Saturday, August 22, 2015

Gluten-Free Cupcakes

We all know that I love to make cake and cupcakes.
I was recently asked to make a gluten-free birthday cake for a co-worker's daughter who was turning 10 and had never got to have a decorated birthday cake of her own.
Of course I jumped at the chance to make her a cake!

I myself have never really baked a lot with gluten-free flour. I had experimented with it once before, but nothing too in-depth.  I set to work researching cake recipes and baked a small trial cake. 
The trial cake was a success, in general. 
It was a cake. 
My husband described it as "play-doh-ish" and to me it was just a bit too gritty.
I really like a moist cake that holds up on his own. To me, that means that you would be able to hold the piece of cake with your fingers and it won't crumble apart. 

The first gluten-free flour that I baked with was King Arthur's brand. 
To be honest, I wasn't happy with the results. After talking to my friend about the cake that I had made, she agreed that it was good...but it just dried out too quickly. And quite frankly, I didn't like the gritty texture to it. The edges of it reminded me of a cornmeal while I was frosting it. I mean, once you slap some frosting on it, it is going to be delicious no matter what, right?

It was passable as a decent gluten-free cake.
Then I switched things up for another cake for the same family. 
I baked up some cupcakes with the batter and the outcome was so. much. better.
This time I purchased gluten-free rice flour from Betty Crocker. 
Betty knows what is up.
The overall general texture when I poured the flour out of the bag was like night and day to the other brand. It was finer, smoother, and it just made a better batter overall.

I mean, look at how fluffy and wonderful the cupcake looks on the inside!

So my tips for baking gluten-free cake or cupcakes with this recipe are these:
  • Bake at lower temperature for a longer amount of time
  • Use sour cream to keep the batter moist
  • Rice gluten-free flour has a much better texture and end result in the cake
This is not a dairy-free or sugar-free cake. 
This is just strictly a gluten-free cake.

Gluten-Free Cupcakes

by Sugar For Breakfast
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 45-55 min
Ingredients (2 8" inch cakes or 24 cup)
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter; melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond
  • 12 oz. sour cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl mix together the gluten-free flour, salt, and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar.
Add half of the flour mixture to the eggs and sugar.
Mix slightly and then add the melted butter, vanilla and almond extracts.
Pour the buttermilk into the mixture and mix slightly.
Add the remaining dry ingredients to the mixture and combine thoroughly.
Fold in the sour cream until well combined.
Pour into greased and gluten-floured prepared cake pans, or paper-lined cupcake tins.
Bake for 20-30 minutes for cupcakes, or 45-55 minutes for cakes (or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
Do not over bake.
Cool completely before frosting.
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Franklin Barbeque {a cookbook review}

I'm pretty sure I'm not in the only person who knows zero about smoking meat. I bought a smoker for my husband's birthday last year, and since then he has become obsessed with smoking anything and everything. When I saw this book, I knew it was the perfect "BBQ Bible" for him. 
I was right.
Franklin shares his story, which is fun and interesting to read. Then he goes into the ins and outs of the smoker, the wood, the meat and no tidbit of information is spared (except for recipes).
You may not be able to make the perfect pulled pork or brisket after reading this book, but this gives you the foundation that you need to figure out how to make it. 
Cooking "low and slow" is an art form, says my husband, and this manifesto doesn't deter from that fact, either. In fact you learn to appreciate the art of the BBQ and the lifetimes that are spent trying to perfect cooking a rack of ribs. 
This is a fun read for anyone. For me, who loves to cook and bake, I learned about one of the aspects of cooking that I know probably the least about. I'm not saying it made me expert by any means, but it has provided me with the knowledge to at least know what I am doing if I were to put a pork butt in the smoker. 
My husband, who isn't an avid reader, enjoys this book. It has earned a spot in my cookbook collection due to its wonderful story and the information that it provides. 

You may purchase a copy of this book here!

*I received this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for an honest review.


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