Mango Bread

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This mango bread recipe works particularly well gluten free.  When I brought it to a party, one guest, who normally avoids gluten-free foods, unknowingly ate a slice of it and was shocked to learn that it had no gluten.

 

Mango Bread
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 9″ x 5″ loaf

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar OR 1/2 cup white sugar + 1 dollop molasses
  • 2 cups diced mango (from 1 large peeled and pitted mango)
  • 3/4 cup moist, plump golden raisins (optional)
  • grated zest of 1/2 lime (optional)

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Line a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with aluminum foil and butter or use cooking spray on it.
  2. Put pan on insulated baking sheet or on 2 regular baking sheets stacked on top of each other, to prevent the bottom from over-baking.
  3. In a bowl, whisk eggs, oil, and molasses (if using) together.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.  If using brown sugar, rub it between your palms into the bowl to break up lumps.
  5. Pour in wet ingredients over the dry.
  6. Using either a wooden spoon or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed, stir until blended.  The batter is very thick and hard to mix, so I recommend using a mixer.
  7. Using a wooden spoon, stir in mango, and raisins and zest, if using.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into loaf pan and smooth the top.
  9. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until bread looks golden brown and a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  If the bread browns too much while baking, you can cover it loosely with a foil tent.
  10. Transfer loaf pan to wire rack and cool for 5 minutes.  Remove bread from pan and foil and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  You can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature for up to 4 days.  This bread will actually taste better the day after it’s baked, as the spices and fruit flavor will intensify overnight.

Raindrop Cake

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A friend of mine came across the raindrop cake online and was intrigued by the idea of a delicate, wobbly cake that looks like a giant drop of water.  We adjusted the amount of agar multiple times until we found a cake that would just barely hold together after 1 hour in the refrigerator (3/16 teaspoon).  I personally think that a slightly chewier version with 1/4 teaspoon tastes just as good, so it’s a matter of preference.  The cake itself supplies a cool texture to complement the flavor of the toppings.

Cooking notes:

  • You can find agar powder and kuromitsu in Japanese supermarkets.  Kuromitsu, a black sugar syrup, is absolutely amazing.
  • You should use distilled water to make the clearest raindrop cake.

 

Original recipe

 

Raindrop Cake
Adapted from the Toronto Star

Yield: 2 raindrop cakes

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 3/16-1/4 teaspoon agar powder (it doesn’t have to be that exact)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 or 2 drops clear extract, such as peppermint, orange blossom, or rosewater (optional)
  • Toppings: kuromitsu (black sugar syrup), sesame seeds, fruit puree, maple syrup, etc.

 

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, pour in water and sprinkle in agar.
  2. Stir until agar has completely dissolved.
  3. Sprinkle in sugar, add extract (if using), and stir.
  4. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 minute, stirring from time to time.
  5. Pour mixture into 2 silicone hemisphere molds or 2 small round bowls.
  6. Chill in fridge for 1 hour, or until mixture has set.
  7. Carefully remove from molds or bowls and place on serving plates.
  8. Top with desired toppings.  Serve immediately, because the raindrop cake will dissolve again in about half an hour.

Zucchini Bread

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My grandparents’ neighbor is a wonderful baker who frequently brings over desserts for us to sample.  One of our favorites is her zucchini bread.  She shared this recipe with me, and I adapted it for gluten-free baking.

Note: The original recipe makes 2 loaf pans of zucchini bread, using 3 eggs.  When I halved the recipe, I used 2 eggs.

 

Zucchini Bread

Yield: 9″ x 5″ loaf pan

  • 2 eggs (see Note above)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups finely grated zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together eggs, oil, vanilla, and zucchini.
  3. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg if using.
  4. Stir in sugar.
  5. Stir in flour.
  6. Stir in walnuts, if using.
  7. Pour mixture into loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a thin skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Ice Cream Layer Cake

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This no-churn ice cream cake is simple to make and customizable.  You can layer it with your favorite jelly or fruit preserves – a sweeter one if you have a serious sweet tooth, or a more sour one (I used marmalade) to cut the richness of the ice cream.  Because the no-churn ice cream doesn’t melt like real ice cream, you can leave it out for a few hours, making it a good potluck or party cake.

Original cake recipe

Original no-churn ice cream recipe

 

Ice Cream Layer Cake
Adapted from New York Times and Food Network

Yield: 9″ x 4″ cake

For the ice cream:

  • 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold

For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup jelly or preserves of your choice

 

Bake the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with aluminum foil and grease it well.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl, then beat in vanilla extract and eggs.
  4. Beat in baking powder and salt.
  5. With the mixer on low, beat in half the flour, followed by the milk, and then the remaining flour.
  6. Transfer batter to pan and spread it into a thin, even layer.
  7. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly, 10-12 minutes.
  8. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
  9. Run a small thin knife or spatula around the cake, then carefully lift out the aluminum foil with the cake still on it.  Place on wire rack to cool completely.  (The gluten-free cake is fragile, so you want to handle it as little as possible.)

Make the ice cream:

  1. Whisk together condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Whip the cream with a mixer on medium-high speed until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  3. Fold about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture with a rubber spatula until combined, then fold the lightened mixture into the whipped cream until well blended.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Line a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 6-inch overhang on each side.
  2. Cut cooled cake into thirds, making three rectangles 9″ x 4 1/3″ each. (You want a 1/4-inch border of space around each cake layer once it’s in the loaf pan; depending on the shape of your pan, you may need to trim cake.)
  3. Add 1 1/3 cups of the cream mixture to pan and smooth into an even layer.
  4. Run a thin knife under the first third of the cake to loosen it, and carefully transfer it into the pan.  The gluten-free cake is fragile, but don’t worry if it breaks, because the ice cream will hold everything together.
  5. Press down slightly on cake layer so cream comes up and around the sides of it evenly.
  6. Spread half of the jam or preserves on the cake layer.
  7. Add another 1 1/3 cups of the cream; a cake layer, pressing down slightly so cream comes up and around sides; and remaining jam or preserves.
  8. Add another 1 1/3 cups cream, then top with final cake layer, pressing down slightly so cream comes up and around sides.
  9. Use plastic overhang to wrap cake up tightly. Freeze in the pan until firm, at least 8 hours.
  10. You’ll have some cream left over, which you can freeze in a separate container.  See here for ideas for no-churn ice cream.
  11. To serve the cake, remove from freezer, unwrap, and invert onto a serving plate.  Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

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This is a simple way to make rich, creamy vanilla ice cream customized with your favorite mix-in(s).

Original recipe

 

No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
From Food Network

Yield: 6 cups ice cream

  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • Mix-in options: a handful of dried cranberries, OR 12 crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, OR 1 1/2 cups crushed cinnamon crunch cereal…

 

  1. Chill a 9″ x 5″ metal loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together the condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Whip the cream with a mixer on medium-high speed until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  4. Fold about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture with a rubber spatula until combined, then fold the lightened mixture into the whipped cream until well blended.
  5. Pour into metal loaf pan and freeze, covered, until thick and creamy, like soft-serve, about 2 hours.
  6. Swirl in any desired mix-ins with a spoon.
  7. Continue to freeze, covered, until solid and scoopable, about 3 hours more.