Monday, March 15, 2010

The Celiac Maniac.. YAY!

I am so excited to share the good news! I live in a fairly small community and, although we do have a few places that cater to the gluten free lifestyle, we don't have the options that they have in places like Portland. Well, our gluten free community just got a little bigger! I am so happy to have found The Celiac Maniac!!! They are right here in Bend, Oregon, and their products can be found at Natures, Whole Foods, Riley's, Newport Market, and Empire Coffee Company. Not only that, but those of you not able to get to Bend can order their English muffins through their online store. Now I have to tell the story just so you understand how excited I am…
Part one:
One day my oldest daughter Amanda came home with a cupcake and said "this is delicious, Emily and Nikki have to try it". I said "there's no way that Emily can have that cupcake if you bought it in a store" (believe me, I've looked)! She told me it was gluten free, and of course I responded with "what about the eggs and milk?", she said "no, they're vegan", and I said "no way"! Well, yes they are…EGG FREE, DAIRY FREE, AND GLUTEN FREE…WOOHOO!!!
Part two:
My daughter Nikki is 14 yrs old and was just diagnosed with a gluten allergy this year. She is still struggling with it a lot. Nikki has been a vegetarian in a house full of meat eaters since she was 4yrs old. She is also allergic to nuts and eggs, so cheese and grains meet a huge part of her protein requirements. Not only that, but when I try to cook a "family meal" it is meat based, so she often fixes herself something quick and easy. Until this year she was pretty much living on things like Goldfish crackers, quesadillas on flour tortillas, mac and cheese, pasta with parmesan, grilled cheese sandwiches, and pizza. All of that came to a screeching halt. She hasn't truly acquired a taste yet for gluten free breads and pastas yet. I bought some English muffins a couple of weeks ago and when she saw them in the cabinet she really wanted to make some English muffin pizzas…but she didn't. I was proud of her (because she still cheats sometimes), but I was also heartbroken. A few days later I was in Whole foods and I decided to check out the Celiac Maniac cupcakes. As I was asking the bakery worker about the cupcakes, she reached down behind the counter and said "we have their English muffins too". I know I get a little too excited about food sometimes, but I think I may have heard angels sing! I raced home with the English muffins and popped one in the toaster for myself just to see if I had reason to be so joyful, I did. They are fabulous! Nikki made her pizza muffins (pictured above) and loved them, and Emily finished off the bag, eating toasted English muffins and jam every day until they were gone.
I just want to say "welcome" to The Celiac Maniac, and "thank you"!!! One more victory for the allergen free!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fabulous "Allergen Free" Marble Cake

Well, here it is, the culmination of 3 years work. I have tweaked this recipe so many times that it barely resembles the original. This can be made a vanilla cake by simply omitting the cocoa powder, or be made chocolate by adding a little more cocoa powder to the whole mix. Be sure to use good quality vanilla and cocoa powder, it makes a difference. I had hoped that when I finally posted my masterpiece I would have a stunning photo to go with it, but we still have not replaced our long lost camera with the "food" setting, so this is the best I could do. I hope this will aid in bringing many happy birthdays to all those who, like me, had all but given up on birthday cake!

½ c Rice flour
¾ c Corn starch
¼ c Coconut flour
½ c Millet flour
¾ c Potato starch
2 c Granulated sugar
1 t Xanthan gum
½ t Salt
2 t Baking powder
1 t Baking soda
2 c Room temperature water
1 T Ener G egg replacer mixed with ¼ c warm water
2/3 c Canola or sunflower oil
2 T Vinegar
1 T Vanilla bean paste
¼ c Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T Water

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour (I used rice flour) 2 round cake pans or one 9"x13" rectangle.

Sift all dry ingredients (rice flour through baking soda) into a mixing bowl, make sure there are no lumps in your coconut flour. Add 2 c water, prepared egg replacer, oil, vinegar, and vanilla bean paste. Mix on low for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, then mix for an additional 2 minutes on medium.

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan/pans. Do not smooth it out, empty spaces will actually help with the swirling.

Add ¼ c of cocoa powder and 1 T of water to the remaining batter. Stir until blended. Pour the chocolate batter into the pan/pans, filling in any holes in the vanilla batter. Use a knife, spoon, or spatula to swirl the chocolate and vanilla together. If you have ever used this method with a "standard" cake you will find it is not quite as easy here. This batter requires more of a forceful pushing than a delicate swirling. If you drag the knife through a glob of chocolate it will float around in the vanilla like an island. Push down, lift up, then swirl… you'll get the hang of it.

Bake 2 round pans for about 40 minutes, bake rectangle for about 1 hour, the middle should spring back when touched gently.

We frosted the birthday cake with this frosting. It can also be made soy free by using all shortening (no margarine) and rice milk or water instead of soy milk. The cake pictured here is frosted with Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge frosting. This frosting is dairy free, as are their regular chocolate and vanilla frostings. They do, however contain soy. Keep this cake covered, due to the high starch content it dries out quickly. Enjoy!