My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

  


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

Sunday
May222011

how nutty

I’ve been browsing around for gluten free dessert recipes for a few days now.  I wanted to keep things simple, so I didn’t have to buy 4 new bags of GF flour while at my parents house.  I know there are GF all-purpose flour blends, but I didn’t want to go that route either.  Not too long ago, I found Elana’s Pantry.  I’m not quite sure how it took me so long to find this amazing blog.  One of Elana’s main baking ingredients is almond flour.  Blanched almond flour to be exact. 

I did some reading on baking with almond flour and people specifically said not to use the Trader Joes Almond Meal as an almond flour sub.  You really need to use blanched almond flour when baking.  Blanched almonds have the skins removed which makes a nice, light flour.  Elana also mentioned that she has not had any luck with Bob’s Red Mill almond flour.  She said it produced a runny result.  She links to this brand in all of her recipes, and purchases it online. 

For today, I made blanched almond flour, and it didn’t turn out half bad!  I did some googling to find out a method and found that a coffee grinder works best, and a blender is your next best bet.  My parents don’t have a coffee grinder but they did have a decent blender.  It’s tricky to not over process and turn it into nut butter or not process enough which will give you almond meal.  I pulsed and scraped the blender down numerous times and only ground about 1c of blanched slivered almonds at a time.  It worked pretty well!  There were very small bits of almonds that didn’t get ground, but all in all it was a pretty soft + smooth cupcake!  You can always pass the flour through the sifter and re-grind the small pieces, but I didn’t have a sifter.

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While I found loads of good recipes + information at Elana’s blog, I decided on a recipe from Roost blog.  Such an amazingly gorgeous blog! 

Orange Blossom Cupcakes with Cashew Cream Frosting

Frosting made from cashews?  I could hardly believe it either!

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I prepared tonight’s dessert first and then got working on dinner.  My mom and I went shopping for pizza night at Whole Foods.  We bought a few of their whole wheat crusts [which I found very easy to work with], peppers, mushrooms, sausage, pepperoni, mozzerella, San Marzano pizza sauce, etc.  We were planning on grilling the pizzas because it’s so quick + causes less heat in the house.  I was the pizza maker, and my dad + I both worked the grill.

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I tore the dough in half and made a total of 6 pizzas.  Tonight, I stayed away from the gluten.  It was extremely difficult to pass up on this delicious, fresh pizza!

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The family loved it, which made me forget I couldn’t eat it. :)

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Dessert was up, and I was nervous to test this out on everyone!  My family is always really open to trying out anything I am willing to make, which makes things really fun. 

I really had no idea what to expect with this cupcake!  It looked like they baked properly, and the frosting was nice and thick, so I crossed my fingers and served them up!

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I’ve never had an almond flour baked good before, and wow is it delicious.  This was the softest, doughiest, cupcake I’ve ever eaten.  There was no lack of moisture here!  But it was in no way soggy.

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The frosting was extremely thick.  A little goes a long way!  Everyone thought it was really fun and unique and they couldn’t believe it was made from cashews. 

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You can tell how thick and moist this cupcake is.  It had a great crumb!

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I followed the recipe almost exactly, except for these few modifications:

cupcakes:

  • zest of 1 lemon, instead of orange
  • 1/2T orange juice

frosting:

  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4c honey
  • made this in a heavy-duty food processor, not a blender and worked perfectly

Since I was making this for a crowd, I wanted to sweeten up the frosting a bit.  The 1/4c of honey made it just barely sweet.  I felt it was slightly too tangy + tart from only using dates for the sweetener. 

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The flavors were perfect.  The lemon was not overpowering.  It was definitely a fun cupcake to make for my first GF baking adventure.  Also a huge success with my non-GF family!

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It’s still crazy to me that almonds can be made into flour and then made into cupcakes.  Same goes for cashews as frosting.  I can’t wait to do more experimenting!

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Time to catch some zzZZzzz’s….

Ashley

Saturday
May212011

sevenUPsunday

While I planned to bake a 7-UP cake and a gluten free dessert, only 1 of the 2 happened.

There just wasn’t going to be enough time and rather than rush around and get stressed out, I decided I’ll make the GF dessert tomorrow.

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Have you ever had 7-UP cake?  I used to think it was a family recipe, but sadly it’s not, although I don’t know many who have had it.  My mom has been making this for over 25yrs!  It is full of eggs, butter, flour, sugar, lemon extract and yes, 7-UP!

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While the cake was in the oven, my dad and I went for a long walk in the neighborhood.  Don’t worry, I would never leave an oven on if no one was home.  My mom was home monitoring the cake. :)

When we got back, I slurped on a smoothie. 

strawberries + banana + almond milk + chocolate Sun Warrior protein powder

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It was my first time trying the chocolate, and I thought it was worse than the original flavor.  To me, it was just as chalky, but also had a sickly sweet taste from the stevia.  I don’t use much sweetener, especially in fruit smoothies, and I’m not a fan of stevia at all.  This brand of protein powder is just not my cup of tea. 

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We headed to dinner with the whole family. 

Mom + grandma

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my other grandma + dad + grandpa [mom’s dad] + mom

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Uncle Alan [mom’s brother] + Aunt Sherie, AJ, Jenna, and Josh

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Chris, my brother and I chipped in on a very pretty but simple necklace for my mom from Tiffany & Co.  Since it’s a big birthday for her this year [60!!], we wanted to do something special.  Over the holidays I did a lot of homemade photo based gifts, so for her birthday we wanted to do something different. 

The only problem is, there are no Tiffany’s in Cleveland!  So, I got creative!  I printed out the Tiffany blue color on a piece of paper, wrapped a jewelry box, printed the Tiffany’s logo, taped that on the box and wrapped it with a white ribbon.  I printed out a photo of the necklace and included it in the box.

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I told my mom we’ll go shopping for it in Denver, when she comes back to Colorado with me next week!

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Don’t you just love Papyrus cards?  I typically don’t buy them because of how pricey they are but I thought this pop up card was too cute!  It had 6 cakes to represent 60 years of life!

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My dad bought a gift for them to share, since they are both turning 60 this year.  An iPad!  Jealous!

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My cousins are growing like weeds!  AJ is about to turn 16 + start driving.  Scarrrry. ;)

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Jenna is about to enter 8th grade.  All grown up!  *sniff sniff

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#1 babysitter back in the day :)

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And then it was cake time.

The best thing I can compare this to is pound cake.

A lemony pound cake, with a thick exterior + a slightly crunchy crust.

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Cake with crust?  What could be better?

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No frosting needed.

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It’s perfect on it’s own.

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No crumb left behind!  I’ve been really good about not consuming gluten, since I found out I have a mild sensitivity to it.  Having this cake around though, there was no chance.  I had a small but perfect slice and so far feel fine!  It’s really strange that some gluten foods turn my stomach into a knot but some leave it feeling fine.  Like beer!  Oh the complexities of my digestion. ;)

7-UP Cake

  • 1 1/2c unsalted butter [let sit on the counter until room temp – 3 sticks]
  • 3c sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 3c white flour
  • 3/4c 7-UP
  • 2T lemon extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325*
  2. Cream the sugar + butter in a large bowl until fluffy. [with a hand or stand mixer]
  3. Mix in the eggs 1 at a time.
  4. Mix in the flour, in 3 increments.
  5. Slowly mix in the 7-UP and lemon extract.
  6. Beat until smooth.
  7. Grease [with butter] + flour all of the sides and creases of a bundt pan.  The flour is key in the cake releasing from the pan.  Make sure every square inch is covered with both.  Hold pan upside down + tap out the excess flour.
  8. Pour batter in and smooth out.
  9. Bake for 1hr 10m – 1hr 20min.  Toothpick test for doneness.
  10. Let cool for about 20min [not fully cooled], and slide a knife or small spatula around the edges to help it release.
  11. Cover the cake with a large plate and flip the cake over onto the plate.  It should easily release.
  12. When fully cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

This cake will make you dance with every bite!

Ashley