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Posts Tagged ‘holiday dessert’

Persimmons, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved

Many of you landing on this page today are probably looking for our gluten free version of the Finnish Pulla. Time just did not allow us to develop yet another yeast-based bread recipe. We hope to deliver this sometime in the new year. After reading about this recipe, we thought it was somewhat similar to a traditional challah bread, which is doable gluten free, but probably not in a ring shape. Braiding anything gluten free, without the excess use of starch, while still having it turn out light and fluffy, can prove to be very challenging. But enough said. No baked recipe today from us, but if you are so inclined, please stop by Erin’s beautiful site The Daily Morsel, who is the host for this recipe and has done a truly beautiful job with the regular gluten version of this recipe found in Baking with Julia on page 106-107. You can also check out all the beautiful creations by the rest of the TWD bakers at this site.

Persimmon Pudding, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Instead, we are treating you to one of our favorite pudding recipes, which, by the way, does not require any cooking, or baking. That is a true bonus, especially around this time of year, with an over-abundance of cookies and pies everywhere.  At this point, it should be noted that we love persimmons. Fuyu persimmons to be exact, since they are sweet, not at all astringent, and can therefore be eaten raw. Though they somehow resemble a yellow/orange tomato, their flavor is mild, sweet and rather exotic. We wish we could grow one right in our own yard. But our cold winter temperatures are just too extreme. To us the high enzyme profile of fresh persimmon, is an added bonus, especially since we adore raw fruits and vegetables.  Persimmons were more readily found back in the days when we lived in the Pacific Northwest and always signaled the onset of winter, since that is when they are generally available. Many people there are actually able to grow them in their own gardens. We were first introduced to persimmons at a local food co-op in the greater Seattle area, at a time, when the co-ops were still relatively small, and everybody knew everybody. Today that same “quaint” little co-op has morphed into a chain with stores the size of a Whole Foods – still offering great service, but due to size, much more impersonal.

Persimmons, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and sets by itself, when chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours. If you want to make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients, which make 6-8 servings:

  •  6 ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, and quartered
  •  1 can of whole organic coconut milk, or 2 young coconuts (coconut water and meat)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp. raw honey
  • shredded unsulphured coconut, for garnish, and/or white chocolate chips, coconut cream, or whipped cream (optional)

Place the peeled and quartered persimmons into a blender, add the coconut milk, vanilla extract and honey. Blend well, until creamy.

Persimmon Pudding, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Fill into your favorite dessert glasses or cups, and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours, ideally overnight. It will gel up beautifully.  If desired, before serving, garnish with a little shredded coconut, white chocolate chips, whipped coconut cream, or, if tolerated, regular whipped cream.

We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

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Better late than never. At last, the posting for our gluten free version of the Best Ever Brownies, which we actually managed to make a couple of days ago for a birthday celebration, but didn’t have time to actually post.

Brownies have a special place in our hearts. In our own personal experience, we have been welcomed to several homes, including our current one, by some special neighbors bearing flowers and a beautiful plate of brownies. In fact, upon moving in to my very first apartment in this country, near San Francisco, my new neighbors, whom I had never met before, left a basket filled with brownies alongside a beautiful bunch of flowers by my doorstep. I was stunned – this had never happened to me before but highlighted forevermore,  the incredible generosity of Americans. I will never forget that, nor any of the other experiences, of a similar nature, as the years have gone by. Although, the question is worth asking, is it that obvious that my family and I adore chocolate? Perhaps, there is an invisible sign above the door? Just wondering!?

Over time, we have tried many different brownie recipes, both fudgey and cakey. We love both, but prefer the cakey variety best. Baking gluten free, there is always an element of surprise. Combine that fact with living at high altitude and extreme low humidity,  and some interesting results can emerge.  For instance, this particular recipe required an additional 30 minutes of baking time. It may have had something to do with the fact, that we used a chocolate whey protein powder,  something we have successfully experimented with several times in the past, and have found it to be an excellent gluten free flour substitute in a brownie recipe. It does, however, require a longer baking time.  Our blend for this recipe involved a combination of  chocolate whey protein powder (3/4 cup), brown rice  and tapioca flour (1/4 cup each).  No gums, or other stabilizers whatsoever. As usual, we cut down the amount of sugar by half, using 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (blended with the melted chocolate) and 1/2 cup of sucanat (whipped with the eggs).  We also took the liberty of adding 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the dry ingredients and used 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 oz. of bittersweet chocolate. Other than that, we followed the original recipe precisely.

After the recommended baking period of 25-28 minutes at 350° F, our brownies were not just fudgey, but were nowhere near done. After testing them even 10 minutes later, they were still way too liquid but began to show the first signs of rising. And, voila, after 58 minutes total, a toothpick inserted in the center, finally came out clean. We should also mention, that the batter rose somewhat unevenly, with the center rising higher than the sides. We let the brownies cool in the pan, before slicing.

A short while later, we were able to enjoy them with a favorite cup of coffee. Right away, they were given the “most favorite brownie ever” label by everyone. While not being as fudgey as the original recipes calls for, they were still extremely moist with that rich decadent chocolate experience. The addition of walnuts only enhanced this recipe, creating a combination of flavors that was unbeatable. We definitely give this recipe a thumbs up, and deem the multiple  steps necessary well worth the effort.

If you are interested in making this recipe yourself, please check Monica’s website A Beautiful Mess, who is our host this week for the original Baking with Julia recipe. If you are planning to make these brownies gluten free, just follow our substitutions mentioned above.

To all of our readers, we wish you and your loves ones a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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