

Serves 6 to 8

PUMPKIN BUTTER

If upon tasting the pumpkin butter, it feels a little bit heavy on spices, don’t worry. The sharpness of the spices will mellow down after the butter sits in the fridge for a day or so. Just be patient with it.

2 (15-ounce) cans pure pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar

 


Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring very frequently, until the mixture is thicker and darker.

Let cool and store in airtight containers. Keep the pumpkin butter refrigerated–it is not safe to can it!

Makes 2 cups

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

pumpkin butter

GLUTEN-FREE NECTARINE CLAFOUTIS

3 nectarines

1 plum (for color – optional)

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup low fat milk

2 large whole eggs + 2 egg yolks

1/3 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling the pan

3 tablespoons corn starch

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 


 

Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8 ½ -inch square or round pan and sprinkle it with turbinado sugar.

Cut the fruit into wedges. Arrange the fruit wedges in the prepared pan.

Blend the rest of the ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides with a spatula and blend for another 30 seconds until smooth.

Pour the custard over the fruit in the pan. Bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool completely on a cooling rack before cutting.

Enjoy at room temperature or chilled.

Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Serves 6

gluten-free nectarine clafoutis

SIMPLE PARSNIP DESSERT

1 pound parsnips, peeled and chopped
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon orange blossom water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Chopped nuts and chocolate sauce for topping.

 


 
Cook the parsnips in boiling water until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain off the water.

Place the cooked parsnips along with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree them until silky.

Transfer the parsnip puree into dessert cups and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

Top with chopped nuts and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
 
Serves 4 to 6

BROWN RICE CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA CAKE

4 large eggs, at room temp
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
¾ stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, smashed
1 ¼ cups brown rice flour
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 


 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-inch cake pan.

Beat the eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in the smashed bananas.

Sift the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt together into a bowl; whisk them into the liquid mixture until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is set and lightly browned, 25 to 35 minutes.
 
Serves 8

GLUTEN-FREE MADELEINES

1/2 cup agave syrup
4 large eggs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

 


 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two (12-madeleine) madeleine tins.

Beat the agave syrup with the eggs, butter, vanilla extract, and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl until frothy.

Sift the brown rice flour, millet flour, salt and baking powder together; whisk them into the liquid mixture.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one a little over halfway. Bake until the edges of the madeleines are browned, about 10 minutes.
 
Makes 24

BUCKWHEAT CHOCOLATE CAKE

5 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

2/3 cup canola oil

8 oz unsweetened apple sauce

3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

 


 

Place the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate with canola oil in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir well to combine.

In a separate bowl whisk together the applesauce, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Whisk into the melted chocolate mixture. Sift in the rest of the ingredients. Whisk well to obtain a smooth batter.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until a skewer comes out clean, 30 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
 
Serves 8

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CAKE

¾ cup canola oil
½ cup organic cocoa powder
¾ cup agave syrup (or 3/4 cup sugar)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup tapioca flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup mini chocolate chips

 


 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a cake or bundt pan.

In an electric mixer, beat the oil and cocoa powder. Add the agave or sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt and beat again. Combine the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to the wet mixture and beat until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Cool the cake completely before unmolding.
 

Serves 8

COCONUT PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

This is a lighter, healthier pineapple upside down cake. The pineapple is not caramelized but simply baked on the bottom of the cake.

 
4 eggs
7 tablespoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons coconut milk (1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup brown sugar
¾ cup coconut flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
7 to 8 pineapple slices, canned or fresh
Maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)
 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.

Using an electric mixer, mix the eggs, butter, milk, vanilla and sugar until well combined. Combine the coconut flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the wet mixture and mix again.

Arrange the pineapple slices on the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the batter over it. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean, 35 minutes. Let the cake cool and turn it over onto a plate. Garnish with Maraschino cherries.
 
Serves 6 to 8