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Monday, August 26, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     Mousse is a light, airy, rich and decadent French treat.  Traditionally it is made with eggs and heavy cream.  You can make both sweet and savory mousse. For my French Tea Party I made a chocolate mousse and I also made a dairy and egg free version that is delicious, rich and creamy.  The vegan mousse is much thicker and denser than the traditional mousse.  I decorated both with homemade Lukken triangles (dairy free and dairy-full) and dairy free homemade chocolate Eiffel Towers.
     For the Chocolate Mousse I used the recipe “Black Velvet Chocolate Mousse” from the cookbook “Luscious Chocolate Desserts” by Lori Longbotham.  Being a chocoholic, I just love this cookbook.  Every recipe I have tried in it has come out wonderful and delicious.  There are no gluten ingredients in the mousse so the recipe can be used as is.
     I used a recipe by Jill Harris for the Vegan Chocolate Mousse.  Again, there are no gluten ingredients so the recipe can be used as is.  I have made this recipe many times before, it is easy and tastes really great.



4 ounces Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate - chopped (I used chocolate chips.)
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Sugar (I used evaporated cane juice crystals.)
4 large  Eggs - Separated
Pinch Sea Salt

  1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
    Melting the chocolate with the cream
    over a pot of simmering water.
  2. Add the sugar and whisk until smooth.
    Adding the sugar tot he melted chocolate mixture.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat.
  4. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time.  Whisk in well after each addition.
    Adding the egg yolks one at a time.
    Mixing in well after each addition.
  5. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer in a deep bowl until stiff peaks form. 
    Stiff whipped egg whites.
  6. With a rubber spatula or a large whisk fold in 1/3 of the chocolate mixture.  If you have never folded in egg whites and or made mousse I would strongly suggest that you read about how to do this or watch a Youtube video before folding in the chocolate or you may end up with chocolate soup instead of an airy mousse.
    Adding 1/3 of the chocolate to the egg whites.
  7. Repeat with the remaining chocolate in two more batches until well blended.
  8. 2/3 of chocolate added.

    All the chocolate added.
    Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.  
  9. You can spoon out the mousse into individual serving cups and then refrigerate or wait until ready to serve and spoon out the well chilled mousse.  


1 package/
12 ounces
Firm Silken Tofu
10 ounces Vegan Chocolate Chips
3 Tbs. Maple Syrup (I used 2 Tbs.)
1 tsp. Vanilla

  1. Add the tofu to the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup.
  4. Add the chocolate mixture and the vanilla to the tofu in the food processor and mix until well blended. 
  5. Chill until firm. I chilled it overnight.
  6. You can spoon out servings into individual bowls and then chill or you can chill the whole bowl of mousse and then spoon out individual portions when ready to serve.  This recipe will be firm when chilled and easily keep its shape after scooping it out.


Ingredients (this is half a recipe)

6 ounces Semisweet Chocolate Chips - Dairy Free/Vegan
1 1/2 tsp. Shortening (non hydrogenated such as Spectrum)

  1. Make half a recipe Chocolate Coating from my Buckeye recipe as follows.
  2. Melt chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  3. Stir until smooth.
  4. Use a chocolate mold (sold in stores that sell chocolate making supplies) with the desired shape such as The Eiffel Tower.
  5. Fill the molds with the Chocolate.
  6. Tap the mold on the counter to release air bubbles.  I had to take a toothpick and stir the air out of the smaller indentations and then tap again.
  7. Chill in the refrigerator until set.
  8. Turn the mold over and tap it on the counter to release the chocolate shapes. 
  9. Store in a cool dry container.
  10. You can make these several days ahead of time.


  1. Make a half a recipe of GF Lukken dough, regular or dairy free or make a whole recipe and enjoy all the extra cookies.
  2. Make two Lukken as directed.
  3. Remove the hot Lukken from the waffle/pizzelle maker and place on a cutting board.
    Cutting Dairy Free Lukken with a pizza cutter.
  4. While still hot cut each Lukken cookie into eight pieces using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. 
  5. Repeat until the desired number of triangles are made.


  1. Set out the desired amount of serving bowls or dishes.
  2. Spoon out portions of Chocolate Mousse (regular or dairy free/vegan) into the serving bowls/dishes.
  3. Put one Lukken triangle into each serving of Mousse, with the point facing the mousse.
  4. Put one Chocolate Eiffel Tower on each serving of Mousse.
  5. Voila!  You have Chocolate Mousse for a French Tea Party.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     Strawberry Basil Scones have the taste of strawberries with a hint of fresh basil that gives the scones a delightful and unexpected flavor.  I made both a dairy-full and a dairy free version for the French Tea Party.  My guests enjoyed and complimented the surprising flavor of the scones.  I loved them and will definitely make these again.   
     I used the basic recipe for scones from my Lavender Scone recipe, replacing the lavender with finely chopped basil and adding chopped strawberries.  Scones are made with flour, butter and milk.  To make them GF and dairy free I replace regular flour with a mix of GF flours and replace the milk and butter with dairy free milk and non dairy margarine and shortening (both non-hydrogenated). 
     Scones are best made right before you eat them, but they can be reheated and served warm.  These do not need any clotted cream or butter as they are moist and flavorful just plain.



1 1/4 cups Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
4 tsp. Baking Powder
5 Tbs. Sugar (I used Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals)
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbs. Fresh Basil - snipped or chopped finely
5 Tbs. Unsalted Butter - For Dairy Free/Vegan: Dairy Free Margarine (non-hydrogenated such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks).  If the 
margarine is salted omit the 1/4 tsp. salt in the recipe.
2 Tbs. Fresh Basil - snipped or chopped finely.
1 cup Chopped Fresh Strawberries
2/3 cups Milk or Cream - For Dairy Free/Vegan: Dairy Free Milk such as soy, almond or coconut or Dairy Free Creamer.

  1.   Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  2.   Add the flours, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, and baking powder to a large bowl or to the bowl of a food processor.  Mix well.
  3.   Add the cold butter/margarine pieces to the flour mixture. If using a food processor pulse the butter/margarine in until the mixture resembles wet sand then pour out the mixture into a large bowl.  If doing by hand cut the butter/margarine in to the flour mixture until they are the size of very tiny beads.
  4.   Add the chopped strawberries and basil to the flour mixture in the large bowl. Stir together with a fork until strawberries and basil are coated with the flour. 
    Strawberries and basil added to the flour butter mixture.
  5.   Add the milk or cream to the bowl and stir together with a fork until just combined. Do not over mix or the scones will be heavy and dense.
  6.   Scoop out the dough onto the parchment paper.  With wet hands gather the dough into a circle and smooth the top.
    Dough formed into a circle.
  7.   Cut the circle into 8 wedges with a sharp knife.
    Dough cut into 8 wedges or triangles.
  8.   Separate the wedges until they are about 2 inches apart.
    Wedges separated about 2inches apart
    so they will not run into each other while baking.
  9.   Let the scones rest for 15 minutes.  If you like, you may brush the tops with egg wash or oil for a shinny top.
  10. Bake scones for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown.  Baking time will vary according to your oven and how thick you make the scones.
    Baked scones on baking sheet.
    They spread and flatten a bit while baking.
  11. Serve warm.  Warm up any left over scones if serving the next day or so.  You can freeze the fresh scones and reheat for later use. 
    The Dairy Free/Vegan Scones.
    They tend to flatten a bit more than the butter scones while baking.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     Crepes are a thin French pancake.  They can be filled with savory items for lunch or dinner or with sweet things for dessert or breakfast.  There are sweet batters for sweet fillings and unsweetened batter for savory crepes.  There are also buckwheat crepes.  I made an unsweetened crepe batter for savory crepes.
     Crepes can be made a few days ahead and stored in the refrigerator between layers of plastic wrap, waxed paper or parchment paper  (so they don’t stick together).  For a crowd you can easily reheat them in the oven or some people enjoy them at room temperature with warm or cold fillings.  Filled crepes are folded or rolled.  For the French Tea Party I folded it in half and then served each guest a half of a crepe.
     I decided to use Julia Child’s recipe from her cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and then I converted the recipe into a gluten free version.   I never tried to make gluten free crepes before.  I have a non-stick crepe pan, a wooden crepe turner and a wooden crepe batter spreader.  I read some instructions about pouring the batter into the pan while the pan is tilted at an angle and turning the pan as you pour so the batter spreads.  I guess I am not coordinated well enough to do all that at the same time.  
     My first several crepes kept falling apart when I tried to turn them over (the damage was irreparable...but they tasted great).  I had almost used up half the batter when I finally ceased and desisted and watched some videos on Youtube.  Jaques Pepin used his bare fingers to grab an edge to flip them.  It looked so easy.  I figured the spatula and wooden turner must be to blame for tearing my crepes.  My goodness those crepes were hot!  My bare fingers could not manage to turn them without breaking them.  So then I deduced that the gluten free texture must be different from the wheat crepes and decided to try flipping the crepes over with a plate.  My first few attempts required two plates to get the crepe with the right side into the pan, but then I got it down to a one plate method.  I slid the cooked side onto a plate, put the pan over the plate and with two oven mitt clad hands I held the plate and pan together as I flipped the crepe over into the pan raw side down. Success! 
     Jacques Pepin patched the holes in the crepes with some batter.  Even his crepe batter did not spread perfectly all over the pan.  I managed to make the rest of the batter into whole crepes, but I had wasted too much batter at first and I had to make another batch.  Julia Child’s instructions indicated that the batter had to be refrigerated for several hours before using, but Jacques Pepin cooked his right after mixing the batter.  My first batch was refrigerated overnight the second was used right away.  Truthfully, I think the fresh batter came out better. 
     Every recipe I looked at said that mixing the batter in a blender was the way to go.  I wonder how they managed to make crepes before electricity.  I’m all for modern conveniences and used a blender.  You should try to make the crepes very thin, about 1/16th of an inch thick.  I did not measure mine, but I’m pretty sure they were a bit thicker than that.  I was just happy that they were whole, round and cooked.
     For the Tea Party I made the crepes, the filling and the gravy dairy free. I sautéed chopped vegetables for the filling and made the Mushroom Gravy from my Thanksgiving post. Everyone loved them and they came out quite delicious. 

UPDATE:  I now have a new easier to make and turn over crepe recipe.  Try this new crepe recipe with these fillings. 

Makes about 20 crepes


2 cups  Milk - For Dairy Free use non-dairy milk such as almond.
4 large Eggs
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour
3/4 tsp. Xanthan Gum
4 Tbs. Oil or Melted Butter or Margarine

  1.   In a small bowl add the flours, salt and xanthan gum and mix well.  Set aside.
  2.   Add the eggs and milk to the blender, then add the flour mixture and then the oil or melted butter or margarine.
    Ingredients in the blender.
  3.   Blend at top speed for 1 minute.
  4.   Scrape down any flour that has stuck to the sides of the blender and blend for a few more seconds.
    Batter after blending.
  5.   The batter should be the thickness of heavy cream and coat the back of your wooden spoon.  If too thick add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the right consistency is reached.
    Batter coating the back of a wooden spoon.
  6.   Heat a crepe pan (mine is 8 1/2 inches on the bottom) over medium to medium high heat.
  7.   Grease pan with oil (I used cooking spray) before making each crepe.
  8.   Use about 1/4 cup of batter for each crepe.  (I had to use 1/3 cup.)
  9.   Tilt the pan and pour the batter into the pan as you turn the pan in all directions to spread the batter out over the bottom of the pan.  Fill any uncovered areas with a little batter.
  10.   Cook for about 45 seconds or until lightly browned.
    Crepe with the top raw and bottom cooked, ready to flip over.
  11. Flip the crepe over and cook on the other side for about 20-30 seconds.  (I slid the crepe onto a plate after the first side was cooked.  I covered the plate with the pan and using two oven mitts on my hands I held the plate and pan together and turned the crepe over into the pan with the raw side facing the bottom of the pan.)
    The plate with the crepe raw side up and the pan on top,
    ready to be turned over while wearing oven mitts.

    The crepe turned over with the raw side facing down.
    The crepe will be centered by shaking the pan.
  12.   If not eating right away allow the crepe to cool completely before placing a piece of plastic wrap, parchment paper or waxed paper on top and placing the next crepe on top.  Repeat making the crepes until all the batter is used.  Store the crepes for up to 5 days separated with waxed paper, parchment paper or plastic wrap and zipped up in a plastic bag.  The cooked crepes freeze well.  Reheat when ready to use.
    Cooked crepes piled between layers of plastic wrap.


1 medium Onion chopped
2 large Cloves of Garlic minced or crushed.
3 cups Chopped vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, string beans or any combination of these.
to taste Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp. Ground Herbs de Provence  (This is a combination of herbs very commonly used in France.  Mine contains Basil, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Savory and Lavender.  Usually the French version has Savory, Fennel, Basil and Thyme.)
2 Tbs. Olive Oil for cooking

  1. Heat oil in a sauté pan. 
  2. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté until tender.
  5. Add the Herbs de Provence and season with the Salt and Pepper to taste.

  1. Make 1/2 recipe Mushroom Gravy.

GF Savory Crepes filled with vegetables, folded and cut in half.
Next the mushroom gravy will go on top.
Photo by Mary Pearson

  1. Take one crepe.
  2. Place about 1/4 cup of vegetable filling on one half of the crepe.
  3. Fold the crepe in half.  Repeat until you have the desired amount of crepes.  
  4. If the crepe and filling are cold place the folded crepes on a foil lined baking sheet and heat in a 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
  5. Cut the folded crepes in half and place one half on each plate. 
  6. Top with mushroom gravy.
  7. Serve and enjoy.