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

WHOLE WHEAT HOT CROSS BUNS

This recipe doubles perfectly to make a dozen buns.

 

½ cup milk

1 package (7 grams) active dry yeast

1/3 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 large egg yolk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups plus 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup raisins

For the eggwash

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

 


 

Microwave the milk in a small bowl for 45 seconds, until warm but not burning hot (about 105 degrees). Stir in the yeast. Let activate 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the sugar, egg yolk, butter, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix at low speed until incorporated. Add the yeast-milk mixture. Sift the flour, salt and spices into a bowl. Add them to the wet mixture. Switch to a dough hook attachment and Knead the dough at medium speed until light and supple, 1 to 2 minutes.

Lightly hand knead the dough on a floured surface, incorporating the raisins, and roll it into a ball. Place the dough ball in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and a towel. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 6 balls. Transfer them to a lightly greased baking sheet, placing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover with a towel and let rise 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, whish the egg and water well to make eggwash. Brush the buns with eggwash and sprinkle them with turbinado sugar. Using a knife, cut a cross shape, going about ½-inch deep into the dough.

Bake the buns 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the buns to a rack to cool a bit.
 

Makes 6 buns

WHITE BEAN LAYER CAKE

For the cakes

1 1/2 cups cooked/canned cannellini or navy beans, drained
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup agave syrup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups millet flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the mascarpone filling
(adapted from Giada’s Kitchen)

2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Garnish

1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 ounces raspberries

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

Place the beans, eggs, vanilla extract, agave syrup, butter and sour cream in a food processor or blender and process to a homogeneous purée. Pour into a large bowl.

Add the miller flour,baking soda and baking powder and beat with an electic mixer until a smooth batter is obtained. Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake until set, 20 minutes. Let cool and unmold.

To make the filling, put the mascarpone, cream, agave syrup and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream mixture to soft peaks.

To assemble the cake, put one cake layer on a cake stand. Top with 1-inch layer of the mascarpone filling. Place the second layer of cake on top of the first and frost the entire cake with the remaining filling. Encrust the sides of the cake with almond slices and top it with fresh raspberries. Serve. Refrigerate the leftovers.

 

Serves 12

MOROCCAN BRIOCHES

Since this recipe requires refrigeration prior to baking, it is best to prepare the brioches at night and bake them first thing in the morning. They are wonderful right out of the oven for breakfast.

 

For the yeast
1 cup milk
2 packages (14 grams) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar

For the dough
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
2 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons orange blossom water (substitute rosewater or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
3 teaspoons anise seeds
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

For the eggwash
1 egg
2 tablespoons water

 


 

Microwave the milk in a small bowl for 45 seconds until warm but not burning hot (about 105-110 degrees). Stir in the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. Let activate 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.

Place the turbinado sugar, egg yolks, butter, oil and orange blossom water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix at low speed until incorporated. Add the anise seeds. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add them to the wet mixture. Add the yeast-milk mixture. Switch to a dough hook attachment and knead the dough at low speed at first, then at medium speed until light and supple, 5 minutes.

Roll the dough into a ball. Place the dough ball in a large oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and a towel. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 12 balls. Transfer them to a lightly greased baking sheet, placing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Take the pan out of the fridge and allow to slightly warm up at room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking rack in the center of the oven.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water well to make eggwash. Brush the buns with eggwash and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Bake the buns 20 minutes.

Enjoy warm with some honey and your favorite warm drink.

Makes 12

GOROGONZOLA AND PECAN STUFFED DATES

12 Medjool dates, pitted
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola or other blue cheese
2 ounces whipped cream cheese
¼ cup chopped pecans
8 basil leaves, chopped

 


 

Delicately clean the dates with a damp paper towel. In a medium bowl, combine the Gorgonzola, whipped cream cheese, pecans and basil leaves. Stuff each date with about a tablespoon of the mixture.

Enjoy as an appetizer, mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Delicious!

Makes 12

FLAXSEED BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

4 ounces unsweetened apple sauce
2/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup turbinado sugar
2 cups golden flax seed meal
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 egg whites
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the applesauce, canola oil, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.

In a separate bowl, stir the flaxseed meal, oats, cinnamon, salt and baking powder until combined. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in the other bowl.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until you obtain stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter until mixed. Fold the blueberries into the batter.

Divide the batter among the twelve cups. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
 

Makes 12 muffins.

CHICKPEA BREAKFAST BREAD

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 eggs

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chickpea flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 banana, mashed

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup grated carrots*

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8X4 loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer or hand whisk, mix the butter, eggs, honey and vanilla until well combined.

Combine the chickpea flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl. Add them to the moist mixture. Mix again until the batter is smooth and homogeneous.

Fold in the banana, nuts, dates, raisins, coconut and carrots.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is set and slightly browned, 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before unmolding.

*If you want to use store-bought shredded carrots instead of grating them, chop them into small pieces.

Makes 1 loaf.

 

FRUIT SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE MOLASSES

2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite-sized cubes
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons pistachios or walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, plus more for drizzling
1/2 tablespoon honey (optional)
A dash of cinnamon

 


 

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Transfer to serving plates and drizzle with extra pomegranate molasses. Chill if you wish.

Serve for snack, on top of cereal or as a side salad.

 
Serves 2

MILLET COOKIES

1 ¾ cups millet flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup agave syrup
¼ cup chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts

2 tablespoons coarse sea salt, for topping the cookies

 


 

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl beat the butter, egg, vanilla extract and agave syrup. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour then stir in the nuts.

 

On a lightly floured surface, shape the cookie dough into a log, about 12 inches long — if the dough is not firm enough to shape into a log, refrigerate it for 10 minutes then try again. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

Slice the log into 1/2-inch cookies and place them on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Encrust each cookie with a small amount of sea salt. Bake until lightly golden, 11 to 12 minutes.

 

Makes 16.