Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Muffins Recipe

Today I worked on a new muffin recipe. My son loves chocolate chips, so I created this recipe for muffins that are chocolate and also uses chocolate chips. He misses the muffins that we used to get from Tim Hortons. Well today he said these were the best muffins he ever tasted. They baked like mile high muffins were they puffed over the edge while baking. They are not as big as the muffins that you get at restaurants, but they look and taste really good. I wanted to cut down on the fat a bit so I used the baby food prunes.

Wet ingredients

1 cup milk mixed with 1 Tablespoon cider Vinegar or fresh lemon juice

2 large eggs

3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup grape seed oil

1/4 cup apple sauce, unsweetened

Dry Ingredients
1 3/4 cups
Sandra's Muffin mix
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons psyllium husk

2 teaspoon egg replacer
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven. Butter, or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup milk with the 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar. Let sit about 10 minutes.
Next whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract and finally whisk in the baby prunes and melted butter.

In a large bowl, sift and whisk together all the dry ingredients, stir in the 1 cup of chocolate chips.

With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix the batter.

Using a heaping 1/3 cup, evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter (the muffin cups will be full). Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 - 30 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins.
Sandra D. Halpenny © 2009 - 2013 All rights reserved

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tortilla Notes

Just a short note about cooking tortillas, don’t over bake the tortillas or they will not be soft. Use sweet rice flour for dusting either your plastic pieces or counter top before rolling your tortillas.

The picture below shows the plastic pieces that I use for rolling out the tortillas. I purchased them from the dollar store and they were sold in packages of 2 and marked as cutting
boards. They are extremely thin and flexible.

Please note, in the picture I put the plastic pieces on a towel just so you could see them better, it’s easier just working on the counter top.

Gluten Free Tortilla Recipe

When our family first went gluten-free one of the things we missed other than a good loaf of bread, were Tortillas. I have been experimenting and trying to make a recipe for about 6 months now. I have tried many different flour mixes including Four Flour Bean and Featherlight mix by Bette Hagman. I also tried the brown Rice mix by Annalise G. Roberts and the Sorghum flour mix by Carol Fenster. All worked OK but not great. So the recipe below is the one that I have finally worked out. One of the problems I still have is the first Tortilla usually turns out good, but as my table top griddle cools down, the tortilla doesn’t rise as the first one does. Next time I am going to cook one at a time in my cast iron pan, I might even buy a Comal and see if I get better results. But I don’t think I will be making them every week because of the work and time involved.

In regards to the lard I used, I have tried substituting shortening and/or oil, both don’t work as well. I figure if I was going to be eating them everyday, then I might worry, but once a month should be OK for my cholesterol.

Here is a great YouTube video on making tortillas;
Jason Hill makes it seem so easy.
here is his website too:

My Gluten Free Tortilla Recipe
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup brown rice flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water plus up to 4 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoon lard

Sift and mix well the rice flour, tapioca starch,
xanthan gum and baking powder.

Add lard. Use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut in the shortening or just do it the old fashioned way and use your hands.

Dissolve the salt in 1/2 cup warm water, and then add to your flour mixture a little at a time until your dough is soft and not sticky. Start with the 1/2 cup of water, then add 1 tablespoon at a time. Knead for 1 minute, adding tapioca starch or small amounts of lukewarm water if needed. The dough should not be too wet or dry.

Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, and coat your hands with a bit of lard or shortening. Flatten and cover balls with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

To prepare the tortillas, preheat a griddle over medium heat. Remove a flattened ball and roll it into a circle. Turn the dough around after each stroke with the rolling pin. Roll as thin as possible. I have tried a tortilla press, but I can never get the tortillas thin enough.
For rolling out my tortillas I like to put the dough between the plastic sheets that I got at the dollar store. It makes picking them up easier.

Cook your tortillas turning every 15 to 20 seconds until they start to get brown spots. Hopefully too, they should start to puff up as you are cooking them.Right after the tortillas are cooked I put them in the Tortilla Warmer, which keeps them warm, soft and moist.

Keep cooked tortillas in the Tortilla Warmer until ready to eat.

Makes eight tortillas.

Sandra D. Halpenny © 2009 - 2010 All rights reserved

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bread machine Yeast

For all my yeast baking, I always use bread machine yeast. I also always use my bread machine for mixing and kneading of the dough whether I bake in the oven or in the machine, even if the recipe says to use a mixer. When putting the ingredients into the machine pan, I put the liquids in first which include the sugar and salt, then the gluten-free flour mix and finally I put the yeast on top of the flour not touching the liquids. When using milk powder, that also goes on top on the edge not touching the yeast.

When using the bread machine yeast, usually I only have to raise the bread or buns covered in a warm place for about 15 minutes. While baking the bread or buns, they will rise even more while cooking.

Cooking Gluten-free

After seeing the trailer on the movie Julie & Julia, I thought what a great idea! I do a lot of Gluten free baking. I have good luck and bad luck with some of the recipes that are available. I have also written several recipes by converting some of my favorite recipes into gluten free. So I decided to start this blog so I can share some of my experiences with the recipes I work on. I probably will not be at the blog daily, but when I work on something new, I will write if the recipe worked and if I had to make any changes to the recipe to make it work better. I will also be adding some of my own recipes when I write a new one that tastes good.

I have a couple of favorite cook books right now, The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Bette Hagman, Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts and my newest favorite 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster. What I really like so far about the 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes is that the author does not use as much rice flour, but uses a lot of Sorghum flour. I sometimes get an upset stomach from too much r
ice flour, so it's great to have some recipes that use Sorghum flour.

One of my favorite recipes so far in the 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes is the White Sandwich Yeast Bread, page 85. I have used the recipe in my bread machine, also used a bread pan and baked in the oven, have made hamburger buns, rising them with boiling water as suggested in the her hamburger buns recipe, page 107, and pizza crusts. The only change I have made in the recipe so far is that instead of 3 eggs whites, I use one whole egg and 1 egg white.

When I am making hamburger buns I usually make 4 buns and 2 small pizza crusts at the same time. I rise them on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I then use the hamburger buns that evening and freeze the pizza crusts for later use. I freeze the pizza crusts while they are still slightly warm in a plastic bag.