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gluten-free

KN, p.236 “Almond Cherry Chocolate Torte”

We like chocolate cake and we also like brownies because of the denser consistency. But, if we wanted to have a gluten-free chocolate dessert, neither one of Sheila’s go-to recipes would quite work. Sheila played around with some ingredients for the flavor she wanted, and then we both taste-tested the results.

After we poured the cherry juice over the cherries on top of the chilled torte, the dessert was a lot like a mousse in texture. We ate it with and without the juice, with and without the foam, with and without the ice cream. We taste-tested our way through the entire dessert while the photos were taken. My tummy liked it all.

"Almond Cherry Chocolate Torte"
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine (grease cake pan)
  • 2 Tablespoons chocolate powder (unsweetened) (dust pan)
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, broken into sections
  • 1/2 cup whipped butter
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons brewed dark roast coffee
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup fine almond flour
  • 4 cups frozen cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Lightly grease sides and bottom of a springform cake pan with butter or margarine and dust with cocoa powder.
  3. Place 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate and whipped butter in the top of a double boiler, melt, and whisk together by hand until thoroughly mixed together. Remove from heat.
  4. Using large bowl, an electric mixer, and whisk attachment, whip egg yolks, 1 cup of the sugar, coffee, 1.5 teaspoons of the almond extract, and sea salt until thick and creamy.
  5. Add chocolate/butter mixture and continue to mix until blended.
  6. In a separate bowl and with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites until fluffy, about a minute. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and beat for another two minutes or until peaks form. (Should be stiff enough that a spoonful of the mixture will stay in the spoon when held upside down)
  7. Fold the almond flour into the egg whites, then carefully fold that mixture into the entire chocolate mix.
  8. Pour the batter evenly into the cake pan. There may be lots of bubbles in the mixture. If so, gently, but firmly bounce the pan on the counter once or twice to break up most of them.
  9. Place the pan on a cookie sheet in the middle of the oven and bake until the center puffs and cake edges pull away from the pan, about 40-45 minutes.
  10. Remove pan from oven, place on cooling rack for 40 minutes. As it cools, the center of the torte will collapse a little, creating a depression in which to put the cherries later.
  11. Place the pan on a flat cake plate/stand and remove the sides.
  12. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  13. Place cherries, water, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar into a sauce pan and heat on medium heat until sugar melts – about two minutes. Stir.
  14. Place cherries and the resulting juice in a covered container in the refrigerator to soak and chill for two hours.
  15. When chilled, strain the cherries and save the juice.
  16. Spread the cherries evenly in the depression on the top of the torte.
  17. Lovely with ice cream and the cherry juice poured on top.

Cherry Foam: 

If you’d like to make the foam shown in the photo below, use the electric mixer and the whisk attachment. Whisk the well-chilled cherry juice until foamy, about two minutes. This only works while the juice is cold, so work quickly.  Skim off the foam, about two tablespoons for each slice, and use as a light flavorful topping to the dessert. Or just pour the juice on top of the cherries. The flavor will be the same.


Enjoy!  🙂

Photos: by Patti Phillips

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KN, p. 224 “Parmesan Basil Veggies”

 

The doc says I need to eat more vegetables. Sheila has been telling me that for years, but when the doc tossed his two bits into the checkup conversation at his office, I sighed and promised to eat all the broccoli on my plate. He frowned and told me that more than broccoli had to be on the menu. The guy does not have a sense of humor. I’m a grownup and figured I could pick and choose my eats, but evidently not anymore. He says it’s good for my heart though, so I’m all in.

 

I have to admit that Sheila has come up with some tasty ways to meet the goals – like the zucchini quiche and the tomato cucumber feta salad. Some veggies can be served steamed and/or with butter – like yellow squash or green beans. Broccoli, on the other hand IMO, needs some help. Here’s Sheila’s solution and with lots of taste testing, gets a ‘thumbs up’ from me.

 

"Parmesan Basil Veggies"
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetables
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into small bite-sized pieces – about 2 cups
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small bite-sized pieces – about 1 cup
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch chunks, about 2 cups
  • 2 cups finely chopped carrots - 1/4 inch chunks
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1.5 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. Place broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and basil leaves into extra-large bowl.
  2. Toss together until evenly mixed.
  3. In separate bowl, mix together vinegar, mayonnaise, and sour cream until thoroughly blended.
  4. Pour mayo mix over the vegetables and stir until the vegetables are well coated.
  5. Chill in refrigerator for an hour before serving.
  6. Garnish with carrot bits.

Enjoy!

 

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KN, p. 197 “Blueberry Watermelon Smoothies”

 

Blueberries have been sighted at the store! Sheila and I both love anything made with them – muffins, jelly, jam, syrup, cookies, pancakes – you get the idea. We buy as many berries as we can while the crop is at its peak, then freeze most of them to save for later in the year. There’s a special shelf set aside in our freezer just for blueberries.

 

This year, we happened to buy a small watermelon during the same shopping trip, so this morning we made watermelon-blueberry smoothies for breakfast. Wow! They were great.

 

Here are two of our favorite fruit smoothie recipes:

 

Watermelon-Blueberry Smoothie (pictured above)

 

Ingredients

1 cup frozen blueberries

2  1/2  cups cubed seedless watermelon

1/2 cup watermelon juice

pinch sea salt

 

Preparation

Use 16 oz (or bigger) blender.

Make watermelon juice by squeezing/straining 1 cup cubed watermelon through a medium-mesh strainer held over measuring cup.  Makes 1/2 cup juice.

Add blueberries, 1  1/2 cups cubed watermelon, watermelon juice to the blender.

Add pinch of sea salt to blender.

Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

Serves 1

 

Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries

6 oz. canned pineapple juice

1/2  cup water

Pinch sea salt

 

Preparation

Use 16 oz. blender (or bigger)

Add blueberries, pineapple juice, water, and sea salt to blender.

Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

Serves 1

 

Variations:

 

Sheila adds 2 Tablespoons almond butter and a scoop of protein powder to her blueberry smoothies to change them to protein smoothies.

 

Whether you prefer plain or fancy, I can report that nobody in our house died drinking either kind.  😉  Enjoy!

 

Photos by Patti Phillips

 

 

 

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