These are definitely treats for a long holiday weekend. They violate my usual code of fast, easy, and few dishes. They were none of the above. But because Jenn specifically asked for a coffee cake-like treat, how could I say, "Nah. Too much of a bother."? She makes very few culinary requests. Luckily they turned out great and thus, blog-worthy on the first try.
They are very moist, probably because I went ahead and used a full stick of butter rather than cutting it in half and adding applesauce. The butter was probably also the reason they didn't stick to the muffin papers. So, once in awhile, maybe it's okay to stress the "happy" and "gluten-free" part of Happy Healthy Gluten-free and know that "healthy" is found both in eating these in moderation and at your next meal in the form of a nice salad or plate of greens.
These muffins DO have two advantages: 1) because they are muffins, the portion control is built right in, and 2) they have the benefit of Xocai healthy dark chocolate which boosts your antioxidant intake and adds a nice sophistication, making them a little less than over-the-top sweet.
The creation of these muffins has a number of steps, and my younger son Scott had a great time helping out. He measured, mixed, scooped batter into the muffin tins, unwrapped and inserted the chocolate squares, spread and patted down the topping, and more. So though they weren't particularly fast to make, it was good quality time in the kitchen.
For the cake part:
1 3/4 gluten-free flour blend (I used Arrowhead Mills, which has xanthan gum built in. If your favorite gf flour blend does not, add 1 ¼ teaspoons of it for this recipe.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (or the milk-like product of your choice)
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick of melted butter
12 Xocai Power Squares or other dark chocolate squares
For the topping:
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder
Preheat the oven to 350. Thoroughly combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Combine the milk, sugar, butter and eggs in a big bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the milk-sugar-eggs and mix well. Spoon the rather sticky batter into a lined muffin tin. Worry that it may be too dry. Insert the chocolate squares upright in the middle of the muffin batter.
For the topping, combine the flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and combine it with the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers (I used my fingers) to mix until course and crumbly. Spread it evenly over the muffins and pat them down a little. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted (but not in the middle of the chocolate stripe) comes out clean. Eat them warm! Though room temperature was good too. We froze some of them to keep us from devouring the whole pan in one day. Keep your face over your plate. Oh wait, that's what I say to Scott.
Gluten-free Travel in Europe
I'm posing with my delicious gluten-free pizza at Helmut Newcake in Paris.
I hope you are going to go someplace AMAZING this summer! I went to Paris in October 2012 and I am so glad that I didn't let worry about finding good gluten-free food stop me. While it wasn't always smooth sailing, it was definitely worth it!
A fellow gluten-free traveler (who also has asthma and lactose intolerance) has recently had the following text translated by American Translation Partners into German, Russian, Estonian, Swedish, Thai, Danish, and Finnish. She picked ATP because of their medical translation services. I share her learnings here in case it is useful to you. I speak none of these languages and cannot vouch, so I offer them unto you in the spirit of adventurous travels.
I have celiac & asthma. Very Allergic. PLEASE: For food: NO gluten, dairy, msg, nitrates, food color, wheat. NO cross contamination/ no contaminated oils/ please use clean pans. Thank you. I look forward to enjoying your restaurant.
Ich leide an Zöliakie (Glutenunverträglichkeit) & Asthma. Ich bin Sehr allergisch.
BITTE: In Bezug auf Nahrungsmittel: KEINE Gluten, KEINE Milchprodukte, KEIN Mononatriumglutamat (MNG), KEINE Nitrate, KEINE Lebensmittelfarbe oder Weizen.
KEINE Kreuz-Kontamination / KEINE kontaminierten Öle / Bitte benutzen Sie sauberes Kochgeschirr.
Ich freue mich darauf, die Speisen Ihres Restaurants zu genießen!
У меня астма и глютеиновая болезнь. Сильная аллергия.
Нельзя употреблять: глютен, молочные продукты, глутамат натрия, нитраты, пищевые красители, пшеницу.
НЕЛЬЗЯ контаминировать продукты / НЕЛЬЗЯ контаминировать масло / готовить только в чистой посуде
Жду с нетерпением возможности пообедать вашем ресторане!
Minul on tsöliaakia ja astma. Olen äärmiselt allergiline.
Toidud: EI TOHI SISALDADA gluteeni, piimasaadusi, naatriumglutamaati (MSG), nitraate, toiduvärve ega nisu.
EI TOHI OLLA ristsaastumist / EI TOHI OLLA allergeeniga saastunud õlisid / Palun kasutage puhtaid toiduvalmistamise nõusid
Ootan nauditavat elamust teie restoranis!
Jag har glutenintolerans och astma. Väldigt allergisk.
För mat: INGET gluten, INGA mejeriprodukter, INGET natriumglutamat, nitrat, INGAfärgämnen, INGET vete.
INGEN direkt eller indirekt kontaminering / INGA kontaminerade oljor / Vänligen använd rena pannor
Jag ser fram emot att njuta av maten i din restaurang!
ฉันเป็นโรคแพ้อาหาร Celiac Disease และโรคหืด มีอาการแพ้อย่างรุนแรง
คาแนะนาต้องปฏิบัติตาม ผลิตภัณฑ์อาหาร:จะต้องไม่มีส่วนประกอบของกลูเตน ผลิตภัณฑ์จากนม ไนเตรต สีผสมอาหารหรือข้าวสาลี
Jeg har cøliaki (glutenallergi) og astma. Jeg er meget allergisk.
Fødevarer: UNDGÅ gluten, mælkeprodukter, MSG (det tredje krydderi), nitrit, levnedsmiddelfarver og hvedeprodukter.
UNDGÅ krydskontaminering / UNDGÅ kontaminerede olier / Brug venligst rene gryder og pander.
På forhånd tak. Jeg glæder mig til at nyde besøget på jeres restaurant!
Med venlig hilsen
Minulla on keliakia ja astma. Minulla on useita allergioita.
OLE HYVÄ JA OTA HUOMIOON SEURAAVAT:
Ruoka: Ei gluteenia, maitotuotteita, MSG:ää (natriumglutamaatti), nitraatteja, elintarvikevärejä tai vehnää.
EI ristikontaminaatiota / EI kontaminoituja öljyjä / Käytä puhtaita keittoastioita.
Olen iloinen voidessani ruokailla tässä ravintolassa.
Mixed Vegetable Panang Curry with Tofu from Bangkok Cuisine
I recently attended a four-day Xocai Healthy Dark Chocolate convention at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. Before heading there, I introduced myself over the phone to chefs Bob and Dennis, who gave me tips in navigating the conference culinary offerings, and where I would have the best chance for success in the half dozen or so restaurants that are part of the casino. They were both very nice, and I did enjoy a nice conference salad one day. However, I mostly relied on provisions of apples, oranges, bananas and raisins as well as carrots and hummus from the grocery store across the street, and the powdered peanut butter and gf amaranth rolls I brought from home. And let's not forget the Xocai protein shake! One of my roommates brought her bullet blender, so breakfast was a snap.
But of course there were opportunities to eat out. One evening we wanted to eat al fresco -- a natural result of having been inside a casino meeting room all day when the weather outside was sunny and 80. We lucked into the Great Basin Brewing Company, having picked it on the basis that they had outdoor seating. It was a short cab ride from the resort and they had a fairly well-endowed gluten-free menu (though I thought it strange that they didn't appear to carry any gf beers.) I enjoyed the La Flaca Rice Bowl sans chips, which was essentially rice and beans with a spicy salsa, topped with avocado. It was just what I needed and it really hit the spot! The service was a bit on the slow side, but we WERE a party of eight, so I will not judge them on their usual service time based on our experience. Our server was delightful, attentive and very helpful. Sadly, I've forgotten her name.
The next night we decided to eat out again, and so I set out to find something interesting that could meet the needs of our group. Usiing UrbanSpoon.com, I spotted Bangkok Cuisine, which was also a short cab ride from the Atlantis. I called in advance and learned that they didn't have a gluten-free menu but that they could easily and safely accommodate me. When we arrived, Veronica our server was super helpful and guided me through their extensive menu. Our group of eight decided to do a family-style meal sharing, but I kept mine separate until I'd filled my plate then put it on the go-around with the other dishes. I had the mixed vegetable coconut soup -- spicy, light and refreshing -- and the mixed vegetable panang curry over rice. No problem with the service here -- the food came out quite fast. There is nothing like fresh and authentic Thai food to really buoy my spirits, not that they were low, but I just hadn't had Thai food other than Pei Wei (a chain restaurant that is owned by the same people who run PF Chang's) since my celiac diagnosis. Who knew Reno would be the place for reintroducing me to excellent Thai food?
I do want to note that before I went I identified a couple of places to eat that were an easy walk from the casino that looked promising. Zpizza offers a gluten-free crust and delivery, so I would probably have ordered in if I hadn't been traveling with a posse. The Aroma Club also had some possibilities, though their hours didn't match well with my free time from the conference.
All in all, I had a great trip and was really pleased with my dining out experiences. Thanks, Reno!
I meant to shout about these from the mountaintops before now! I no longer need to schlep my tasty treats with self-conscious gluten-free designation done with blue painters tape and sharpie marker. Cute tooth picks and pan tags bring my gluten-free fare out of the closet for potlucks and block parties. I especially love that the pan tags are oven-safe, microwave-safe and dishwasher safe. Check out the whole line at www.glutenfreelabels.com.