better with [3 months’ expired] butter [milk]

Hillbillies know there’s no such thing as rotten, rotten-milk!

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Tasty and gluten free but lots of cultures!

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It’s my party and I’ll bake my own cake [gluten free / Celiac]

I got Gold Rum on special offer (regular 23USD, it was 11USD). I’ve never purchased gold rum, so I was nervous but for $11 and 1.75L? Mehohkay. In googling what to do with it, up popped a lot of baking recipes. This means it’s probably not so loverly to drink (think ‘cooking sherry’).

Gee, your cake smells delicious

Gee, your cake smells delicious *

My birthday is Friday and that means I will not be in a mood to bake Thursday night to make a gluten free cake for myself and the ingrates at work. -only a couple of people will try anything gluten free I bring in. Didn’t blink an eye through years of non gluten free. Granted, most gluten-free food (particularly ‘faux foods’ or things that are supposed to be a gluten-free version of X) is dodgy. Still, try it if I bothered to bring it.

All the more reason to use booze!

This was interesting as I rarely cook with booze. I do but the Reed in me doesn’t care for the idea of cooking alcohol out. I mean, what’s the point? I’m old-hat at whiskey-soaking, bourbon-balling, rum-tipsy-ing, though. -that’s ‘live’ alcohol

This cake is both: it’s cooked in (out) and soaked ‘live.’ WHEE!

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It’s vanilla cake with pumpkin pie spices, walnuts and LOTS RUM inside and out, well, soaked in after baking.

* I used no special filters on these photos but I did put the cake OUTSIDE to photograph. The angled shot allows for elegance, no? Seriously, this cake has more than 2 cups of rum in it. You’re welcome. It’s a standard ‘tipsy’ cake type of soaky-glazy-not-glaze-thin-syrup** (meaning not a hard sauce, which is like boozy-gravy and not a glaze that leaves a sort of well, you’ve seen glazed doughnuts).

**Since I don’t measure:

  • 1+ C  gold rum (I used Bacardi’s)
  • 1/2 C melted oleo (I used coconut oil but have been known to use Earth Balance, since I can’t do dairy; when baking for others, I’ll use butter; hence ‘oleo’)
  • As much powdered sugar as it needed to be thin and pourable but not so thin that it wouldn’t congeal — I’m going to guess that I started with 1.5 C and added if more was needed. When I do these glazes, I go in assuming that 1/2 sugar is the starting point.

Buttermilk (gluten free or conventional) biscuits

PEPSI BEYONCEWas it last week? I can’t recall but our cha0tic has been baking up a storm of biscuits. By biscuits, I mean American biscuits and by American biscuits, I don’t mean these.

-are the new readers gone yet?

 

I haven’t even made scratch biscuits in over 2 years, possibly more. The Celiac diagnosis is one reason, obviously, but also, I just don’t make them. I grew up on a working ranch -regular readers love to hear this repeated and took care of cooking for the household from a very young age. My ‘very young’ means I was making simple things like jam at age 4 (unsupervised, which sounds like BS but it’s not — I mean, I suppose somebody watched at first but I didn’t set the house ablaze, so I was on my own). By 8 or 9, it was all me — except for a few things that my father alone cooked (like steaks; it was his pleasure and I have an odd notion that they didn’t want to risk my destroying steaks in the learning process — cos it’s all practice, which brings me to reassuring you trial and error is what it’s about — if you really want to nail a recipe, make it a few times a week! And by ‘few times,’ I mean altering proportions and ingredients til it’s the way you like).

I made some kind of quick bread (including biscuits) daily for years. I never measured or followed ‘a recipe.’ I watched something being made (by people who also didn’t measure) and then I began trials. I didn’t think of it that way as a kid but I knew you had to work at it!

Anybody who knows me, knows that I’m certainly not ciphering, so this is all eye-balled.

gluten free baking flour mixI’ve got this gluten-free flour mix that I don’t really like but seems to do mediocre in the mediocre lane of gluten-free flour mixes. In other words, I don’t think that I’ll buy it again — and none are wonderful. I went the route of buying my own artisan gluten-free single flours and mixing them in different ways. That’s shite, too. I’ve tried several prepared flour blends and while this is mediocre, there have been a couple that are wildly-popular that I found horrible. I suppose it depends on what you’re trying to make and your personal sense of taste.

I haven’t cared much for any gluten-free ‘replacement’ but if you want to try, here’s what I did.

If you are not Celiac, use normal flour (not self-rising or skip the baking powder, if you use self-rising).

 

add baking powder to flour

add baking powder to flour

add oleo

add oleo

Again, this isn’t measured. I guess that’s about 2.5-3C flour? More than 2C, anyway. I used about that much baking powder. Cha0tic mentioned he uses baking soda as well — but he’s not happy with his recipe. I wasn’t raised using baking soda in mine but it probably won’t hurt. When I bake cookies, I use both. Add some fat. Any will do, whether lard (that’ll be harder to work in) or butter. I used a butter replacement as even grass-fed butter makes my face explode. Cut it in. If it doesn’t seem to look right, add more. As with anything else, start small and add. You can’t take away (but you could add more flour at this point if you over-did the oleo–oleo is an old-fashioned term for ‘whatever fat you’re using’).

Add salt. I went ahead and counted how many dashes I used but that was to share with readers as I go by sight. I ended up using 16. A normal person would probably want more. I tend to under-salt or not salt at all but baking needs it and salt will help ‘sweeten’ the biscuits (as Gram would say).

 

cut oleo into flour

cut oleo into flour

add about that much buttermilk -- I added more after this

add about that much buttermilk — I added more after this

Sorry for blurry buttermilk photo. I didn’t notice it was blurry when I took it. You can see there’s some light pilling going on in that shot, though. At this point, I stir til it balls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

only 3 months past expiration date buttermilk

only 3 months past expiration date buttermilk

The buttermilk I used was 3 months past its expiration date. HAR! Proving once again, hillbillies abhor waste and we aren’t likely to scare easily. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

ball o bisuits

ball o bisuits

biscuits smooshed

biscuits smooshed

Here’s the rough ball o biscuits dough. You are not aiming for ‘batter.’ Flop it on a dusted board. Smoosh it out. Don’t roll unless you’re quick about it and don’t press too hard. Basically, smooshing is enough and don’t do too much. Then, cut into rounds. I used a whiskey glass.

 

 

cut rounds

cut rounds

biscuits in pan

biscuits in pan

 

Have your pan heated in the oven with plenty of oleo in bottom of pan (which will be liquid from heat). I grew up always using bacon grease for this. We kept a crock of it on the cooker top. I used coconut oil here. When your biscuit rounds are ready, pull the pan from the oven (I used a cast iron pan but grew up using an old cornbread pan that was made of god-knows-what but it was heavy-ish but not cast iron-heavy). Take the round in your hand (don’t burn yourself on the 400+degree F pan, obviously) and scrape it on grease in bottom of pan, then flop the ungreased side down (therefore, both sides are greased).  Bake til done. Don’t over-bake or they turn into hockey pucks.

 

 

Serve. I put a dollop of Seville Orange, Lemon Curd and Strawberry Preserves (one per biscuit) on and served to my elderly toddlers. They loved them but they’ve also grown accustomed to my dire warnings that this is gluten free and do not expect it to taste or feel like traditional foods!

biscuits done

 

 

 

 

nutty crusty goodness

I made my first nut crust many years ago,

before learning that I’d been born Celiac!

The reason I didn’t typically use them is because nuts are pound for pound, exorbitantly expensive compared to a little flour. Now that I can’t eat flour (and most ‘substitutes’ like tapioca/ manioc, sorghum, rice, corn, bean tear up my gut, too — I can eat them but only a bit), it’s hard to say no to a nut crust!

They’re dead-easy, just as pie crust is but even easier!

Depending upon pan or how high up the sides you want to go, start with 2C nuts (I was making an apple pie, so I chose walnuts BUT I’d only ever made nut crusts with pecans — walnuts are AWESOME!). Melt 2T coconut oil or whatever fat you use (I’ve also used Earth Balance and it’s lovely — perhaps not healthy but ya know, it’s a pie!) and 2T maple syrup (not fake). Technically, you can use golden syrup or whatever — including sugar crystals that you dissolve in melted oleo. I like maple syrup (100% non-weird and organic).

Smoosh it together in the pan and place in 400F oven (that was pre-heated) til the nuts begin to toast/ ‘become aromatic.’ Do not burn! Burning fat is very unhealthy.

You can then add whatever filling you like and/ or topping. This will also toast on top, if desired.

Gluten-free: Yorkshire Pudding

Triangles!

Yorkshire pudding is one of those things that a lot of people buy rather than make. It’s a quick bread, so it’s dead simple.

For those unfamiliar, it’s a sort of dinner roll that is airy and deflates into a bowl shape–wonderful for catching roast drippings! A many-years online friend sent me a link to a gluten free recipe. All the Yorkshire puddings I’ve met look like the one in their photo — or not as pretty 🙂 Mine, as you can see are decidedly different* as triangular shapes.

(I used a scone pan because it’s cast iron and I love any excuse to use my cast iron babies!)

Being Celiac, one of the things I’ve learned is makeover recipes of favorite foods almost always disappoint. This did not. It’s different from ‘normal’ but still nice.

* Other divergences: I used an all-purpose gluten-free mix that isn’t a favorite. I fall back on it when trying gluten-free makeover tests. My batter also required another teaspoon (level) of cornstarch (‘corn flour’ BE; I switch between AE and BE as I was raised by a quasi-Canadian). I also chose to use my favorite coconut oil, which has a high smoke temp — perfect! I cook almost exclusively with coconut oil for a couple of years now.

(shaky cam as I was trying to show them deflating–all were perfectly puffed up when I took them out about 10 seconds earlier)

 

 

GF Peppermint Mocha (or Peppermint Fudge or plain Fudge) Cookies

ouf! I should’ve cleaned that plate!

2 1/4 C confectioners sugar
1/4 t salt
1 t espresso powder 
3/4 C cocoa (Dutched)
1/4 C carob powder (substitution isn’t necessary, you can go all cocoa but I like carob)
3 large egg whites
1 t vanilla and 1 t peppermint extract for Peppermint Mocha 

OR omit espresso powder for peppermint fudge

OR omit espresso powder and peppermint, use only vanilla extract for plain fudge

 

Mix all in bowl (I used a stand mixer) til smooth and “glassy.” Dump about 1 T at a time onto GREASED (I used spray “pam-like” stuff) cookie tins. Cookie batter will SPREAD a lot.

Bake at 350F for 5-8 minutes. They crack (supposed to do that!) and be careful not to burn. There’s a lot of sugar in these!

COOL COMPLETELY ON TIN before removing.

My elderly parents both loved them and I did, too. 🙂 Bit too much sugar for my system but they’re tasty for non-GF folks.