Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Adventures in gluten free cooking... the good, the bad, and the ugly....

The bad......  So I decided to modify a recipe that we used to eat like gang busters around here...  a baked taco casserole thingy...  Basically uses biscuits for a base, then all the taco fixin's {yes, I said fixin's} on top.  I used my Gluten Free Bisquik {which has never failed me before} for the base...  What I did:  mixed up enough for a batch of biscuits and just pressed it into the pan.  Topped it with cooked ingredients, and baked.... What I should have done:  Made the pizza crust version which is much thinner, and requires pre-cooking.  Why:  The biscuit style crust was dense yet crumbly and wet at the same time...   hard to imagine, but that's the best way I can describe it.  It turned out super pretty, but went straight into the trash after I began to eat it...  All 9 x 13 inches of it...  Gluten free cooking fail....

See...... isn't it pretty???  But yah............ no...... el-yucko.....

The Good {and the Ugly}...  This cake was supposed to be of those imperfect smoosh unfinished cakes that you see on pinterest, all pretty and rustic looking.  However, my finished product was not so photogenic.  Some might say, a bit on the ugly side...  However, let me tell you about the taste.  It is a combination of several recipes that I put together.  I would describe it as a perfect summertime savory tropical cake.  Now you might not think that tropical and savory go together, but the cream cheese in the frosting and the fresh limes {given to me from a sweet friend grown in her own back yard} just really give it a savory feel.  The cake and the frosting are not too sweet, just sweet enough.  But very rich, I might add.  It would be a perfect cake for a brunch dessert or an afternoon treat for any guests that might need a gluten free dessert.  Disclaimer:  One must like the taste of lime and coconut in order to truly appreciate this cake...  it is not a sweet buttercream dream.... 

The cake base: {For a better tasting and super moist Gluten Free cake from a box}
1 package of Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup lemon lime soda
1 (3.4 oz) package instant coconut cream pudding mix
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix, then stir in the oil.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the soda.  Pour batter into greased and {GF} floured pan (you can use two separate pans, or cut thicker cake in half when cooled.  You might need to add 10 minutes cooking time for thicker cakes) and bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes.  Center of the cake should come out clean with your cake tester of choice.  Allow to cool. 

The filling/ topping: {Adapted from Cool Lime Colada, Pampered Chef}
2 limes
1 x 8oz package of cream cheese, softened. {I used whipped}
1 cup cold milk
1 package vanilla instant pudding and pie filling {or coconut if you are so inclined}
1 cup thawed frozen whipped topping {Cool Whip worked well}
Assorted fresh fruits such as kiwi, pineapple, peaches, mango, you get the gist....
2 TBS toasted flaked coconut {optional}
Zest limes to measure 2 teaspoons zest.  Juice limes to measure 1/4 cup juice.  Beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Gradually beat in milk, a small amount at a time, until well blended.  Add pudding mix, beat 1 minute.  Whisk in zest and juice.  Fold in whipped topping.  Spread half of the pudding mixture evenly over bottom cake layer.  Top with remaining cake layer and pudding mixture.  Top with sliced fresh fruit of your choice and sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  {I also made my topping ahead of time, and refrigerated it until my cake was cool - added to the fluffy and thick texture of it...}

I really like this cake for a summery yum.  I have no idea if it would freeze well or not, but I suspect without the fruit it might be fine.  I really liked the taste of kiwi's on this cake, next time I will put twice as many on top.... 

Well, I hope you are inspired to try to modify some of your old favorites to suit your new Gluten Free lifestyle.  Happy cooking!!!

1 comment:

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