Monday, July 13, 2015

Dining Gluten Free

Top Three Gluten Free Desserts for an Alfresco Tea in the Garden


I am planning a special tea for my favorite gal pal.  I thought creating desserts for the tea might be difficult since she is gluten intolerant.  Surprisingly, I have found that some of my favorite recipes are perfect choices—delicious too.     

My favorite, decadent flourless chocolate cake  

Through the years, I have streamlined the steps of this very simple, yet elegant recipe.  I cheat a bit by using a microwave and bittersweet chocolate chips.  

Begin by setting the oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9-inch springform pan with oil and dust it with cocoa powder.  

Cut 1-cup unsalted butter into pieces and add it, ¼-cup heavy cream and 8-ounces of chocolate chips to a glass bowl.  In the microwave, heat at full power for one minute and stir.  Continue cooking at 30-second intervals until melted.   

Lightly whisk 5 eggs with 1-cup sugar and ¼-cup cocoa powder.  When the melted chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, add to the egg mixture.    

Pour batter into the springform pan and bake until the cake is set--roughly 40 minutes.  After cooling in the pan, run a knife around the entire edge.   Remove from the pan and dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving. 

Tip: Chill the cake thoroughly before serving.   

Crispy, chewy macaroons 

These cookies are simple, delicious and easily made without flour.   

Begin by setting the oven to 325 degrees and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

Whisk 4 egg whites with ¾-cup sugar, 1-teaspoon vanilla and ¼-teaspoon lemon zest.  Add 3-cups sweetened coconut.   

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto the baking sheet.  Bake until light brown—roughly 25 minutes.  Rotate baking sheet after 10 minutes.  Let cookies cool slightly before moving them to a wire rack.  Yields about three-dozen cookies.  

Tip: These can be made well ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Cinnamon and brown sugar infused baked apples 
This simple aromatic dish comes together in a matter of minutes.   

Per apple, mix together 2-tablespoons brown sugar, dash of cinnamon, 1-teaspoon chopped walnuts and 2-teaspoons butter.  Insert into center of each cored apple.  Place upright in a covered glass dish and microwave at high heat for six minutes or until soft.   

Tips: Leave a bit of the core on the bottom of the apple.  Assemble the apples the day before and bake them directly before serving.

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