Monthly Archives: April 2011

Got Yolks? Make Double Chocolate Pots de Creme

Whenever there are leftover yolks from some egg white adventure (Pavlova Bowls) I think not of cookies or pudding.  I think chocolate pots de creme.

After all, chocolate is a food group, yes?

I had so many leftover yolks, some were sent off to the arctic (freezer) as Sable Cookie dough.  And the remainder went on a  balmy cruise to chocolate-world floating in a small sea of warm water morphing into tiny little pots de creme. Continue reading


Ask Essie: How (not) to Read a Recipe

I need glasses? Really? (then)

Caroline asks if you need to be a professional recipe developer to convert recipes to gluten-free and what’s my favorite way to read a recipe?

Nope.  You do not have to be a professional recipe developer to convert recipes to gluten-free.  But you do have to embrace these qualities:

  • sense of humor
  • the ability to cope with total failure
  • the ability to cope with an obsessive need to get it right
  • coping with lots of dirty utensils and baking sheets
  • not to worry about what anything looks like, but how it tastes
  • ability to have a whole lot of fun with GF flours
  • some ability to skim a recipe (see below)

However, that said.  About reading recipes – I have a confession. Continue reading

Chocolate Orange Pavlova Bowls

If perky (and talented) Ina Garten had a doppelgänger who was taller, blonder and Swedish, that would be my sister-in-law.  Nancy could bake an 8-tiered cake complete with tiny sugar roses in the middle of a blizzard without power and still have it come out looking like perfection.  She would make it look easy. Continue reading

Canteen Gluten Free Flaky Biscuits, Really

Herb biscuits

A proper conversation during a long road trip should always center on food.  It should include some great new food ideas and of course some animated discussion (read: pig-headed opinionated aloud musings sprinkled with appropriate hand gestures).

The topic this most recent road trip was light, flaky GF biscuits.  The debate: biscuit ratio and cream biscuits v. shortening biscuits.  By the time we were almost to Bakersfield from near San Francisco, we’d decided to stop at Gelson’s and round-up some GF flours, butter, buttermilk and cream to make some test biscuits in our hotel room – which was equipped with a small kitchen.

Too bad it took until we’d opened the bottle of wine and laid out the ingredients to notice that the kitchen only included a giant dishwasher, microwave, tiny cook top and refrigerator.  No oven.

We were that tired. Continue reading

Gluten Free Matzo – Hello, Passover

Thankfully, I was young enough to think it was an adventure the year my mother made fresh gefilte fish for Passover.  By fresh fish, did I mention live fish swimming in the bathtub in the only bathroom in the house?  The stuff in a jar was back the following year.

But those kitchen experiment genes don’t fall far from the tree, so here I am trying to master beat-the-clock homemade GF matzo the week before Passover.   Using GF flours is a bit of a challenge, but nothing in the realm of using live fish.  I’m taking the easier road for sure. Continue reading

Canteen Cream Puffs, Custard Filled, Gluten Free

It is quite possible that there is only one other pastry that runs slightly ahead of this custard filled cream puff in my favorites list.  It might be the giant Snowflake Half Moon Cookie, but only by a half moon.  These cream puffs are the kind of treat that makes me feel like I won the pastry lottery. When I was a kid, after Friday Sabbath services there would be the Oneg.  The Oneg translates to big social celebration with pastry and cookies, sort of.  It is the social hour after services where you can commune with others and gossip about who was wearing what fashion faux pas.  Ok.  Sort of. Continue reading

GF Ratio Rally: Almond Cherry Berry Banana Muffins, Gluten Free

More than a long time ago, I met a wonderful woman who would become a good friend.  We were stranger-neighbors until the day of my daughter’s first birthday when Em found us hanging out in our 6 inch patch of backyard grass with the newly lurching walking toddler.  She’d been in her kitchen baking one of her truly amazing cakes when she noticed us and came over to say hello.  The rest is, well, history.

In my messy but well-loved food-notes box is a card that Em gave me a long time ago with a recipe for Almond Cake.  It was in there because I nagged her to death for the recipe after undoubtedly devouring the whole cake.  She is a fabulous baker.

We lost touch for those years when school then jobs and raising kids separated us by a continent.  Continue reading