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Posts tagged ‘gluten-free flour’

Chocolate and the Beet…

How do I even begin to explain myself? Putting puréed beets into a beautiful and already delicious chocolate cake!

Well, I have mentioned before, that I am trying out some recipes from my favorite cookbook Tender by Nigel Slater, adapting some of the recipes to suit my gluten-free kick. So far I had worked up the lamb and beet meatballs with fresh tzatziki sauce, which left me with plenty of beets in the fridge. Working with beets is fun and I love the pretty colors and how much they stain your hands. However, up to this point, I had added raw shaved beets to salads, roasted them to perfection, and gently boiled them, but never had I actually baked with them. Now adding beets to sweet treats is not total insanity or an I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-these-leftovers crisis. Most of us have turned over our favorite Wholefoods treat or even cereal to find beet sugar in the ingredients list. Beets are super sweet and of course a natural replacement for refined sugars which I really like as a healthy alternative. The really great part about using them in this recipe is that the cake stays incredibly moist even if not enjoyed in one day! It will surprise you how elusive the beet is once married to the intensity of the chocolate.

So why not give some boiled beets a whirl around the blender and try this recipe out next time you have a hankering for a hunk of cake! (this recipe was approved by my husband, the doorman, and two unsuspecting neighbors)

Raw Cocoa + Beet Cake with Crème Fraîche Icing (serves 8-10)

Adapted from the recipe in Tender

8 oz of fresh beets

7 oz of fine dark chocolate, I used Valrhona 61% chocolate but you could easily use 70% or more

4 tbsp of hot espresso, I used Dean & Deluca’s espresso

200 grams of butter, cubed, I used goats milk butter and a touch of olive oil equal to 200 g

135 g all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour mix (add xanthan gum)

1 heaping tsp baking powder

3 heaping tbsp raw cocoa powder

5 fresh farm eggs

1 scant cup of super fine sugar


1 small container of quality crème fraîche

Blue poppy seeds to sprinkle over top

Grease an 8 inch spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F/180C

Boil the beets whole, in unsalted water until you can pierce them with a knife, usually 20-40 minutes depending on size. Drain and let cool under cool water. Then peel them with your fingers (the skins should just slip off) and remove stems. Drop them into a blender or food processor and spin to a coarse purée.

On the stove top, prepare a double broiler (sauce pan with an inch or two of water, with a glass bowl over top careful not to have the bowl touch the water). Since I broke my glass bowl a few weeks back I used my two sauce pans with the larger one on-top of the smaller one. Add the chocolate chunks to the bowl while simmering the water on low-ish heat. Do not stir! When the chocolate looks close to melted, pour the hot espresso over it and stir once, add the olive oil and cubed butter pushing it underneath the chocolate. Let the butter soften in the chocolate bath.

Sift the flour, baking powder and raw cocoa powder in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer, I beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and reserved the yolks, slightly mixed, for the chocolate. Once the butter has melted, let it sit to cool. Then add the egg yolks quickly, firmly, mix to combine. Fold in the beet purée, set aside.

Fold in the powdered sugar to the egg whites, then fold the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture. Careful not to over mix and deflate the egg whites. Lastly, fold in the flour mixture and transfer to a the spring form pan.

Pop the pan in the oven and decrease the temperature to 325F/160C and bake for 45 – 55 minutes. The middle will be a little giggly when the pan is wiggled. Let the cake cool completely! This will be challenging since your kitchen will smell divine but hang in there, it only gets better!

Once cooled, loosen the edges and remove the outer form. Place the cake on plate or cake stand. (I iced my slices individually since my husband didn’t care for the tartness of the crème fraîche. Alternatively you could sweeten the crème fraîche with a little sugar if you prefer.) Slice or leave the cake whole, then dress with the crème fraîche and liberally sprinkle the poppy seeds all over. Enjoy!!!

You could make this recipe in cupcake or silicon forms for individual size portions and for a fun and healthy kids treat.

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Gluten-Free Popovers with Strawberry + Citrus Honey Mash

Ah the popover, one of the most amazing culinary marvels to grace tables. It’s fluffy texture is a freak of nature really, its loose runny dough expands to great heights once placed into a piping hot oven only to emerge this golden puff of doughy goodness…

So in the name of research for the cookbook along with holistic inspiration from my dear friend Heather Hudak, I embarked on a mission this week to make three amazing dishes all gluten-free! First up, POPOVERS! I thought about this long and hard, of course I LOVE bread and even more so, my knees go weak for warm bread. Wanting to make something incredibly delicious for the GF fans of How to Eat n’ Drink, I gave popovers a go… Now this popover had to be perfect with a beautiful golden crust on the outside and gorgeously tender on the inside. It also had to smell like a popover and taste like one too… Here it goes.

For the flour, you can mix your own blend of various gluten-free flours like fava or garbanzo bean flour or you can buy a pre-mixed blend like Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour. I used Bob’s mainly because I’m somewhat new to GF baking, and since no one wants to choke down a rubbery popover! All of the other ingredients are from various local dairy farms in my area, which makes for a very fresh tasting popover. Now you can leave the recipe as is or mix in fresh herbs to compliment your main dish, since we were testing this recipe I wanted to make sure it was successful in its purest form. (Of course after eating a few, my husband and I muddled strawberries and honey together for an after dinner treat)

Note: You do NOT need a popover pan! Use a muffin pan or silicon mold or even ramekins set on a baking tray. If you really are in a pinch, a clean aluminum can greased up will do, just make sure to use small cans or your popover will be huge! Feel free to double this recipe if you need more based on the size of mold used.

Gluten-Free Popovers

Gluten-Free Popovers (makes 24 small popovers or 12 standard size)

3 Large Farm Eggs

1 Cup Whole Milk or Whole Goats Milk

3 Tablespoons Butter* or Goats Milk Butter, melted + a little extra for brushing

1 Cup GF All Purpose Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

*olive oil could be used for brushing

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the silicon molds or ramekins on a baking sheet. Brush the inside of the molds with butter or olive oil so the popovers don’t stick. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat until uniform in color and throughly combined. Then add the milk and melted butter mixing again to combine. Gradually stir in the flour and salt just until smooth, careful not to over mix. If your batter was lumpy like mine try passing it through a sieve to smooth it out. Pour the mixture into the molds filling almost to the top. Carefully place the trays into the oven and bake for roughly 40-50 minutes depending on the size of your molds. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!!! I know, it’s tempting but seriously, leave it! Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven, then tip them out once they are cooled slightly. (They will have doubled in size and should be golden brown) Serve warm in a bread basket or wooden dish.

Strawberry + Citrus Honey Mash

Several very ripe strawberries (I used the almost “dead” ones in my fridge)

1 teaspoon of quality citrus blossom honey

Muddle the strawberries and honey together in a small bowl and allow to macerate for 5 minutes. Spoon over the cracked open popovers and enjoy!


Note: Where you can find amazing holistic healthy advice from Heather Hudak is:

Next up: Beet & Lamb GF Meatballs!!!!!