Carol Fenster is an internationally recognized expert on gluten-free cooking and is the founder and president of Savory Palate, Inc., a company that provides information for the gluten-free lifestyle.
"The recipes in this book were selected from my award-winning 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes, the largest gluten-free cookbook ever published. My goal for this smaller, very useful book," says Fenster, "is to give home cooks the 'must-have' recipes, the dishes people ask me for again and again, along with just-what-you-need-to-know information to make the book a go-to guide for people living the gluten-free life."
This book has delicious recipes in every category. I'm going to start with chewy granola bars, sun-dried tomato quiche, banana bread, chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese and basic pastry crust. After all, I am all about classic comfort food!
A lot of the recipes call for a blend of gluten-free flours (I used all Bob's Red Mill products) that you can combine in quantity and then measure out for recipes.
Carol's Sorghum Blend
(Makes 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch or cornstarch (I used potato starch)
1 cup tapioca flour
Whisk the ingredients together until well blended. Store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place for up to 3 months. You may refrigerate or freeze the blend, but bring to room temperature before using. You may double or triple the recipe.
(The cupcake recipe below is written out a little differently from the book; for example, not offering the ingredient options that I didn't use or the layer cake directions. And, since I was using the oil rather than the butter option, I mixed the sugar with the oil and eggs rather than with the dry ingredients.)
Devil's Food Layer Cake
(Makes 16 or 17 cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups Carol's Sorghum Blend
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Milk to measure 1 cup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 2½-inch paper bake cups in one 12-cup and one 6-cup standard muffin tin; one or two cups will be empty.
2 In medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, cocoa, xanthan gum, salt and soda; set aside. In glass measure, combine vinegar and milk; let stand 10 minutes to thicken slightly, and stir in vanilla extract.
3 In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat sugar and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
4 Using a 1/4-cup measure, fill the bake cups with a scant 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 to 20 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick.
5 Immediately remove from pans and cool on wire rack for an hour. They must be thoroughly cool before frosting.
(Recipes for Carol's Sorghum Blend and Devil's Food Layer Cake from 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes
by Carol Fenster - Wiley; August 2010; hardover/$16.95)
My Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar, unsifted
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk (I used rice milk)
In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar, cocoa, espresso powder and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and milk; beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. You will likely have to add the liquid ingredients before adding all the powdered sugar.
With a pastry bag fitted with a 2D (sometimes I use a 1M) tip, pipe frosting on cupcakes in a classic swirl.