The Monthly Recipe: Coconut Raspberry Almond Flour Cake

Coconut Raspberry Almond Flour Cake

Coconut cake is traditional in our house for Easter but I’ve gotten away from the regular box mixes and sugary frostings so here’s this year’s version, using an almond flour sponge cake and cheesecake mousse. It reminds me of the old raspberry zinger snack cakes. J

Ingredients for Cake

  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces almond flour (about 1 1/3 cups)

Filling

  • ½ cup Polaner raspberry all fruit

Cheesecake Mousse Topping

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, (or sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream

Fresh Coconut Topping

  • Meat of one coconut grated or a cup of bagged grated coconut

Directions

  1. Make the filling first and chill –
  2. Soften an eight ounce block of cream cheese on the counter for a couple hours or in the microwave on fifty percent power for one to two minutes.
  3. Mix with 1/4 cup maple syrup, or sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon extract.
  4. Whip 3/4 cup whipping cream and fold in.
  5. Chill completely.
  6. To make the cake –
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Prep 2 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans by greasing and lining with parchment paper.
  9. Separate the 5 eggs into 2 mixing bowls.
  10. Mix the maple syrup into the egg yolks then stir in the vanilla and almond flour.
  11. Using a mixer, beat your egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.
  12. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, about one third at a time.
  13. Separate the mixture into the two prepared pans and bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  14. Cool for ten minutes then turn out onto a plate and cool completely.
  15. Sandwich with jelly.
  16. Just before serving, frost cake with cream cheese mousse and sprinkle with grated coconut.
  17. Enjoy!

The Monthly Recipe: Toasted Oat PB & Cocoa No-bake Cookies

I’ve been wanting to try a classic no bake cookie recipe with maple syrup instead of sugar using oats that had been toasted in order to partially cook them. (Okay, so technically the oats are baked, but the cookies themselves are not.) I started by doing some research into pre-existing recipes. The main problem I had was – there were so many of them! And they were all a little bit different. Various recipes changed the ratios on the sugar, cocoa, and peanut butter, not to mention wildly different amounts and kinds of milk and butter or oil. Which way to jump?

I decided to start with a basic recipe that went high on the cocoa powder and peanut butter and sub in the maple syrup. I went with the recipe from Simple Joy. (Original recipe at https://www.simplejoy.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-no-bake-cookies/ ) I did cut the recipe in half and toasted the oats ahead. They turned out good – fudgy and rich with tons of peanut butter and chocolate flavor. The consistency was the only problem, they aren’t going to be able to sit out. These need to be stored in the fridge.

In putting the maple syrup in, I did a little research on making fudge with maple syrup too, and decided to cook the maple syrup a little longer to get a temperature that should set up better. The maple fudge recipes from Canada called for bringing the maple syrup to 236 to 240 degrees. I only went to 223 and didn’t cool it before I beat the air in. However, I did add cold peanut butter from the fridge which cooled it considerably.

I may play with this recipe some more in the future, but here’s what I came up with.

Toasted Oat PB & Cocoa No-bake Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Spread the oats on a large, clean cooking tin with an edge.
  • Bake for seven to nine minutes, stirring after every 3 minutes, until the oats brown.
  • Set them aside to cool.
  • In a medium pot, stir together the maple syrup, butter, and milk.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring gently but continuously.
  • Boil at a full rolling boil for approximately 3 minutes, stirring lazily.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.
  • Stir, stir, stir until it turns nice and glossy.
  • Now stir in the oats.
  • I used a medium cookie scoop to drop these onto parchment paper and they sat right where I put them, no running away.
  • Cool at least 30 minutes.
  • I cut the parchment paper into squares around the fudgy cookies and stored them in the fridge. This made 18 large no-bakes.

The Sunday Recipe: Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

The first time I made these, I went with the 400 degree oven, like I do for most muffins and baked for 22 minutes, but they scorched on the bottom. The crumb topping I was using, which was intended for apple crisp, was delicious, but sunk in a bit.

The second time I made them, I switched to the crumb topping that my Betty Crocker cook book gives for apple streusel muffins. I also turned the oven down to the 350 degrees that I used on the original cake recipe. The muffins without topping were great, the ones with it were good too, but the topping sunk in to make a filling.

Third try – 425 for 5 minutes to puff the top, like Sally’s Baking Addiction recommends, then down to 350 for the remaining 15 minutes. This time I refrigerated the crumb topping a bit. It melted AND sunk in.

I liked the muffins better themselves when they were baked at 350 so I’m forgetting about the crumb topping for now. Maybe a nice glaze made with powdered sugar and cider?

Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Dry ingredients

  • 3/4 cups white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (3/4 cups of oats processes into the same for oat flour.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 6 tablespoons applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons each melted butter and light olive oil
  • ½ cup overflowing maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Spray two 6 cup muffin tins with cooking spray, or grease.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl. (There are a lot of wet ingredients, go with a big bowl.)
  4. Add the processed oats or oat flour and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until just combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center of one side of the round comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

The Sunday Recipe: Apple and Cheddar Cookie Tart

Apple and Cheese Cookie Tart

I loved the cookie recipe last week so much that I decided to use it as the basis for a tart. This one is best served cold. I think next time I’d leave the cheese off and just serve with a wedge of cheddar. I think a metal tin is better as well, the bottom was a bit soggy in the glass spring form pan.

Ingredients for Crust

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour

Ingredients for Filling

  • 5 medium granny smith or other tart baking apple
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolk, blend.
  3. Measure flours and combine before adding to mixer.
  4. Mix until combined and chill dough for a couple hours.
  5. In the meantime, peel and grate the apples
  6. Mix maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg, and butter.
  7. Bring filling ingredients to a gentle boil.
  8. Turn down to simmer and stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
  9. Stir in the tapioca paste and continue stirring for about half a minute, until thickened.
  10. Set aside to cool.
  11. When the dough is well chilled, preheat oven to 350.
  12. Press the dough into a tart pan or roll out on a jelly roll pan, leaving a bit of a built up edge.
  13. Spread the filling out on the dough.
  14. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until edges are well browned.
  15. If you want to do what I did, grate a couple ounces of very sharp cheddar over the tart while still hot. (I will be just serving it on the side next time.)
  16. Chill thoroughly before serving.

The Sunday Recipe: Speedy Tiramisu Mousse

Speedy Tiramisu Mousse

This was adapted from an old South Beach recipe, but I don’t like to use artificial sweeteners much and I ramped up the espresso powder, as well as adding some almond extract for that liqueur flavoring. It makes a great, high protein dessert to follow a salad or other summer meal. The ricotta does give it a slightly grainy texture but it is not off putting, in my opinion.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso or coffee powder (decaf works fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (Ghiradelli is my favorite brand.)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta (full fat preferred)
  • Mini chocolate chips to top (optional)

Directions

  1. Measure the espresso powder into a small dish.
  2. Add the extracts and stir to dissolve.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup, stir again.
  4. Add the powder/extract/syrup combo to the ricotta and mix thoroughly.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.

The Sunday Recipe: Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

I wanted to offer a recipe that used fruit at its peak right now. Unfortunately, the bag I got at the store was so “at its peak” that there were mushed cherries in the center and it was leaking juice by the time I got it home. I picked through them, cleaned the cherries with vinegar water, and there was more than enough to make the clafoutis.

Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and sliced in half
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup almond flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Clean, pit, and slice cherries in half.
  3. Place butter in a glass dish and microwave to melt then spread.
  4. Pour the cherries into the buttered pie plate and spread out.
  5. Whisk or blend the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  6. Pour over cherries.
  7. Back at 375 for 40 minutes.
  8. Cool and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

There is something about this time of year that turns my mind to cooking with lemon and blueberries. It’s perfect because the blueberries are just coming on and can be used while they are fresh and firm instead of defrosted with their juice oozing out. Some recipes are just better with fresh blueberries.

I thought of making my lemon bars then I saw a recipe for lemon blueberry bars and that sounded incredible, but the crust used a sugar cookie mix and the filling was a custard with only lemon zest for flavoring. So I came up with this recipe, combining a crust from my favorite lemon bars with the cheesecake filling I perfected, to my taste, last year. I hope you give it a try and I hope you enjoy it. #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (About 160 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Filling

  • 1 ½ cups, washed and dried blueberries
  • 1 8-ounce block cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca or cornstarch

Directions

  1. Get out ingredients for the filling and allow to come to room temp. I often get them out before lunch then make the recipe after lunch. Alternatively, it will work to warm the cream cheese and maple syrup on low in the microwave for a minute or two. To warm the egg, place it in hot tap water for just ten minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8 by 8 pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil, and line with parchment paper. (Wax paper also works.)
  3. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the prepared pan with your fingers, using the edge of your hand or a finger to press the crust up the side just a little.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.
  5. While the crust is baking, combine all the ingredients for the filling, except the blueberries and tapioca flour, in a mixing bowl and whisk or use a mixer to beat until just smooth.
  6. Beat in the tapioca flour and set aside to rest.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven when it is ready and turn the temperature down to 300 degrees.
  8. Place the washed and dried blueberries into the bottom of the crust in a single layer. (I rolled the blueberries in my fingers a little as I chose them to make sure they were reasonably firm.)
  9. Pour the filling slowly over the blueberries, moving the bowl around to cover the blueberries without forcing them to move too much.
  10. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
  11. Without opening the oven, turn the heat off and leave in the oven for another 30 minutes to finish baking.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the counter for an hour.
  13. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
  14. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins #glutenfree

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Muffins #glutenfree

I’d been craving cinnamon apple oatmeal one day but didn’t have a chance to get any so that weekend, when I decided to make oatmeal muffins, I thought, why not? I peeled then grated up a granny smith apple, added a teaspoon of cinnamon, and we had cinnamon apple oatmeal muffins. My daughter turned her nose up at them, but my husband and I enjoyed them thoroughly, and for a few days.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (quick or old fashioned)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup light tasting olive oil
  • ¾ cup white rice flour (120 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees and spray or grease a 12 muffin tin.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup then fill to the one cup mark with milk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. (This is a substitute for 1 cup buttermilk.)
  3. Combine oats and buttermilk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. In a measuring bowl, whisk eggs.
  5. Add maple syrup.
  6. Mix in light olive oil.
  7. Add white rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  8. Peel and grate apple then add to batter immediately.
  9. Divvy up into a 12-muffin pan.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
  11. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before running a thin knife around edge to lift out.
  12. Enjoy!

Cheesecake Brownies (gluten free)

Cheesecake Brownies

I was going to swirl brownies but it ended up being simple layers, still delicious. Fudgy brownie layer with cheesecake on top. What could be better? This makes 9 decadent little squares. They may look small but they are rich and satisfying. We served them to my mother-in-law for her birthday and she was very pleased.

Ingredients

Brownie Batter

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons light tasting olive oil
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 9 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut flour

Cheesecake Batter

  • 8 oz, cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • One large egg, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Prepare an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Cut the butter into tablespoon cubes in a medium plastic or glass mixing bowl, and melt in the microwave on 50% power for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the olive oil.
  5. Whisk the maple syrup into the butter.
  6. Add the eggs and beat.
  7. Gently stir the cocoa powder into until dissolved.
  8. Add the vanilla.
  9. Sift and stir in the coconut flour until just mixed.
  10. Pour into the prepared pan.
  11. In another glass or plastic mixing bowl, cut the cream cheese into tablespoon chunks.
  12. Pour the maple syrup over the cream cheese.
  13. Soften in the microwave on 50% power for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
  14. Use a large whisk or spoon to beat the cream cheese and maple syrup smooth.
  15. Add the vanilla and egg.
  16. Pour over the brownie batter.
  17. Bake for 35 minutes.
  18. Allow to cool at least 1 hour.
  19. These are good warm, but even better fully chilled.

The Sunday Recipe: Chocolate Coconut Cake

Chocolate Coconut Cake

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut flour (105 grams)
  • 6 tablespoons or 30 grams cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs (I used 1 jumbo and 1 small from our hens)
  • ½ cup coconut milk (I used full fat but the fat had congealed and I didn’t blend it so it would be the equivalent of light, I imagine)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, in it’s liquid state
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup boiling coffee (Hot water works fine too.)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep a 9 by 9 baking pan. (I prefer a glass dish.)
  2. When working with coconut, it seems to be particularly important to make sure everything is warmed up to room temp. This is easy enough to do with the aid of a little tap water and the microwave. Put the eggs in hot tap water for just 10 minutes. Warm the coconut oil on 30% power for 2 minutes. If you keep your maple syrup in the fridge, as we do, you can also warm that on 30% power for 2 minutes.
  3. Sift together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a bowl.
  5. Beat in the coconut milk.
  6. Mix in the maple syrup.
  7. Mix in the coconut oil.
  8. Add the vanilla extract.
  9. Mix in the dry ingredients. (This will get very thick, very quickly.)
  10. Stir in the hot coffee or water.
  11. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes or until a sharp knife or tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  13. Cool and enjoy. (Some whipped coconut cream is perfect with this.)

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