Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Gluten Free Banana Bread

I heard that yesterday was National Banana Bread Day.  Whether it was or not, I didn’t confirm it, but I did get in the kitchen and make some banana bread.  Don’t really need excuses here, we always have bananas ready to eat, almost always have overripe ones needing to be taken care of and by taken care of I mean turned in to something banana-yummy. 

Four bananas who have been screaming at me for days now, became this banana bread last night.  I’ve actually made it many times, always just a little different, but enough the same that it comes out every time.  I love that I make a gluten free (and refined sugar free!) treat that I can enjoy.  Bananas are one of my favorite fruits.  Probably one of my favorite foods.  They are cheap, readily available, sweet and tasty and can be used in so many things.  What is not to love?  (Don’t answer that, Deborah.) ; )

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup raw honey

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons almond milk, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 4 small bananas)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1  3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (with xanthan gum)

1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (optional) add nuts instead if you’d like

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9x5 inch baking pan with foil.  Brush the foil with coconut oil.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, water, honey and coconut sugar.  Add the almond milk, vanilla, and mashed banana and whisk together until combined.  Next add the salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour and stir together with a spoon.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let sit on wire rack for 5 minutes then using the foil edges, remove the bread from the pan, peel off the foil and let the bread cool completely on a wire rack. 

Gluten Free Banana Bread

If you don’t want chocolate in your banana bread (crazy!), you can add walnuts or pecans instead or just have it as good ol’ plain banana bread.  I’ve done them all.  This has a great outside crust and is nice and soft and moist inside just the way banana bread should be.  I love having a slice of this with a little peanut butter spread on it.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Marquise au Chocolat—Baking Chez Moi—Tuesdays With Dorie

Marquise au Chocolat--TWD

Marquise au Chocolat (Frozen Chocolate Mousse), Baking Chez Moi, Tuesdays With Dorie

You might not realize what this is (which is why I put it in parenthesis in easy terms) and might not even think it looks too terribly good, but let me tell you, this frozen chocolate mousse is divine!  I even kind of like the lines in it from lining my heart-shaped mold with plastic wrap and it not being perfectly smooth.  It’s rustic and heart-warming and hello, it’s frozen chocolate and it’s definitely smooth going down the hatch.

I’m so glad I buckled down and made this, though it was last minute (the weeks sure fly by, not sure how I used to do TWD way back when, when we posted weekly)!  My seven year old woke up early, early Monday morning (the middle of the night) with the stomach flu and was sick all day yesterday.  I even dragged him to the store so I could get some chocolate and cream, which was in my plans before he was sick.  It worked well for me to tell him we needed to get some Sprite and saltine crackers for his upset tummy.  We got to the store and they were out of the chocolate I needed/wanted.  SIGH. 

Never fear, we went back home and I decided I had enough of everything to quarter the recipe and make a small serving.  Then I decided it would be fun to make it and put it in heart-shaped molds (this was before I even read Dorie’s suggestion to do that if desired).  She and I, we’re so smart.  So while my son lay on the couch trying to rest and not be sick, I got out the things I needed to make the quarter recipe for this chosen delight, Marquise au Chocolate (Frozen Chocolate Mousse), from Baking Chez Moi, pages 357-359.  Don’t let seeing that it’s three pages in her book make you think it’s too much.  A lot of it is all her background about the dessert and a great photo.  This was really so easy to make!  It took a couple steps, um, most recipes do, but if you plan it out and get everything together before starting, it’s pretty simple!

Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, they are dairy, nut and soy free and made with evaporated cane juice.  They taste great!  Love the fun-shaped chocolate flower that showed up in the mix here.

The chocolate and butter were melted in a double boiler.  Since I made only one-quarter of the recipe, I beat the egg yolk and sugar with my hand mixer, then added that to the cooled melted chocolate and in another small bowl beat the heavy cream.  That was folded in to the chocolate mixture, then I put it in a small heart-shaped ramekin and a small heart-shaped metal mold that I’d lined with plastic wrap. 

Marquise au Chocolat (2)

 I put the molds in the freezer for only about four hours (recipes says six), but since they were smaller, I thought it would be okay.  Had to taste (and photograph) it right after an early dinner.

Marquise au Chocolate--(Frozen Chocolate Mousse)--TWD

I ate about 2/3 of this little dessert (and gave Kevin the rest), it was rich and delicious and perfectly creamy.  I’m so excited that the bigger heart is still there for me in the very near future.  This was pretty simple to divide (especially with the gram measurements).  I’m sure I’ll make this again, maybe, just maybe I’ll try it with coconut cream and honey for the sweetener.  I’m not afraid. ; )  I would like this with some raspberry coulis or fresh raspberries next time.  If I make it that way, I’ll post it with the recipe for you.  Go get Dorie’s book!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Nutella Caramel Swirled Brownies—World Nutella Day

Nutella Caramel Swirled Brownies 2-4-15

It’s World Nutella Day today!  You might remember back in August (or you might need this reminder), when I made and posted a bunch of recipes from Shelby’s blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch for The Secret Recipe Club.  Normally, we were just to make one recipe for the blog we were assigned that month, but Shelby and her blog are one of my favorites and we are good friends, so just for fun, I spent that whole month after getting my assignment, making as many recipes from her blog that I could during that time.  Here's that post—look for something with Nutella among all the deliciousness. 

One of the recipes I made from her blog then were my version of her Peanut Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies.  After getting things measured and ready to make her brownies, I realized I was out of peanut butter, so I did what any smart person would do—I made the caramel with Nutella instead.  These brownies are so good.  You might be thinking that you thought I don’t eat sugar and gluten anymore.  Well, I don’t, mostly.  These brownies became an occasion where it was necessary (for quality control purpose, you understand) that I taste the caramel AND then ultimately a bite of the brownie that I then topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate syrup (next time save some Nutella caramel for the brownie sundae!) and some hazelnuts.  I only took a small bite….see….

Nutella Caramel Brownies 8-18-14

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of making caramel, this is so easy, even more so if you measure out the ingredients first and have everything ready.  When I made these brownies last August, I made a full batch, which is a 9x13 inch pan.  For the remaking of them today, I halved the recipe—the ingredients are all perfectly easy to halve, so you decide how much Nutella caramel you want and how many brownies.

Nutella Caramel Swirled Brownies 

Nutella Caramel Swirled Brownies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

Nutella Caramel Sauce:

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup water

½ cup (148 grams) Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread), warmed slightly

1 tablespoon corn syrup

Pinch of salt

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat cream on low heat in a small saucepan (or in a microwave safe measuring glass) until hot (just barely simmering). In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and heat over medium-high heat. Do not stir it. Let it cook until amber brown (2-3 minutes). Slowly whisk the hot cream into the sugar until smooth and let it cook for 1 minute. When you stir the cream into the caramelized sugar, it will bubble a lot. Don’t worry, just keep stirring. After 1 minute, remove from the heat and whisk in the warm Nutella (it combines better when it is heated up a bit—just microwave it in a small bowl for 20-30 seconds and stir), corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Stir together until well combined and smooth. Set it aside to cool while you prepare the brownie batter.


1 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

1 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining it with tin foil (I prefer nonstick foil). Spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until well combined. Add vanilla extract. Set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk together. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Drop spoonsful of the Nutella caramel in dollops over the brownie batter. Drag a knife through the batter and the caramel to swirl. Don’t do it too much or you’ll lose the swirled effect. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with crumbs on it and not wet batter. Cool completely before cutting. Serve individually or as a base for brownie sundaes with ice cream, chocolate syrup (or more of the Nutella caramel if you didn’t use it all) and some toasted hazelnuts.

Nutella Caramel Swirled Brownies

I mean, come on, don’t these look like great brownies?  If you are a Nutella lover, like so many, you will love this caramel and these brownies, they stand alone great, but also make an awesome brownie sundae.

Nutella Caramel Brownies

Thanks to Sara at Ms Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso for their inspiration and the start up of World Nutella Day.  Check it out for hundreds of mouth-watering Nutella recipes!


Check out all the Nutella goodness on my blog!