Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cashew Frosting, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Sugar Free, Paleo

I think my favorite thing above all to make is cupcakes. Not because I have books and books on different kinds, and they are super simple. You could bring cupcakes to every event you go to for 10 years and never bring the same kind! 
I am going to a Birthday this weekend, and I of course am bringing the cake!!! Not just because I love cake, and it's fun to make, but because then I can eat it and so can everyone else without even knowing the difference. 
I get stupid disappointed when I go somewhere and the gorgeous chocolate cake is made from crappy GMO wheat flour.. bleh.. What the hell!? Didn't anyone know I would be there and expect that I could eat the cake? 
Since are lifestyle has changed I have been using such different ingredients all the time it has opened my eyes broadly towards alternative ingredients. 
Like who says butter cream has to be made from dairy butter? Or who says you need milk for the base? Why cornstarch? 
You know a lot of people still don't know that icing sugar is paired with cornstarch in the bag? I think one of the funniest moments in my life is when I found out that brown sugar is still WHITE cane sugar, it's just smothered in molasses. Molasses is just a sugary residue leftover from manufacturing sugar! Sugar on top of sugar, HA who would have thunk?
Not that I have anything against sugar, I just never knew. It's not like I went out of my way to discover it. I mean if you already have white sugar why make it brown? Why make cheese orange?!?!? Why does Coca-Cola need caramel color!?!? Oh so many questions...
SO, anyways, when I heard told that a chocolate cake with a vanilla topping was so called desired, I was so excited!!
Chocolate cake, easy peasy. Vanilla, bah so many options. THEN I got the "dairy free" notice. Okay, no biggie. I know how to do it, but I have never actually done it, probably because I have just not had the desire to all of a sudden make dairy free frosting. I decided to go with a vegan chocolate cake (just to help eliminate any allergens) and it turned out quite nice and fudgy. 
The only dairy free frosting I make often is coconut whip (which is delicious on waffles btw). Today I didn't want to make coconut whip, I wanted to go for it, and dive in to a dairy free frosting. 
You could call this primal, or paleo because there is no corn starch or sugar. If you don't like coconut milk, you can sub in almond, or cashew without a doubt. 
I don't mind coconut, and I must say I don't even notice the coconut in the frosting.
If you don't like cashews, you could use.. macadamia nuts, or walnuts, or pecans. Doesn't matter really, I LOVE cashews, as a nut, as a waffle, and as a piece of bread.
They are buttery and soft and have no distinct flavor. 
I think the best part of this frosting is it looks like regular frosting. Not chunky and nutty, it's not like you look at and just know there is something "different" then icing sugar and butter whipped together. You wouldn't know. In fact, there is one lonely cupcake sitting in my counter right now, just waiting for hubby. Do you think he knows? Not a chance. Will he hate it, nope. Do you know how I know? Because he loves me so much that even if it's awful he'll shovel it in. So if this frosting sucks, I wouldn't know. Besides the delicious two I ate, I will just have to wait until Saturday to find out how gross they are.
If you have a mediocre food processor, you may end up with a chunkier textured frosting. Don't fret, it will still taste the same, just not look as fantastic as mine. I had to run my fantastic Kitchen-aid for a couple minutes to get it the texture I wanted.

 Cashew Creme Frosting - Dairy free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Sugar Free, Primal, Paleo

In a Food Processor:
1 C raw whole cashews 

       (sub macadamia, walnut, almonds, etc)
1/2 C raw chopped blanched almonds
1/4 C raw agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, coconut sap
1/4 C Full Fat Coconut Milk, Cashew milk, almond milk etc.
Puree. Scrape down sides.

Add to processor while spinning:
1/4 C plus 1 T Full fat Coconut Milk, cashew milk, almond milk etc.
1/4 C plus 2 T melted organic coconut oil or clarified butter
1 T real vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

Puree 1-3 minutes scraping down sides until smooth and creamy. 

For a "cream cheese" taste add 1-2 t lemon juice

Once you are happy with the texture, place covered in the refrigerator for 30min to 1 hour. Stir the frosting before use to check for the consistency. If the frosting is too stiff, let sit at room temperature until spreadable. 
 I took mind directly out of the fridge and placed it in my icing bag and frosted my cupcakes immediately. I then places the cupcakes back in the fridge for safe keeping. 

Because there is no starch used in this recipe if the frosting gets warmer then room temperature it will start to melt or run. So best to keep them chilled until eating. 

 I topped my cupcakes with "sprinkles". I don't actually buy sprinkles anymore, as they are corn syrup, high fructose and colors. I get my colored or flavored sugars from an organic spice dealer. 
(I have placed my favorite places to shop in my side bar). Organic sugar, is not processed or bleached and not nearly as bad for you. It is still very high in my Glycemic index which is why it should be eaten in moderation. I also really enjopy how their sugar is flavored with natural sources, cocoa powder, lemon, strawberry, vanilla etc. I have never received a headache from a pinch of flavored sugar on my cupcakes, so I go ahead and indulge.
I like pretending I can eat amazing sugar high cupcakes just like everyone else, except I don't :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Grain Free French Bread Baguette - Gluten Free, Dairy Free*, Primal

I have some UBER exciting news!!!! A friend of mine is featuring a recipe of mine directly on her site! I am so excited to share it with you, as I worked hard to come up with the recipe just for them. 
Get the recipe for Grain Free French Bread "Baguette" here!! 
And, of course, if you ever want me to write a recipe for you.. Ya know where to find me;)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Banana "Cream" Pudding - Gluten Free, Grain Free, Sugar Free

Yes it's me! I did survive the Holidays!
I had originally planned to add some great holiday recipes to the list, but then I got distracted, got behind with orders, got behind in making gifts, got behind in making baking, and just really got behind.. sigh.
So I decided to save myself the stress and not worry about it. It also greatly helped me to chuck the delicious food in the freezer to save me from myself and indulging. 
SOOOO.. here I was today, wanting something new, fresh, chilled and easy. I ran through a bunch of my favorite books and got some ideas and then I landed upon a page dear to my heart. Banana Cream Pie, oh how I love thee:) 
Well, I didn't feel like making a crust, or going fancy with the gelatin and so I thought how delicious would it be to have the scrumptious banana cream all on it's own? 
I discovered that it's called Banana Pudding on Google lol. But I didn't want to use starch or flour.
The traditional Banana Cream Pie (before the days of processed Cool Whip and JELLO Instant Pudding Powder), Was a classic custard made with flour egg yolks and sugar. You of course can find a ton of Gluten Free Banana Cream filling recipes. You can also find Primal ones with almond butter that bake into a gooey center. 
I just picked a couple different recipes out of my books (as I usually do) and I figured that I would either end up with a pudding or a cold soup. Either way, I would eat it and learn. 
This delicious pudding is made from bananas with only a splash of agave to help thicken and Coconut Butter as the primary thickening agent. I did use egg yolks, but unless you use a lot more of them and stir in the classic half a cup of flour, it's hard to get a thick pudding.
I used three bananas for the filling that were prviously frozen, that I just thawed and mashed. You will get a great result using fresh bananas as long as they are black and ripe. If not I would suggest using a sweetener to taste. I loved the rustic texture of my hand stirred pudding, if you want it to be whipped and smooth, throw it in a food processor before refrigerating. You can use this pudding as a banana cream pie filling. Pre bake your crust or use a no bake (such as in my cheesecake recipe) and chill the pudding. Once chilled, place in the pie shell and freeze. Just top with Coconut Whip cream and slice.
I found this pudding to be stupid good, like soo good on my way down the stairs to go order more bananas I had to refill my bowl. It's like a banana cream pie without the pie or a banana bread without the bread, or a banana pancake without the pancake. Pile on those walnuts and chow down on this delicious chilly goodness. 
You could make it fancy and throw in some chocolate chips!

Banana Cream Pudding - Gluten Free, Grain free, Sugar Free

This is for my mom who tried to make banana cream pie with an avocado :)

Place in a small glass bowl:

1 sliced banana 
2 t lime juice

Place in refrigerator.

 In a saucepan over medium heat: 

1.5 C Organic milk, cashew milk or coconut milk
2 organic egg yolks
2 t real vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Stir constantly until bubbly and starting to thicken. 

Pour in 3 T warm and soft coconut butter**

Whisk continuously until pudding is thick and no coconut butter remains. Pour into a glass bowl on the side. 

In the same sauce pan over medium heat:

3 mashed bananas
3 dashes of cinnamon
2 T butter or coconut oil
splash of real vanilla extract

Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until banana is browned and heated through. Add the bananas to the custard and mix well together. For a smooth texture puree in a processor. For a chunky texture mix by hand.
Cover with plastic wrap. Place the plastic wrap all the way down into the bowl so it covers and sits on top of the top of the pudding. This will prevent a skin from forming. 
Chill in  the refrigerator for an hour or more until gelatinous.

Scoop into a bowl and place three chilled sliced bananas with lime juice on top, and sprinkle with chopped raw walnuts. 
Though the coconut butter was used I didn't taste in in the recipe so don't be afraid.


** The coconut butter is used to thicken the pudding. If you don't have coconut butter, you could use cashew or almond butter. Using a nut butter though may change the taste and make it nutty. Otherwise you can sub in coconut flour or corn starch by the teaspoon until it's thick to your satisfaction. **

Using coconut butter to thicken is a great way without using starch or flour. It can be deceiving though as it will not start to show exactly how thick it is until the pudding cools. You will see an immediate thicken but it will become a pudding texture until after chilling versus a soup texture while it's hot.

If you use too much coconut butter you may end up with an ice cream texture you could eat frozen. yum!