Posts tagged graham cracker
Using What You Have: G-free S'more Cake

This cake needs no introduction. Or perhaps it just requires an introduction that goes something like: Gluten-free devil's food cake + moist graham cracker crumbs + marshmallow fluff for days = heaven. Yup, that would do.

While this cake needs no introduction, I will tell you how it came to be.

Late Saturday night, Brad and I were preparing to go out of town to have dinner with my future in-laws the next day and we realized that we hadn't thought of dessert yet!  We needed something substantial since my family, his sister and her boyfriend, and his family would be there and cupcakes weren't going to cut it.  My thoughts immediately turned to chocolate cake.  Then again, more often than not, I'm thinking about chocolate cake. Oh well. After debating for a bit about what kind of cake to make - buttercream frosting? chocolate frosting? fruit filling? Then, I thought about my s'more cupcakes and decided to make a s'more cake for a few reasons:

1.) I had everything I needed in the house already

2.) Um, s'mores are delicious!

3.) If it can be done in cupcake form, why not in cake form?

I would be lying if I said that the first reason wasn't my main motivation for dreaming up this cake.

I almost didn't make this cake because I didn't have any gluten-free graham crackers and I didn't want to go to the store, to buy some boxes of g-free graham crackers, and walk out with $15 less than I walked in with. But I almost did -  even though I hate to venture out to the store for one or two items, I do it more often than I should. Jumping in the car and going to the store is convenient and easy, but doesn't really foster creativity and frankly, it makes my bank account a little sad.  Instead of defaulting to the formulaic run to the store, I decided to make my own graham cracker substitute. And it was easy, and delicious, and a bit more healthy. And didn't cost me an absurd amount of money.

Conceptualizing and baking this cake made me realize that we are often tempted to become slaves to convenience at the expense of our creativity.  I'm really going to try and create things from what I have on my pantry shelves, in my garden, and in the fridge.  Lackadaisical baking and cooking just will not cut it anymore.  Plus, it is much more fun to think, create, and experiment than it is to succumb to easy solutions. Sure, I can go and grab ingredients for a whole new dish anytime I want, but where's the fun in that?

Gluten-free S'more Cake

Yields: more than enough for a  2 layer cake!

adapted from Joy the Baker

Cakes:

280g g-free flour mix (I used the one I posted here).

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch-process)

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup hot brewed coffee

1/2 cup buttermilk (or whole milk  or coconut milk- I just happened to have buttermilk)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Generously butter two round cake pans.  Line bottom of cake pans with parchment paper and butter the paper. Dust with a bit of g-free flour and shake out excess.  You don't want these cakes to stick!

2. Sift together the flour mix, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

3. Mix together cocoa powder and hot coffee in a medium bowl and whisk until there are no lumps and you have a smooth, velvety mix.  Add in vanilla and buttermilk. Whisk to combine.  Set aside.

4. In your stand mix, cream together the sugars (brown and white) with the softened butter until pale and fluffy.

5. Add in eggs, one at a time, making sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next egg.

6. Add in flour mix and chocolate mix alternating in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour mix.

7. Divide mix evenly between two pans, shake out air bubbles, and bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

8. Cool cakes completely on a rack.  Run a butter knife around the edges to loosen before layering.  Cut a little bit off of the top of one cake to make a flat surface and turn out onto serving dish, cut side up.

Moist Graham Cracker Filling:

2 cups almond meal

1/2 cup of honey, scant

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Melt you butter and set aside.

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together until fully incorporated.

Viola! A moist almond filling that tastes and looks like graham crackers. So easy! -------------------

9.  Spread filling on bottom layer with your hands by gently placing the crumbs down and pressing until they form a layer.  Be gentle, you don't want to rip the bottom cake!

10. After you a distributed the filling on the bottom cake, place the other cake, right side up, on top of bottom cake with filling.

Use this Marshmallow Fluff recipe to make the frosting!

11. Frost cake with fluff (I recommend putting a thin layer of frosting all over the cake first, wiping your spatula between each spread to crumb coat the cake then go back and spread a generous layer on the top and sides of cake).

12. Break out that kitchen torch and toast some fluff!

Refrigerate and let come to room temperature before serving.

* You can also make the cakes and filling the day before and make the fluff the day you plan on serving the cake!

Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake...

So today is an exciting day...as one of my cupcakes is being featured on The Cupcake Blog!Check it out!

The cupcake that is featured is a s'more cupcake with a toasted marshmallow frosting. Yeah, it is just as good as it sounds.  I had seen some s'more cupcakes on the internet and the thought of them was enough to make me crave them for days.  So I set out to make gluten-free and dairy free s'more cupcakes.  The task a bit more daunting than I anticipated.

First off, I would need gluten-free graham crackers (This is something I need to make soon; the store bought are decent but nothing special).

Then I would need to figure out how to bake cupcakes without xanthan gum.  Xanthan gum is a processed gum that adds binding and structure to gluten-free baked goodies - basically it helps mimic gluten.  I've used this for a long time in my baking but recently noticed it would cause my stomach to hurt and just left me feeling heavy.  So I decided to bake without it.  I had read some things saying it wasn't really necessary for gluten-free baking and you can mimic the binding properties with other things (that will be another post!).

Then, I would need to make it gluten-free.   This was the fairly easy part for me as I have been working with a flour mix (inspired from some web research) that I have grown to love.  I recommend doing some research on flour mixes online before making one yourself and tailor it to your tastes.  For example, I love sorghum and dislike white rice flour (I think it's gritty and nutritionally less than stellar) so my mix contains sorghum and brown rice flour instead.  I also dislike arrowroot starch, so I tend not to use it and use other starches like potato, tapioca, and corn instead.  Basically, figure out what you like, follow some ratios (I use different ratios depending on what I bake), throw it in an container, shake, and viola - gluten-free flour mix!  We will talk more about that later.*

*An upcoming post will be about different gluten-free flours and some of their characteristics.

Anyways...back to the cupcakes....

I was really excited about these cupcakes because 1.) I love cupcakes - they are the daisies of the baked goods world and can always brighten your days, 2.) I was experimenting with a new ratio of flour mix, 3.) S'more. Enough said.

Alright, enough rambling. Time for the recipe.

S'more Cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting Adapted from Martha Stewart. These take some time and effort, but are worth it in the end. Makes 2 dozen cupcakes (or a little less of jumbo sized cupcakes) Graham Cracker Crust: 1 1/2 cups of gluten-free graham cracker crumbs (Throw some graham crackers in a food processor, whirl them around a bit, and done.  Or, place whole graham crackers in a sealed bag, grab something heavy, and get out some aggression) 2 Tbsp butter (or oil) 1 Tbsp sugar (I didn't need as much, my graham crackers were already sweet enough)

Chocolate Cupcake Batter: 1 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar 260grams gluten-free all-purpose flour* 3/4 cocoa powder (not Dutch-process kind) 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 tsp baking powder pinch of salt (seriously, use salt) 2 eggs 1 cup chocolate almond milk (or whichever non-dairy or dairy chocolate milk you like) 1/2 vegetable oil (I think coconut oil would be great too) 2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup boiling water

Marshmallow Frosting: 6 egg whites 2 cups powdered sugar (I usually don't measure out the sugar when I make this frosting  - I add until it tastes good, some days it is more, some days it is less - use your judgment and taste buds) 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar 2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350degress F. Sift dry ingredients together (If you don't have a sifter, whirl them together in a stand mixer for a few minutes to aerate and make them come together).

This would be a good time to boil some water (Remember: boil slightly more than the recipe calls for since some will evaporate).

In a separate bowl, mix together eggs + milk + vanilla + oil.  Add to dry ingredients and mix together in a stand mixer until incorporated.

Slowly and carefully add the boiling water to the batter - mix it slowly just until incorporated.

Set the batter aside - time to make some graham cracker crusts.

Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, the oil or butter, and 2 Tbsp of sugar. Press about one tablespoon worth of crumbs into the bottom of liners with your fingers or back of a spoon (add more if you want thicker or less - just make sure the bottom is covered) Once you're finished - put the pan in the over an bake for about 5-8 minutes until golden brown.

Take the crusts out and let them cool a bit. Then fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.  It is liquidy batter - I recommend pouring from a big liquid measuring cup.  Put those in the over for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.  Rotate the pan half way through.

While the cupcakes are baking - whip up some marshmallow fluff!

Set up a double boiler (Fill a pot with a small layer of water, let that water simmer violently.  Next, place a glass bowl on top of said pot - make sure it doesn't touch the water!).  Heat your egg whites and sugar in double boiler until egg whites are warmed through and sugar is dissolved (careful not to whip them too much while stirring).  Next, break out the hand mixer or transfer bowl to stand mixer and whip egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Add vanilla and whip again until they have stiff glossy peaks. Bang - marshmallow fluff. Cool, right?

After your cupcakes cool completely (this is important, otherwise you will have marshmallow goo everywhere!) put fluff into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with a tiny hole cut out of the side.  Frost cupcakes.  For the toasted effect - break out the kitchen torch and lightly brulee the tops! (I recommend doing this at an angle as to not light the paper on fire!).

Now, dig in to that delicious cupcake.

 

 

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