(From the September 2014 archives)
It would be a crime if I didn’t take a moment to say how much fun the New Jersey Gluten & Allergen Free Expo was. When I talk about all inclusive events for people with food sensitivities – this was it! Even if a product contained nuts/soy/corn/ect, every one of the (roughly) 150 gluten free vendors was cautious and happy to provide allergen information so that everyone in the room felt perfectly safe.
And can I just say how lovely it was to see everyone munching away on the free samples? – Oh how I’ve missed free samples! At one point, I actually caught myself thinking, “Oh no, I can’t eat this bread! It tastes like rye. Oh sweet Jesus, what have I done?!?!” before remembering that I could eat literally EVERYTHING in the oversized convention center. Eventually I had to start carefully picking and choosing what I ate – after all, I do only have one stomach. But what a good problem to have! – “I’m sorry, sir, but I am far too full of cake, fresh bread and double chocolate brownies to try those delicious looking gluten free oreo cookies. Do you by chance have any coupons?”
Among all of the wonderful premade foods, unique ingredients, and gluten free muffin/cake mixes, the highlights for me had to have been the local bakeries, most notably Gluten Free Gloriously (www.glutenfreegloriously.com). I went back for seconds (maybe even thirds – was I allowed to have thirds? Does mentioning their bakery in my blog make it more socially acceptable?) of their lemon-vanilla layered cake. Fluffy, sweet, and just how you would want a perfect gourmet piece of cake to taste. Other notable bakeries included Maddalenas Cheesecake (www.maddalenascatering.com – I can die happy now that I’ve tasted their cheesecake…several times….), Mo Pweeze Bakery (www.mopweezebakery.com), and a brand new company (congratulations!) Yummy Tummy Gluten Free (www.yummytummyglutenfree.com). All four are based in New Jersey and are worth the trip.
It’s so wonderful to see local bakeries thriving. When you come across a gluten free bakery (one that is truly gluten free), you know that they care. They didn’t spend months – years – perfecting these tricky baked treats for a fad diet that will pass. They care about the quality of their food AND about the people who eat them.
Afterwards, the evening was spent parading my gigantic pile of free snacks and coupons in front of my boyfriend who missed the event (and rolled his eyes only slightly at my love for free samples and coupons – secretly he’s jealous because he knows I will not be sharing my loot).
The only question I have….can we have another expo tomorrow?
And now a recipe.
While summer is still here – and yes, 90 degrees means that summer is not over – I want to share another light dessert.
Gluten Free Honey Strawberry Shortcake
This yummy recipe comes from Delight Gluten Free Magazine (http://www.delightglutenfree.com/recipes?id=577). I kept much of the recipe the same as the original, though prefer to specifically use wild honey compared to the overly processed counterpart. It’s a great option for a light summertime dessert yet is packed with healthy fats from the coconut and almond flours and has a higher protein content than most desserts because of the number of eggs. A warning that while this recipe is gluten/corn/soy free and is also low in carbs, it is obviously not friendly for our nut allergy friends.
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tbsp almond flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 whole eggs, room temperature
2 more eggs (yolks and whites separated – you will use both) room temperature
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup wild honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped cream to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda and sea salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
3. In a blender, mix together 4 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks, butter, honey, and vanilla until thick and fully combined. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, whip 2 egg whites using a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
5. Add egg yolk mixture to dry ingredients and whisk well to combine. Genltly fold in the egg whites until fully incorporated, but do not over mix.
6. Pour batter into cupcake pan for 25 to 35 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a cookie rack.
7. Unwrap the cakes and slice them in half horizontally. Fill with a layer of whipped cream and on top place another dollop of whipped cream and garnish with strawberries.