Introduction Superior Gluten-Free Baking
Are you like me—a “nourisher”? Someone who enjoys creating things that make a real difference in others’ lives? Do you enjoy making people happy—through food—and coming up with something that at once elicits oohs and aahs and makes their day?
Well, this book is definitely for you. It’s an opportunity to do all this—and much more.
When I appeared on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, one of the judges—to my surprise and delight—called me the “inspirational ‘It Girl’ for gluten-free baking.” And I’m bringing that inspiration to this book so that you, too, can wow your friends and family “judges.” With these recipes as your guide, you can create light, fluffy cakes, buttery scones, rich and impressive ice cream desserts, silky tiramisu, and more.
But, more importantly, this book is to help you discover that gluten-free baking can be tastier, better textured, and more appealing than traditional wheat-flour baking, and to make it easy for you to share your baking passion with those who eat gluten-free and still create addicting desserts for those who don’t.
I think there’s something magical about creating desserts that
• bring people together, so everyone can share the same special sweets
• are safe for your family and guests to eat, regardless of whether they
have a diagnosed gluten allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance
• taste even better than “regular,” gluten desserts, meaning that you can
indulge and still feel healthy afterward
And I’m going to share this magic with you.
Makes 12 servings (unless I’m one of the twelve: in that case, this recipe will serve 2)
There are many types of strawberry shortcake—biscuity, pound-cakey, angel food–cakey—but they all have two things in common: the lightly sweetened berries and clouds of whipped cream. I have always preferred the biscuity type, and often made these for dinner when I was in college. I couldn’t afford to buy groceries for both dinner and dessert, so, like a good little future pastry chef, I often just skipped dinner (bet you aren’t surprised).
The biscuit bottoms of this shortcake provide crunch and melt-in-your-mouth butteriness and make you feel as if you’re eating something vaguely healthy. I like my fruit to taste like fruit, so the berry mix has minimal refined sugar; I use orange juice for natural flavor and sweetness. The whipped cream is the kicker—if you’re like me and really like whipped cream, then double the amount called for. You can make the shortcakes up to a week ahead of time—just freeze them in an airtight container. Simply refresh them in a 300°F oven for 3 to 5 minutes. This is a fantastic dessert for summer dinner parties when strawberries are in their sweetest and juiciest prime.
3/4 cup / 110 g millet flour
1/2 cup / 89 g rice flour
1/2 cup / 67 g tapioca starch
1/4 cup / 47 g potato starch
2/3 cup / 151 g sugar
1 tablespoon / 14 g baking powder
2 teaspoons / 7 g orange zest
1 teaspoon / 4.7 g salt
1/2 teaspoon / .5 g xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon / 1.2 g baking soda
6 tablespoons / 76 g butter, cold and cubed
3/4 cup / 178 ml heavy cream
2 tablespoons / 30 g sanding sugar, for topping
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
To make the shortcakes, mix together the flours, starches, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, salt, xanthan gum, and baking soda. Using your fingertips (or a food processor), mix the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse pea-sized crumbs. Add the cream and combine just until moistened. Spoon 12 golf ball–sized lumps 3 inches apart on the baking sheet and press gently to flatten. Shortcakes will spread during baking. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the topping sugar over each shortcake and bake until lightly golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 12 to 18 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Rinse and drain the berries. Slice off the stems and cut into 1/4-inch slices, or cut in half before slicing if the berries are very large. Place the sliced berries in a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and the orange zest, and gently stir to coat. Pour the orange juice over the strawberries and chill until ready to serve, up to 4 hours.
To make the whipped cream, chill a mixing bowl and add the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and orange juice. Whip on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy and medium peaks hold.
To serve, place one shortcake at the bottom of a small bowl. Stir the berries to mix them up with the juice, and divide the berries and the juice among the bowls. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the berry stack and devour!
Excerpted from Sweet Cravings by Kyra Bussanich. Copyright © 2013 by Kyra Bussanich. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.