Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce

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A friend of mine made panna cotta with raspberry sauce and was very happy with them!  This is another recipe that requires no alterations to make gluten free.

Original recipe

 

Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce
From Natasha’s Kitchen

Yield: 6-8 servings

For panna cotta:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

For berry sauce:

  • 2 cups berries, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Make panna cotta:

  1. Off the heat, place 1 cup milk in a medium saucepan and sprinkle the top with 1 packet gelatin. Let stand 3-5 minutes, or until gelatin is softened.
  2. Place pan over medium-low heat and stir until gelatin dissolves and mixture is steaming, about 4-5 minutes (do not boil).
  3. Add 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Continue stirring about 5 minutes until sugar is fully dissolved and mixture is steaming (do not boil).
  5. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
  6. Place sour cream in a medium bowl with a pouring lip. Whisking constantly, gradually add warm cream.
  7. Once the mixture is completely smooth, divide it into 6 wine glasses or 8 ramekins. Refrigerate until fully set, 4-6 hours.

Make berry sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup berries, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons sugar.
  2. Bring to a low boil and cook 4-5 minutes or until syrupy.
  3. Stir in remaining 1 cup of fresh berries and remove from heat.
  4. When syrup is at room temperature or just barely warm, spoon it over the top of chilled panna cottas.
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Rasmalai (Sweetened Cheese Disks in Saffron Milk Syrup)

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A friend of mine had rasmalai or ras malai in a restaurant and enjoyed it so much that he wanted to try making it.  This is an Indian dessert consisting of soft cheese disks boiled in cardamom sugar syrup and served in thick saffron milk syrup, garnished with chopped pistachios.  Although the recipe looks complicated, it only took us a little over 2 hours and turned out to be very tasty.  If you have leftover milk syrup, you can even mix it with rum to make an eggnog-like drink!

Original recipe

 

Rasmalai (Sweetened Cheese Disks in Saffron Milk Syrup)
From HealthyIndianRecipes

Yield: 4 servings

For rabri (thickened milk):

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)

For chenna (cheese):

  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice OR vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 4 cups ice water OR ice cubes

For sugar syrup:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom powder

For topping:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios OR sliced almonds (optional)

 

 

Make rabri (thickened milk syrup):

  1. Pour 3 cups milk into a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add saffron (if using) and sugar when the milk comes to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium.  Stir every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom.
  4. When a layer of cream forms, just push it aside.
  5. Boil until the milk thickens and reduces by about half.  Set aside to cool.
  6. When the milk has cooled completely, chill it in the fridge.  (Alternatively, put in freezer to cool faster, but check frequently to make sure you don’t freeze it.)

Make chenna (cheese disks):

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring 5 cups milk to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together lemon juice OR vinegar and water.
  3. Add diluted lemon juice OR vinegar to the milk and stir until the milk curdles completely.  Pour in more lemon juice or vinegar if needed, but too much of it will make the chenna hard.  The leftover liquid (whey) will look greenish.
  4. Turn off heat, then add ice water or ice cubes to the pot and set aside for 2 minutes.  This will help keep the cheese soft.
  5. Line a colander with cheesecloth and drain curds and whey through cheesecloth.
  6. Squeeze out excess whey, gather together the edges of the cheesecloth, and tie a knot.
  7. Rinse under the faucet to remove the taste of lemon OR vinegar.  Squeeze out excess water.
  8. Hang it over a bowl for about 45 minutes to 1 hour for the excess whey to drain off.  The cheese will be just moist, with no dripping water.  It should not be sticky.
  9. Transfer the cheese to a plate. Knead well (squeeze with hands) for about 3-5 minutes until it is smooth and no longer crumbly.  Do not knead so long that the cheese begins to release grease or fats.
  10. Make 12 equal balls and flatten them to make disks. If the disks are slightly cracked on the sides, roll the sides gently. Cover and set aside.

Make sugar syrup:

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine 3 cups of water with 1 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  2. Bring to a boil, then add cardamom powder.
  3. Add the cheese disks to boiling syrup gently.
  4. Cook covered for 8 minutes on a medium-high heat.  The disks will double in size.

Assemble rasmalai:

  1. Remove the disks one by one and cool on a plate.
  2. Squeeze them gently between your palms to remove absorbed sugar syrup.
  3. Add these to the pot of chilled, thickened milk.  If desired, simmer for 1-2 minutes on low heat so cheese can absorb milk.  However, do not overcook or the disks will break up.
  4. Allow to rest for few hours if desired.
  5. Chill and garnish with chopped nuts (if desired) before serving.

Chocolate and Orange Marbled Cake

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Here is a chocolate and orange marbled cake to add to the collection!  Other variants include the vanilla and chocolate marbled cake and the cardamom and coffee marbled cake.

 

Chocolate and Orange Marbled Cake
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 9″ x 4″ loaf cake

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4-1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325ºF.
  2. Butter and flour a 9″ x 4″ loaf pan.  Place pan on an insulated baking sheet or on 2 regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.
  3. Using a stand mixer (preferably with the paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 3 minutes, until smooth.
  4. Add sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.  The batter might curdle, but don’t worry.
  6. Beat in vanilla.
  7. Beat in baking powder and salt.
  8. On low speed, alternately beat in flour and milk in 3 additions of flour and 2 of milk (this is more important if you’re using normal flour, where you don’t want to over-beat).
  9. Scrape half the batter into a mixing bowl and stir in the melted chocolate.
  10. Stir orange zest and extract into the other half of the batter.
  11. Drop spoonfuls of chocolate and orange batters randomly into the loaf pan.
  12. Plunge a table knife deep into the batter and zigzag from one end of the pan to the other, making only 6-8 zigzags.  Even though it’s fun, you don’t want to mix the two batters too much.
  13. Bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  14. Cool cake on a wire rack for 15 minutes before unmolding.  Cool to room temperature right side up on rack.
  15. Wrap the cake well and store at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Honey Nut Brownies

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Like most brownies, this recipe works well gluten free.  It has an unusually bouncy texture when you bite into it.  If you’re using pecans, the ones on top caramelize a little and remind me of pecan pie.

 

Honey Nut Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my Home to Yours
Yield: 16 brownies
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2-2/3 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, or toasted almonds

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325ºF.  Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with foil, butter the foil, and place on a baking sheet.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until just smooth. Set aside.
  3. Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and salt together on medium-high speed until light and foamy.
  4. Add the honey, sugar, and vanilla and continue to beat for two minutes, or until well blended and smooth.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the chocolate-butter mixture, mixing only until just incorporated.
  6. On low speed, add flour and mix until it just disappears into the batter. You don’t need to worry about over-mixing if you’re using gluten-free flour.
  7. Using a spatula fold in the nuts.
  8. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  9.  Bake for 60 minutes if gluten free OR 45-50 minutes if not, or until the brownies have risen and are beautifully brown, and a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, peel away foil and invert onto another cooling rack.
  11. Cool to room temperature right side up, then cut brownie bar into 16 squares.

Peach Lassi Sorbet

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If you have extra peaches (or somewhat disappointing peaches, or even store-bought frozen peaches), and if you love sorbet, then this is the recipe for you.

 

Peach Lassi Sorbet
From Bon Appetit

Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 cups peaches, peeled, chopped, and frozen (about 4 medium peaches)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey

 

  1. Process all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.  (I recommend using a food processor unless you have a powerful blender.)
  2. Pour peach mixture into a loaf pan or plastic container and press a sheet of parchment paper on top, pressing directly onto surface.
  3. Freeze until sorbet is firm, about 6 hours.
  4. Scoop into bowls to serve.
  5. Sorbet can be made 3 days ahead and stored in freezer.  If necessary, thaw in refrigerator for up to 30 minutes before serving.

Lemon Cup Custard

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These are tasty and lemony, simple to make, and somewhat reminiscent of creme brulee.  Also, they require no modifications to be gluten free!

 

Lemon Cup Custard
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)

 

  1. Stir together milk and zest in a saucepan; bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 30 minutes.
  3. Reheat slowly.
  4. Place rack in center of oven, and preheat to 325°F.  Line roasting pan with 2 layers of paper towels.  Place 4-6 custard or coffee cups in pan.
  5. Whisk together eggs and sugar until well blended.
  6. Whisk 1/4 cup hot milk slowly into egg mixture.
  7. Continue to whisk, and strain in remaining milk; skim foam from surface.
  8. Stir in lemon extract, if desired.
  9. Pour custard into cups.
  10. Put pan on oven rack, and fill pan with hot water halfway up side of cups.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until centers jiggle only slightly when tapped.
  12. Transfer cups to wire rack, and let cool to room temperature.
  13. Cover and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Cheesecake Brownies

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These triple-layer brownies have an interesting blend of flavors and textures, from the soft, sour topping, to the creamy cheesecake layer, to the chewy brownie on the bottom.  As usual for brownies and cheesecake, the recipe works well gluten free.

 

Cheesecake Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 16 brownies

For the brownies:
 
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cheesecake:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
For the topping:
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2-4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (adjust according to taste)
 
Make the brownies:
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan or spray the pan with baking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate together over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan, stirring with a rubber spatula until the two have melted into each other. Take care not to heat the mixture too much – you don’t want the butter to separate. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove.
  4. Whisk in the sugar.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  6. Whisk in the vanilla extract and whisk vigorously for just a few seconds.
  7. With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan.  (If using all-purpose flour, stop mixing when the dry ingredients have only barely disappeared into the batter.)
  8. Set the pan aside while you make the cheesecake batter.

Make the cheesecake:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer and large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium until it is smooth.
  2. Beat in the sugar and continue beating for 3 minutes.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat each for 1 minute before adding the next.
  5. Reduce the mixer to low and add the sour cream, followed by the flour. The batter should be smooth.
  6. Stir up the brownie batter a couple of times and spread 3/4 of the batter in the prepared baking pan – the batter should cover the entire bottom.
  7. Pour all of the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter and using a spoon or offset spatula, cover the brownie batter entirely.
  8. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake batter by the tablespoonful and using a knife, just barely swirl the brownie batter around, taking care not to dip the knife into the bottom layer of brownies.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The brownies should just pull away from the sides of the pan and the cheesecake layer should be beige in the center, slightly browned on the edges, and puffed all over.
  10. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
  11. Transfer the brownies to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.

Make the topping:

  1. In a small sauce pan over low heat, warm the sour cream OR yogurt and sugar together, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour the topping over the chilled brownies and using an offset spatula, push the topping just out to within ¼-inch of the edges – don’t let the topping spill down the sides.
  3. Chill the brownies for another 1 hour.
  4. To cut the brownies, run a long sharp knife under hot water and dry with a towel. Cut the brownies into quarters with the hot knife, cleaning and reheating before you make each cut. Remove the quarters from the pan and cut each into quarters. Keep the cut brownies chilled and bring to room temperature before serving.