Archive for March, 2010

Orange Tian – Gluten Free

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.  I had to do this one very fast after getting back from our trip to Spain, so I made all the stuff today on the reveal date.  I also decided to make it gluten free so I would not have to eat it all myself.

The recipe is on the daring Baker’s site now:

Although there are a lot of components to make (especially in one day!) it was worth it, and the tian came out very well, and was delicious. Greg (my husband) and I devoured the small size tian that I used for the pictures here as soon as the photo shoot was over.  Because I had let some sauce dribble down into the sable layer, and it would have been soggy if we waited, what else could we do?  Besides, remember the quote “When life seems uncertain, eat dessert first.” Who said that anyway, was it the Duchess of Windsor?

I am very pleased with the gluten free pastry I developed for this.  I used the recipe from Jennifer, but changed it to use gluten free flours.  The resulting sable pastry was the best I have made yet, and tasted almost like it was made with wheat.  I want to try this pastry again as a base for sugar cookies, I think it would work very well and could be decorated.  What was probably good about the original recipe was that is had less butter than is usually in sable dough.  I find that gluten free flours cannot absorb as much butter or fat as wheat flour.

Gluten Free Sable Pastry

This recipe was the result of  adapting a Daring Bakers challenge recipe for Orange Tian to make it gluten free.  It has the best flavor and texture of any gluten free butter type pastry of cookie I have developed so far.  A note regarding flours – I grind all my grain and bean flours fresh using a Nutri Mill (except the corn starch and the potato starch).  If you are using bought flours, you may want to change the buckwheat flour to be replaced by half corn starch and half potato starch.  Bought buckwheat flour is much stronger tastingand often bitter than fresh gound (in my opinion the mill was worth it just for the flavor difference in bean and buchwheat flours, they taste so much better than bought), so may not result in as tasty and delicate a pastry.



¼ cup garfava flour

¼ cup amaranth flour

¼ cup potato starch

¼ cup corn starch

½ cup buckwheat flour1 ½ tsp xanthum gum

6 Tblsp sugar (about 80g)

1 tsp baking powder

½ scant tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (I used a convection oven at 350, use whatever you usually use for shortbread type cookies.)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Put in food processor.

3.5 oz ( or 100g) unsalted butter Cut butter into 1” pieces and mix in food processor with dry ingredients until a fine crumbly texture results.
1 egg

1 egg yolk

1.2 tsp vanilla

Add to food processor and process until grains stick together. At this point it is a bunch of  sticky crumbs, not a dough yet.
Place wax paper or dough sheet on counter.  Empty dough crumbs into the sheet and press together until a pliable dough develops.  Because there is no gluten in this dough, you can work it right away and roll it.  I use a bottom of wax paper or parchment, shape the dough into flat rounds, then place plastic wrap over the dough and roll.  A trick is to nit try to lift the cookie cutouts, but rather to lift the waste dough, then turn the wax paper over to place on cookie sheet (see picture of this).

This dough worked beautifully and was about the texture of playdough.  I was able to reroll it easily, and by using the plastic on top there is no added flour to mess with.

Bake on silpat or parchment until lightly browned on the edges.  This dough works well for cookies similar to French sables, and as tart dough for little pastries.

Risotto – Daring Cooks Challenge

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

I am in Spain right now and had access to a rental apartment kitchen where we are staying with friends, so I had to make do with a few less kitchen implements and spices than at home.  I wanted to make something with more than rice, so I chose spinach for the added flavour.   I followed the recipe from Daring Cooks, with the addition of cooked spinach, garlic, and also I added some brandy to the stock.  I was able to have the help of my friend J. as sou chef, and she stirred the risotto the whole time while I worked on the spinach. For the garnish we added “jamon de serrano” and “queso” (dry cured ham and cheese). Having a sous chef is definitely a plus for risotto, and J. did an exemplary job.

The resulting risotto received good reviews from my friends here in Spain. When I get home I will make this again since it was actually better than I remembered from my previous efforts.  Because it takes a lot of attention to stir the rice I usually get fed up and just throw in the stock all at once. However, I have to admit the texture is better when it is made authentically, so I will try to be pure with the method in the future.

While here in Spain I have seen many plates of paella, a cousin to risotto in terms of the rice method, so I hope to try the Spanish paella while we are here.   I am including a picture of the restaurant we ate in tonight that had a sea of Jamon de Serrano hanging overhead while we ate.  I was hoping they were all well attached to the ceiling! Hasta luego.

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