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Monday, October 28, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     I had been saving egg whites (from making cakes and custards that only use the yolks) in the freezer and finally had enough to make another angel food cake.  Pumpkin season is still in full force so I decided to make a pumpkin angel food cake, gluten free of course.   I was not sure how much pumpkin to use in an angel food cake and still keep the airy texture so I looked up a wheat recipe and converted that to gf. Here is a link to Sweet and Savory by Sarah where I found the recipe.  I used the same flours as in my Chocolate Angel Food Cake recipe.
     The results were fabulous.  I love the taste, texture and low calorie content of the cake.  Wheat recipes for angel food cake tend to be on the dry and not too tasty side from what I remember.  Gluten free angel food cakes come out very moist and flavorful yet light, fluffy and airy too.  I was not a fan of angel food cake before, but now this is a real treat for me and not a second class dessert.
     I decided to make an orange glaze since pumpkin cake goes so well with orange, but you do not even need a glaze.  I served the glaze on the side so my friends could choose and it became a fun experiment to see which way they liked it better. Most liked it with the glaze and all liked the cake plain.  Unless you plan to eat the cake all at one sitting it is wise to keep the glaze on the side so the cake does not get soggy. 



1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ginger (dry ground)
1/4 tsp. Cloves (ground)
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg (ground)
1 1/2 cups Sugar - divided (I used organic evaporated cane juice crystals.)
1 1/2 cups/about 12 large Egg Whites
1 Tbs. Warm Water
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Cream of Tarter
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  You will need an ungreased tube or angel food pan.
  2. In a small bowl add the flours, xanthan gum, spices and 3/4 cup of the sugar.  Stir until well mixed.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add the egg whites and water and beat until foamy.
    Egg whites and water beaten until foamy.
  4. Add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, cream of tarter, sea salt and vanilla.  Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
    Egg white mixture beaten until stiff peaks formed.
  5. Fold in 1/6 of the flour mixture until well blended. 
    1/6 of the flour mixture on the whipped egg whites
    ready to be folded in.
  6. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture until all the flour mixture is well incorporated.  It is necessary to add the flour mixture in six parts to keep the batter light.
    Flour mixture completely folded into the egg white mixture.
  7. Fold in the pumpkin puree until well incorporated.
    Pumpkin on batter ready to be folded in.
  8. Pour the batter into the ungreased angel food or tube pan.
    Batter in ungreased tube pan.
  9. Cut the batter several times by running a knife through it to allow the air bubbles to escape.
  10. Bake in the center of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until done.  The cake will spring back when gently pressed with a finger when done.
    Completely baked cake in pan.
  11. Immediately invert the pan onto a rack and cool completely upside down.  This will allow the cake to stay light.
    Cake cooking upside down on a rack.
  12. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and remove the cake.  
  13. Serve with the orange glaze if desired.
  14. The cake will keep three days.  You can freeze left over slices and then thaw them for half an hour at room temperature when ready to eat them.


Use the Orange Glaze recipe from my Cardamon Cupcake post.  I doubled the recipe for this cake.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear
     I had every intention of making pumpkin waffles for this blog post.  Then I saw a box of Mallomars in Costco.  I do not know how many years it has been since I had a Mallomar.  I had been musing about making some GF ones for many years.  I guess it slipped my mind until that box jarred my memory.  It took hours to make these, but they are incredibly delicious and well worth the effort.  
     Mallomars are only sold in the cooler months so that the chocolate coating does not melt.  In case any of you are not familiar with these cookies I will describe them.  There is a round graham cracker-like cookie topped with a fluffy mound of marshmallow and then the entire thing is coated in dark chocolate.  All the components are great on their own and all together they make a delightfully harmonious combination of textures and tastes. They are very much like a refined S’more.  A S’more is a treat that Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and every chocolate loving camper would make by the campfire.  Fire toasted marshmallows are sandwiched between two graham crackers along with a piece of a Hershey’s milk chocolate candy bar.  The hot marshmallow melts the chocolate and then you eat this melty gooey treat.  The little ones would always want seconds so “Can I please have some more?” became the cookie’s name S’more (some more).
S'mores made with this graham cracker recipe.

     I looked for recipes on line.  I used the marshmallow and chocolate coating recipes from the Tartlette blog.  I followed the gf graham cracker recipe by Rebecca Reilly that was on the Living Without website.  I have made these graham crackers before (naturally changing the flours...I just can’t help myself...and omitting the cinnamon). The recipe is really good and tastes exactly like a ‘real’ graham cracker, maybe even better as I used real butter.  For this recipe I made small round cookies not the traditional rectangular ones.
     I had been hesitating about making this cookie because I am not comfortable making candy.  I have tried to make various kinds (licorice, candy coating for apples, caramel,  etc.) with, to put it politely, inedible results.  It was with much trepidation that I made the marshmallow.  I did not want to use corn syrup (GMO, high fructose) so I replaced it with Golden Syrup.  I bought some to make a British recipe that never got made so I had some in the house.  Golden Syrup is made from cane sugar and a quick Google search encouraged me with the information that it can be used interchangeably in a recipe that calls for light corn syrup.  I was concerned about the marshmallow being a bit dark as the golden syrup is much darker than corn syrup, but the marshmallow was white enough for me and definitely not beige.  
     The recipe I followed had me dissolving the gelatin in the 2 tablespoons of water while getting the sugar and golden syrup mixture up to 235 degrees.  I have no real candy making experience and had no idea how long it would take to get the mixture to that temperature and no idea of how high to keep the heat.  I was afraid of burning it and kept the flame on the low side, but it was taking forever so I bravely (or was it impatiently) turned up the flame to medium high and boiled it another “forever” until it reached the correct temperature.  Meanwhile, the gelatin I had melted had congealed into a solid silicone like disk that I was not going to chance using and then ruining the syrup.  So, when the syrup FINALLY reached 230 degrees I melted a new package of  gelatin in the water and it was still slightly soupy by the 235 degree mark.  Just a warning, when I added the gelatin to the hot syrup it boiled up and almost over the top of the pot.  Next time I will put the pot into the sink and then add the gelatin to prevent panic, breath holding and possible clean up. 
Gelatin that congealed into a solid disk after sitting too long.

      Before dipping the cookies into chocolate I watched a video by Mark Bittman about how to temper the chocolate so the sugar does not crystalize or get grey streaks.  The technique is simple and easy to do at home.  I could tell, in hindsight, the chocolate had gotten too cool with some of the cookies I dipped last, so there was slight marbleizing.  It actually looks very delicate and kind of cool and artistic.
Chocolate with some streaks.
      I pipped the marshmallow, while still warm, onto the cookies.  I used a 1/2-inch wide pastry tip and squeezed ‘kisses’ of marshmallow on each cookie.  It is not necessary to get the marshmallow to the edges, in fact, it is probably easier to dip with the small lip. 
     For vegan or vegetarian marshmallow I could have made some with agar, but I choose the easy way out and melted some vegan marshmallows on top of some of the cookies and dipped these first.
Store made vegan marshmallows
on top of each cookie & melted in the oven.
    These cookies do not look exactly like factory made Mallomars, however, they do look like what they are, lovingly handmade ones.


Makes about 60 2-inch round cookies.

1 1/4 cup Sorghum Flour
1/2 cup Chickpea Flour
1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1 tsp. GF Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
7 Tbs. Unsalted Butter or for Dairy Free or Vegan use non dairy Margarine that is not hydrogenated such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (It now comes soy free too! Yay!)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar - packed
3 Tbs. Cold Water
3 Tbs. Honey or for Vegan use Agave
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

  1. In a bowl add the flours, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix together until well combined.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar and cream together well.
  3. Add the water, vanilla, honey or agave and mix together.
  4. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix well.  
  5. If the dough is very sticky, put in the refrigerator for an hour.  If not too sticky, place between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll out to 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness, depending upon how thick you like your graham crackers.  Place the rolled out dough, still between the plastic wrap onto a flat baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
  7. Take the dough out of the fridge. Remove the top plastic sheet and use a 2-inch round cutter to cut out as many circles as you can.  If the dough gets soft again put it back in the fridge or freezer until you can take out the dough circles without them losing their shape.  I like to freeze the dough, it is easier to get crisp shapes.  Re-roll the scraps and cut out more shapes.
    Rolled out dough cut into circles with round pastry cutters.
  8. Place the cookies 2-inches apart on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Prick each cookie a few times with a fork.
    Raw cookies on lined baking sheet.
    Each cookie is pricked with a fork.
  9. Bake 10-13 minutes until golden brown.
    Baked cookies cooling on rack.
  10. Cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a baking rack to cool completely.

Enough for 2 dozen cookies.

1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Corn Syrup or Golden Syrup
3/4 cup Sugar (I used the evaporated cane juice crystals.)
1 Tbs./1Pkg. Unflavored Gelatin Powder or Kosher Gelatin
2 Large Egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract

For Vegan or Vegetarian Marshmallow I took store bought vegan marshmallows, placed them on some cookies and heated them until melty in the oven.  Then I coated them in chocolate.  If you are adventurous and ambitious look up a recipe for vegan marshmallows from scratch.
GF Mallomars with Vegan marshmallow centers.

  1. Line baking sheets with wax paper and place the cookies out on the baking sheets.  It is necessary to have everything set up to pipe out the marshmallow cream  quickly, as soon as you finish beating it.  The marshmallow will set as it cools and become impossible to pipe out.
  2. In a small or medium saucepan combine the water, sugar and corn or golden syrup.
  3. Bring to a boil and continue stirring and heating the mixture until it reaches the temperature of 235 degrees or the ‘soft-ball stage’.  Use a candy thermometer or an instant read thermometer to check the temperature.
    Sugar mixture boiling.
  4. When the mixture is nearing the 235 degrees temperature, melt the gelatin in the 2 Tbs. of water.
    Gelatin melted in water just before going into the hot syrup.
  5. When the hot sugar mixture reaches 235 degrees remove the pan from the heat and place into the sink.
  6. Add the melted gelatin to the hot sugar mixture and stir.  It will foam up and then subside.  Set aside.
    Syrup after gelatin added.
  7. Beat the egg whites to the soft peak stage in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer.
    Egg whites whipped to soft peak stage.
  8. Add the hot sugar and gelatin mixture to the whipped eggs and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
    Hot syrup and egg whites whipped together until they formed stiff peaks.
  9. Transfer the marshmallow cream to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip.  You will probably have to refill the bag at least once to use all the cream.
  10. Pipe out mounds of the marshmallow onto each cookie.  I made “kiss” shaped mounds with a cute pointy tip.
    Mounds of warm marshmallow cream pipped onto each cookie.
  11. Leave the marshmallow topped cookies to set at room temperature for at least 2 hours.  Avoid touching the marshmallow as it will stick to you and anything in its path. 

One batch covered about 18-20 cookies.
(I ended up making 2 batches and made chocolate covered graham crackers with the extra chocolate and cookies.)

12 0unces Semisweet or Dark Chocolate  (I used 16 oz.) - for Dairy Free or Vegan use dairy free or vegan chips.
2 Tbs. Vegetable Shortening (not hydrogenated such as Spectrum brand), Cocoa Butter or Oil  (I used 1 Tbs.)

  1. On top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over (not touching) boiling water melt 2/3 of the chocolate with the shortening.
  2. Continue stirring and heating the chocolate until it reaches the temperature of 115 degrees.  Watch the video by Mark Bittman about tempering chocolate.
  3. Remove the bowl from the pan with the boiling water.
  4. Add the rest of the chocolate pieces and continue to stir until the mixture reaches 91 degrees.
  5. Line baking sheets with wax paper.
  6. Dip the cookies into the chocolate.  I used a chocolate dipping fork set for dipping.  I think a regular fork or two would also suffice. It was easier to put the cookie into the chocolate with the marshmallow side down first and then flip it over to coat the bottom.  Shake or scrape off excess chocolate from the bottom with a knife or spreading spatula.  I found scraping was easier and prevented the shaken cookie from falling back into the chocolate.
    Cookie dropped into the chocolate marshmallow side down.

    Cookie flipped over with the two chocolate making tools. 

    Cookie lifted out of the chocolate with a fork.
  7. Place the dipped cookie onto the wax paper.  Repeat until all the cookies are coated.
    Cookies with wet chocolate.
  8. After every 6-8 cookies check the chocolate temperature with an instant read thermometer.  If the temperature goes down to 88 degrees or below return the bowl to the pan with the hot water and heat and stir the chocolate until the temperature reaches 91 degrees again.  Then continue dipping the chocolate.  
  9. Allow the chocolate coated cookies to set until dry.  You can speed up the process in the fridge.
    Cookies with the chocolate all set and dry.
  10. Store the coated cookies in an airtight container between pieces of wax paper.
    Close up of the marshmallow center.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     It is fall and everything is pumpkin.   For me, most things are better with chocolate, so I made a pumpkin and chocolate cake. This cake is moist, soft and delicious.  The spices are delicate and flavorful in both the pumpkin and chocolate parts of the cake. I converted a traditional recipe that I found on The Happy Housewife blog into gluten free. I love the texture of the gf version, it is just like a regular bundt cake.  To my surprise and delight, replacing two thirds of the fat with applesauce lowered the calories without losing any of the taste or affecting the texture.  I also reduced the sugar to make it just the right sweetness for my tastebuds. I tweaked the spices a bit too.  The cake was served plain to rave reviews and everyone ‘had to have’ (at least) two slices. 
     I decided to make it again and experiment with various frostings and also to play around with my new cupcake surprise pan.  The surprise pan has spikes in the middle of each cupcake mold.  The spike holds a treat in the center of the batter so it won’t float up or down during baking.
Surprise pan with paper liners.  First a little batter is put in the bottom of each cup.
Then a candy or item of choice is put on the spike.  Here there are peanut butter cups.
The rest of the batter is added on the top.
 I made small cake pop balls, some pumpkin and some chocolate.  I put the chocolate ball in the center of pumpkin batter and the pumpkin ball into the chocolate batter, the aim was to see if it made a polka dot cupcake.  It did. 
A chocolate cake ball in pumpkin batter.
On the right a cake ball is all covered.
In the front are pumpkin cake balls covered in chocolate batter.
Cupcakes with cake ball polka dots inside.
On the left cupcakes have Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.
On the right is Chocolate Glaze.
I also made some chocolate batter cupcakes with peanut butter cups and some with marshmallows inside.  The marshmallow oozed out of both cupcakes and left a hollow marshmallow coated hole.
Surprise cupcakes.  On left with a peanut butter cup.
On right with marshmallow that has mostly oozed out.
  Won’t be using the marshmallows again. 
The surprise cupcakes after being baked.  Note the marshmallow ooze.
There was enough batter left to make 4 small bundt cakes and each was frosted with a different icing. 

     The four frostings are Chocolate Glaze, Orange Glaze,
Mini Bundt cake with Orange Glaze.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting and Brown Butter Frosting
Mini Bundt cake with Brown Butter Frosting.
Note the retro 'stucco' affect.
They all go really well with the cake.  My favorite is the Orange Cream Cheese one, but the Orange and Chocolate glazes were a close second.  The orange flavor goes really well with the pumpkin chocolate spice cake.  A chocolate coated cake topped with a thickened orange glaze will be my next experiment.

Makes one bundt cake or 10-12 mini bundt cakes or 18-24 cupcakes.


1 1/4 cup Sorghum Flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. Tapioca Flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. Chickpea Flour
1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 tsp. Cinnamon (ground)
1/2 tsp. Ginger (powdered)
1/4 tsp. Cloves (ground)
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg (ground or freshly grated)
1/2 cup  Applesauce
1/4 cup Melted Unsalted Butter or for Dairy Free use Oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil.)
3/4 cup Sugar (I used evaporated cane juice crystals.)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar (I used brown sugar evaporated cane juice crystals.)
2 tsp. Vanilla (I used 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tsp. Butter Vanilla-Lorann Brand.)
2 large Eggs
1 15-ounce can Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/3 cup Milk - For Dairy Free use nondairy milk (I used unsweetened Coconut Milk.)
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (For Dairy Free use dairy free chips.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 12 cup bundt pan, or mini bundt pans.  For cup cakes use paper liners.
  2. Add the flours, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and spices in a large bowl and stir with a whisk until well mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl add the sugars, oil or melted butter, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and milk and mix together well until smooth.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix until well combined.
    The batter all combined.
  5. Melt the chocolate chips.  (I put them in a microwavable bowl and melted the chips in the microwave.  I ran the microwave at 30 second intervals and stirred  each time.  It took about 2 minutes in my oven.  You can also melt them in a bowl over hot water or stir them constantly and melt them in a saucepan.) 
    Chocolate chips all melted.
  6. Set the melted chips aside and allow the hot chocolate to cool off before using (so you don’t cook the batter).
  7. Place half the batter in a bowl and add the chocolate.  (If you melted the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or over hot water you can add half the batter to the cooled off chocolate in the bowl.  Just saying, saves washing another bowl.)  Mix until well blended.
  8. Pour half of the plain pumpkin batter into the pan.  Then pour all the chocolate batter on top.  Pour the remaining plain pumpkin batter on top.  The original directions said to give the pan a few good twists to mix the batter.  This will result in three well separated layers of cake.  If you want it to look more like a marble cake, run a knife through the batter several times going all around the cake.
    Half of the pumpkin batter on the bottom,
    starting to add chocolate batter on top.
  9. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the the cake springs back when gently pressed with a finger tip or until the center of the cake is 210 degrees.  I found that a cake tester would not come out clean, even when done so I used a thermometer.  In my oven it took about 55-60 minutes.  The small bundt cakes took 30 minutes and the cupcakes took 25 minutes. 
    Cake balls in a cake pop pan.  Use a kitchen shears to trim the edges.
    The cake balls took 30 minutes.
    Cake all done.
    Baking times will vary according to your oven so set a timer to 10 minutes less than suggested times and check for doneness.  Return the cakes to the oven for more baking if needed.  Cool cakes in the bundt pans for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.  This helps to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.
    Cake on a plate.



16 oz. Cream Cheese - for Dairy Free use non-dairy cream cheese.
4 Tbs. Unsalted Butter - for Dairy Free use margarine
1 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 tsp. Orange Extract (or to taste)
1 tsp. Orange Zest 
2 Tbs.(to 4 Tbs.) Orange Juice - add more if needed to get the right consistency.

  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix together with an electric hand mixer until creamy, light and fluffy. 
  2. If too thin add more powdered sugar a Tbs. at a time; if too thick add some orange juice a tsp. at a time until you achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Frost cake.
    The inside of a Mini Bundt cake.