wheat-free

Black Bean Brownies...


Not too long ago I noticed a hot trend around the web - the black bean brownie. The concept is awesome: a rich dark chocolaty brownie made with fiber-and-protein-rich black beans (wheat-free). Sounds like breakfast to me! Above is a pic from a batch I made based on this recipe. (Mine were made with extra chocolate, less butter, less agave, no coffee or walnuts...)

The result tasted great, looked amazing, but didn't really have a brownie texture - and also had to be refrigerated to stay firm. The texture was more like a cheesecake, a really yummy cheese-less cheesecake, so that's what they'll be in their next life. We had no problems scarfing this experiment down.

UPDATE: See comment #3 for the recipe (I've added a bit of starch to firm things up a bit) - apparently they rock. :D

UPDATE 2 (May 10 2011): Check out my new recipe for Really Awesome Black Bean Brownies :)

Fresh Fig & Blueberry Clafoutis


I LOVE figs, and lately I've been noticing fresh figs around town... somewhere it the world, it's fig season. Combined with fresh blueberries (which I love too) they're killer good. Luckily, blueberries are still in season here, because my favourite clafoutis combines the two - I guess I should call it a flognarde then? Nah ;-)

I made a variation of my new wheat-free (+ gluten-free) clafoutis with this stellar combo - fresh local blueberries and black mission figs:

Recipe:
Fresh Fig and Blueberry Clafoutis

Very yummy. Very pretty. Very easy.
Blueberries and figs are very nutritious too :-)

New Cherry Clafoutis

Clafoutis are one of my favourite summer treats. These baked fruit and custard desserts are absolutely delicious made with fresh local fruit (traditionally cherries), they look beautiful, and they're very easy to throw together. I discovered some interesting facts about clafoutis while searching the web and re-visiting the English wikipedia entry I started on the topic:

  • A "clafouiti" is more commonly called a "clafoutis" ("clafoutis" in the plural too)
  • When other kinds of fruit (plums, prunes, apples, cranberries, blackberries..) are used instead of cherries, the dish is called a "flognarde" or "flaugnarde" (I still prefer calling them clafoutis!)
  • Clafoutis originated in Limousin France and spread throughout the country in the 19th century
  • Baking whole cherries (with the pits intact) in a clafoutis imparts a wonderful flavour

Out of curiosity (and laziness) I made my first cherry clafoutis with whole un-pitted cherries. The result? The cherry clafoutis (+pits) had almond-like undertones from the cherry pits, totally delicious! You do have to spit the pits out while you're eating it, but it's totally worth it.

Since I'm off wheat, I experimented until I came up with a delicious nice-textured wheat-free clafoutis -
Recipe: Classic-Style Cherry Clafoutis + Variations


And here's a splendid variation with a slivered almond crust -
Recipe: Cherry Clafoutis with Almond Crust

Both of these clafoutis can be made with other fruit like blueberries, raspberries, halved fresh figs - mmm...

Please share your favourite clafoutis recipes, facts and tips in the comments!
xo Patty

Thanks Michelle for intoducing me to clafouits years ago - you're a great baking buddy. Thanks Crispin for the top photo, you really have a knack for making my baked goods look sexy ;-)

Spiced Peach & Almond Crumble

It's peach season here in Ontario, and I just scored a load of juicy, fragrant, ripe, local peaches from my neighbours - thanks Blair! Here's one of my favourite ways to enjoy the bounty - this one's for you Marisa!

Recipe: Spiced Peach & Almond Crumble

Health notes: Besides being super-yummy, this crumble is wheat-free, gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats), egg-free, and optionally dairy-free and vegan. It's sweet, but not as super-sweet as most crumble and crisp recipes - and you have the option of using natural sugars.

Wheat-Free Date Nut Scones

Not too long ago, I made a hearty date nut loaf inspired by quick-bread recipes from The Best-Ever Wheat and Gluten-Free Baking Book. My creation was really tasty, but a bit too crumbly - and then my lovely partner said: This would be great as scones... A few adjustments, and voila!

Recipe: Wheat-Free Date Nut Scones

These classic drop scones are delicious, filling, healthy, and easy to make: no rolling-out required. Packed with whole grains, flax, nuts, dates, and kissed with spice, they make a wonderful breakfast or snack. Superb hot out of the oven with butter, or with some fine sharp cheddar cheese...

sweet & tart links

Check out these lovely sweet & tart recipes I found while perusing the web. All 3 are packed with flavour, and are naturally gluten-free:

Rhubarb, Raspberry Clafoutis
Lemon Polenta Cake
Wheat-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Local rhubarb is almost ready... here!

Sweet Ambrosia Cookies

Ambrosia: The food of the gods. It is said the consumption of ambrosia results in immortality.

Recipe: Sweet Ambrosia Cookies

I can't promise immortality, though I will say these honey-sweetened aromatic cookies are pretty satisfying and delicious :-) Inspired by Tahini Oatmeal Walnut Cookies, these are made with sweet nutty sunflower seed butter, which is abundant in these parts (and for some, easier to digest than tahini). Rich and healthy, these gems also contain oats, pecans, coconut, vanilla and cinnamon. These cookies happen to be vegan and wheat-free/gluten-free - they're really quick and easy to make too!