“Mom it tastes like Christmas”, said my 15-year-old taking his first bite of the millet cake. My experiments with millet recipes haven’t always been received with the same enthusiasm. Happily and hopefully, all that is about to change with this cake. I’m inclined more and more to bake with gluten-free flours, always seeking recipes where millet, nut and other healthier flours can replace regular flour. Many a millet recipe has gotten me excited, often ending in mediocre to disastrous results, but this one I can definitely put on my encore list.
Rose Zellmer wrote to me that she was keen to do a guest post on my blog. She recounts her food adventures on www.gimmetasty.com and aims to spread happiness through food.Her idea of doing a gluten-free cake sounded delicious and healthy and so here it is for all you cake lovers. She has included a small informative note on making your own gluten-free flour mix. Happy reading!
Living in a tropical country, apples are expensive. So it is special when they are available. My Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Cake, is highly anticipated by friends and family because it is not often that they have such a treat. I seldom make Gluten-Free Cakes but if I am expecting guests that I know can’t consume gluten, I make sure to have something that they can enjoy as well. I have used flax seeds as binders in the cake since there is no gluten.
A stash of pistachios, and a windfall of walnuts from faraway Tehran had me rubbing my hands in glee as I got ready to bake a birthday cake for my husband’s birthday. I had a rich, smooth, somewhat adult, cappuccino cheesecake in mind but I also wanted to use the newly-arrived nuts in the cake. A salted walnut praline seemed like the perfect crunchy crown for the creamy, java-infused cheesecake.
On some days I eat for comfort and on other days I cook to provide comfort. The embrace of food is real and close. And sometimes it’s okay to walk into its arms for succour. A particularly demanding week and long hours for the family, called for a dose of dolce on the weekend. I had a brown paper bag of beautiful scarlet apples and one of the most delightful apple recipes I’ve come across. Way easier than apple pie, I made a delectable Whole Wheat Brown Butter Apple Galette to lift our tired spirits.
My Christmas was gluten-free. Every year, the holiday season leaves me feeling bloated from feasting on the holiday specials (and completely giving up festive food is neither possible nor probable). So this time, I tried to retain the quintessential flavours of the season by choosing lighter (and healthier) substitutes for ingredients that leave one feeling full and sluggish. I’m not normally on a 100% gluten-free diet the rest of the year, but yes, when there are parties to attend and dresses to fit into, it makes sense to turn into a gluten-free gourmand.
Baking a healthy cake like my wholesome Gluten-Free Chocolate Beetroot Cake, gives me bone-deep satisfaction. In the last few months, I’ve struggled to perfect the recipe for a gluten-free, xanthum gum-free, light, moist, healthy and unapologetically chocolaty chocolate cake. Past experiments resulted in a few disasters when the cake crumb alternated between sawdust and sand. So, now that I have nailed that dense, intense mouthfeel of a real chocolate cake, (think dark, dew-soaked rainforest soil), I’m taking a moment. Call me kooky but cooking, like spilt ink smudges runs into most aspects of my life, and sometimes makes me question the time, thought and precious elbow grease that I put into it. But on occasion, when an experiment yields a near flawless result, it all seems worth it.
‘Cho-co-la’, say it out loud with deliberation. Swirling in your mouth like molten velvet, the word and its very sound, coaxes you to close your eyes and retreat to a secret spot where, in complete solitude, you can lose yourself to the pleasures of the glorious thing that is chocolate.
Would you believe me if I told you that every time I use lemons, I’m more than a little reluctant to throw away the skins? The need to somehow extract the maximum from these golden globes screams borderline OCD, even to me. To tell you the truth, I literally feel like I’m throwing so much of the essence of the lemon into the bin. Maybe because they seem to still contain so much flavour even when they are spent of juice. Every time I squeeze a lemon, the invisible oils explode on my hands like aroma bombs, filling my head with images of sunny days, white linens, green salads, the reddest tomatoes, the bluest skies and my favourite… lemon tarts.
My generation has climbed many a mango and guava tree. Scraped knees and elbows were easily forgotten while biting into tangy, raw guavas hastily wiped on dusty tee shirts and frocks. A sprinkling of salt on the hard, sour flesh gave us puckered lips amid noisy smacking of tongues. Sometimes if we got lucky, our haul would include more ripe fruits than raw ones. White or red inside with crunchy seeds that stuck in our molars, guavas somehow seemed sweeter when we worked hard aiming our sticks and stone missiles at fruit hiding in the trees.