Maple Carrot Cupcakes

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These maple carrot cupcakes taste like tender, fluffy carrot cake in muffin form.  If you fill the muffin cups all the way to the top with gluten-free batter, you’ll even get fat, domed cupcakes.  Because of the amount of oil, they’re moist and keep well.

Original recipe

 

Maple Carrot Cupcakes
Adapted from Taste of Home

Yield: 16 gluten-free cupcakes, 18 normal cupcakes

  • 2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 6 medium)

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Line muffin tins with 16 (if using gluten-free flour) or 18 (if using all-purpose flour) paper cups.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat together eggs, oil, and maple syrup.
  4. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  5. Fold in carrots.
  6. If using gluten-free flour, fill 16 muffin cups all the way to the top.  If using all-purpose flour, fill 18 muffin cups two-thirds full.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes and finish cooling on wire racks.
  9. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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My friends and I loved this flourless chocolate cake.  It’s very rich and intensely chocolate-y.

Original recipe

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake
From Epicurious

Yield: 8″ cake

  • 4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus additional for sprinkling if desired)

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375°F.  Butter an 8-inch round baking pan.  Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.  Make sure the paper sticks completely to the buttered pan and lies flat, or it will make an indentation in the cake.
  2. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. (Alternatively, melt chocolate with butter in a small non-stick pot over very low heat, stirring constantly.  Be careful not to burn the chocolate.)
  3. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture.
  4. Add eggs and whisk well.
  5. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust.  Don’t worry if the cake is domed when it comes out of the oven, because it will flatten as it cools.
  7. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
  8. Dust cake with additional cocoa powder, if desired.
  9. The cake can be cooled completely and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

Clotted Cream

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Clotted cream tastes like whipped cream but has the texture of soft butter.  Spread it generously on fresh scones (such as classic or blueberry lemon) along with jam, and you’ll find that the combination of cold clotted cream and warm, flaky scone is amazing.

Original recipe

 

Clotted Cream
From Food Wishes

  • 4 cups heavy cream, NOT ultra-pasteurized, ideally from grass-fed cows and with a fat content between 36-40% (we used Straus)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 175-180ºF if your oven goes to such a low temperature, 200ºF otherwise.
  2. Pour heavy cream into an 8″ x 8″ glass or ceramic baking pan.
  3. Bake for 12 hours.  The top layer of the cream will solidify; the surface will even look orange-ish.
  4. Cover and chill overnight or for about 8 hours.
  5.  Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the solidified layer (the clotted cream) into a lidded container.  It will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.
  6. Save the liquid for baking scones or biscuits and for stirring into tea.

 

Citrus Chiffon Cake

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Because chiffon cakes rely on egg whites rather than gluten to rise, they work like a dream even when gluten free.  This citrus chiffon cake is light and fluffy and tastes like you made it with ordinary cake flour.

Baking Notes:

  • Use fresh eggs, because the egg whites will fluff up more when beaten.
  • Separate the eggs when cold, then allow the whites to come to room temperature before beating them.
  • The original recipe calls for Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour, but I used the Trader Joe’s variety and it worked great.
  • The citrus flavor of the cake is subtle, so either use the marmalade filling or eat the cake plain.  Only frosting with whipped cream will wash out the cake’s citrus flavor and make the whole thing taste plain.
  • The gluten-free cake dries out fast compared to regular cake, so if you won’t finish eating it the day it’s made, you should definitely frost it with whipped cream to keep it moist.

Original recipe (for a plain chiffon cake)

Citrus Chiffon Cake
Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill

Yield: 8″ three-layer cake + 1 extra layer to eat yourself OR 10″ tube pan cake

For the cake:

  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup + 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons grated citrus zest (lemon, orange, cutie/clementine…)

For the whipped cream frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup marmalade
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and set aside two 8″ round baking pans OR 10″ tube pan OR angel food pan.  If using round cake pans, line them with aluminum foil to make cake removal easier.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup sugar.  Set aside.
  3. In a clean large bowl, beat yolks, milk, oil, vanilla extract, and zest until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture to yolk mixture and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes with an electric mixer.
  5. In a separate large mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with 1/2 cup sugar and cream of tartar until stiff and glossy.
  6. Add a large scoop of the whipped egg whites to the cake batter and mix gently but thoroughly to lighten the batter.
  7. Add the remaining egg whites in 3 additions.  Gently fold into the batter using a large wire whisk, making sure to scrape down the bottom of the bowl frequently.
  8. Divide batter between pans and gently smooth tops with a rubber spatula.
  9. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes without opening the oven door during this time. Increase heat to 350°F and bake an additional 15-20 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or when the surface springs back immediately after pressing on it with a finger.
  10. As soon as you remove cakes from oven, lay 2 thick wooden spoon handles (or chopsticks) across the top of each pan and place a shallow bowl upside down on top of the handles/chopsticks.  Invert each arrangement and cool cakes completely upside down.  This step is important, because otherwise the cakes will sink.  It looks like this:
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  11. Unmold cakes carefully, because they are fragile, and slice each in half horizontally.  Use the 3 nicest layers for the cake, and save the 4th to eat yourself.  (The cake tastes just as good plain.  Alternatively, you could make a really tall four-layer cake, or 2 two-layer cakes.)
  12. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together heavy cream and powdered sugar until whipped cream holds stiff peaks.
  13. Scoop 1 1/2-2 cups frosting into a small bowl, and fold in 1/3 cup marmalade to make the filling.
  14. Place one cake layer cut side down on a serving plate and spread with 1/2 of the filling.  Top with the second layer cut side down and spread with the rest of the filling.  Top with the third layer, cut side up.
  15. Frost first the sides and then the top of the cake with remaining whipped cream.
  16. Refrigerate the cake if you’re not serving it the same day.

Fudge

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Dubbed “absurdly easy chocolate fudge” by the New York Times, this recipe lives up to its name.  You toss practically all of the ingredients into one bowl or pot and melt them together.  Then you pour the mixture into a pan and refrigerate it.  Voila, fudge!

Original recipe

 

Fudge
From New York Times

Yield: 16 two-inch squares

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

 

  1. Grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan. Line with parchment or wax paper, letting edges of paper hang over sides of pan.
  2. In top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over (not resting in) simmering water, combine butter, chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and salt, if using.  Mix just until melted and well combined.  Alternatively, use a microwave on low power to melt ingredients, stopping every 10 to 20 seconds to mix well.  (I actually heated everything in a small non-stick pot over very low heat on the stove.  You have to be careful to stir constantly and make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn if you do this.)  The mixture should be heated as little as possible.
  3. Stir in nuts, if using.
  4. Scrape mixture into prepared pan.  Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Lift fudge on paper out of pan and use a large knife to cut into squares.