Easy Nutella Chocolate Mousse
1

With my children away at sleepaway camp for a few weeks, there’s a whole lot of pressure on my husband—to eat. I’m not one of those uber-annoying food bloggers who, … more »

Easy Nutella Chocolate Mousse

With my children away at sleepaway camp for a few weeks, there’s a whole lot of pressure on my husband—to eat. I’m not one of those uber-annoying food bloggers who, like, never ever eats what she makes. I’m not even sure why that’s annoying, since what’s the difference to you if I eat it or if I don’t. But I do eat it. Sometimes, it’s not my favorite, and I keep that to myself for obvious reasons. But mostly I’ll eat anything, anything at all. Here’s the thing, though: I’m only one person. And sometimes I have to make things like this smooth and dreamy, Easy Nutella Chocolate Mousse a few times before I get it just right. My husband eats later than the kids during the week, so he usually gets what’s left. Poor guy. But with the kids away? His cup (and his plate) runneth over.

Easy Nutella Chocolate Mousse—Step by Step

This is a lot like the chocolate mousse from the Gluten Free Chocolate Mousse Cake that is the cake of my dreams. But, um, it’s Nutella chocolate mousse. Come to think of it, you could use this mousse in place of that one in that cake, and blow everyone’s mind.

Easy Nutella Chocolate Mousse

Something else this simple chocolate mousse has going for it? Very nice, long refrigerator life. It keeps beautifully in the refrigerator for days and days. So I don’t have to force my husband and my neighbors to eat too much of a very, very good and velvety chocolate thing until the kids come home.

Prep time: 15 minutes       Cook time: none       Yield: About 6 servings
Ingredients

1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-processed is best, but natural will work, too)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water (about 85°F)

9 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

8 tablespoons (148 g) Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread

2 cups (16 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream

Whipped cream and chocolate shavings, for serving (optional)

Directions
  • In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder into the warm water until it dissolves completely. Set it aside. In a small, heat-safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate, and place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the chocolate over the simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave in short, 30-second bursts, stirring well in between.) Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and add the Nutella and the cocoa powder dissolved in water into it, whisking until smooth. The mixture should be relatively thick but smooth and shiny. Set the bowl aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream on medium-high speed until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl of whipped cream slowly, carefully folding the ingredients together and taking care not to deflate the whipped cream more than necessary. Fold until no white streaks remain.

  • Transfer the mousse to a large pastry bag fitted with a large, plain, open piping tip. Pipe the mousse into small ramekins, jars or a well-greased miniature cheesecake pan. Place in the refrigerator to chill until firm (about 2 hours). Serve chilled, with the (optional) whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. If you haven’t yet, won’t you pick you your copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread? It means so much to me. :)

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/easy-nutella-chocolate-mousse/
Gluten Free Zucchini Parmesan
15

I don’t know what it’s like by you this summer, but for us? It’s all zucchini, all the time. Every morning, my husband marches into the kitchen with his very, very … more »

Gluten Free Zucchini Parmesan

I don’t know what it’s like by you this summer, but for us? It’s all zucchini, all the time. Every morning, my husband marches into the kitchen with his very, very local (so chic!) backyard zucchini harvest, and I won’t lie: my heart kind of sinks. I’m hoping for tomatoes, even though I know they’re weeks away still (why do my tomatoes always take so long to turn red?!), and here he is. Again, with the zucchini. I’ve gotten pretty creative over the years with gluten free zucchini recipes, but my kitchen antics always prove no match for summer’s relentless annual bumper crop. I know I know. First world problems. But still. Last week, it was Gluten Free Zucchini Yeast Bread. This week? Gluten Free Zucchini Parmesan. Layer it up, all eggplan-parm-style. Or …

Gluten Free Zucchini Parmesan

Just enjoy them with some tomato sauce for dipping, just as they are baked. It’s easy! And unlike some zucchini recipes, you use up a ton of your zucchini crop.

Gluten Free Zucchini Parmesan

You can see (and could have guessed) how easy it is to make zucchini-parm. But what you might not be able to tell from the step by step photos above? In the summertime, my favorite recipe for simple tomato sauce is better than ever because of a secret ingredient: shredded fresh zucchini! To my basic recipe, I add two simple things: a small can of tomato paste, and 2 medium fresh zucchini, pureed. It gives a surprising depth of flavor to the sauce, and, of all things, makes it creamy. Creamy! Amazing.

Gluten Free Zucchini Parmesan

Oh, zucchini. You are an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Next year, maybe we’ll just grow cucumbers…

Prep time: 20 minutes       Cook time: 15 to 25 minutes       Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients

4 medium-sized zucchini or yellow squash, washed and dried well

1/4 cup (35 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used my Better Than Cup4Cup blend)

2 eggs (120 g, out of shell), beaten with 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk

2 cups gluten free breadcrumbs

3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely shredded

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups (16 fluid ounces) tomato sauce

10 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line large rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • Slice the zucchini (or yellow squash) into 1/4-inch thick rounds and place them in a large bowl. If you have a mandolin slicer, set it to the largest slicing setting. Add the flour to the bowl of zucchini slices and toss to coat completely, prying open any slices that have stuck together.

  • Place the eggs, beaten with milk, in another large, flat bowl. Place the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, garlic powder and salt in a large, flat bowl, beside the egg mixture. Place the lined baking sheets next to the breadcrumb mixture. Dip each slice of zucchini in the egg mixture, allow all of the excess egg to drip back into the bowl, and the press both sides into the breadcrumb mixture.  Place each slice on the prepared baking sheets, side by side. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until soft to the touch & golden brown, about 15  minutes. The zucchini slices can be enjoyed just like this, with some tomato sauce for dipping.

  • To make a more traditional eggplant-parm-type dish, reduce your oven temperature to 350°F. Cover the bottom of a 9-inch x 12-inch baking dish with about 1/2 cup tomato sauce, then place baked zucchini slices on top of the sauce in a single layer, cover each slice with sauce, and top with shredded cheese. Repeat the zucchini slice, tomato sauce then cheese, layering the slices on top of one another, until you reach the top of your dish, finishing with a layer of shredded cheese. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. Which Gluten-Free on a Shoestring cookbooks do you have? Pick them up today! Your support keeps the blog going and the books coming!

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-zucchini-parmesan/
Fresh Gluten Free Tortellini
20

Let’s be real. I don’t make fresh gluten free tortellini, or any sort of fresh pasta, every day. Who has time for such things?! But every time I do make … more »

Fresh Gluten Free Tortellini

Let’s be real. I don’t make fresh gluten free tortellini, or any sort of fresh pasta, every day. Who has time for such things?! But every time I do make fresh pasta, I’m struck by a few things that I may as well share with you, since the other real thing is that, of course, I’m looking to convert you if you aren’t inclined to make it yourself:

Fresh Gluten Free Tortellini

1. You can do it in stages. You don’t really want to wait too long after making the dough before you shape and cut it, but after that? You can stack it up, wrap it tightly and freeze it for months, even. Just defrost in the refrigerator before using it. You can even shape and fill it, freeze it in a single layer on a baking sheet and then pile it into a zip top freezer bag and stick it in the freezer. Then, boil it right from frozen. 2. It’s quite meditative. Particularly when you’re filling cheese tortellini, it’s a task you can lose yourself in quite easily, and in a very good way. Finally 3. The filling part is definitely something you can train small children fingers to do. Currently, I have no small children at home (all 3 at sleepaway camp for a few weeks), but if I did, you’d better believe all 30 fingers among them (3 children—sorry about the math) would be pressed into tortellini service.

Fresh Gluten Free Tortellini

Oh, and one more thing: You can’t do a tortellini search on the Interwebs without finding some tutorial or other about how to shape tortellini, but none of them (until now!) tells you what I believe to be the most important part of tortellini shaping. Here goes: after placing filling in the center of the fresh pasta round and folding the round in half, you have to pinch the shape right in the middle of the filled center before drawing the edges together. You have to! See the step by steps above, and read through the instructions below thoroughly, and then get your hands on some fresh gluten free pasta—and you’ll see just what I mean. Trust me. I’m a professional and stuff.

Prep time: 30 minutes       Cook time: 5 minutes       Yield: About 160 tortellini
Ingredients

Fresh Pasta*
2 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons (375 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter), plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

45 grams (about 5 tablespoons) Expandex modified tapioca starch**

2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) + 2 egg yolks at room temperature, beaten

1 tablespoon (14 g) extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lukewarm water, plus more by the quarter-teaspoonful as necessary

**For information on where to find Expandex, please see the Resources page. For information on how to replace Expandex with Ultratex 3, readily available in most countries outside the United States, in the gluten free bread recipes in GFOAS Bakes Bread, scroll to #6 in Resources. I have not yet tested Ultratex 3 in this recipe, but I would recommend trying a mix of 405 grams all purpose gluten free flour + 15 grams Ultratex 3 in place of the blend above. Ultratex 3 is at least 3 times as strong as Expandex.

*For a fresh gluten free pasta recipe that doesn’t use Expandex, please see this post.

Filling
8 ounces low moisture ricotta cheese

10 leaves fresh basil, chopped fine

For serving
2 medium fresh zucchini

1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Coarse salt, to taste

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions
  • Make the pasta dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum and Expandex, and whisk to combine well with a separate handheld whisk. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, olive oil and 1/4 cup warm water, and mix to combine. The dough should come together. If there are any crumbly bits, add more remaining warm water by the quarter-teaspoonful until the dough holds together well when squeezed with your hands. Knead together until the dough is smooth and pliable. If it feels stiff, add a few more drops of water and mix in until pliable. It should be, at most, slightly sticky but mostly just smooth.

  • Cut out the pasta. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it tightly and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. The dough will absorb more water and any remaining stickiness should dissipate. Unwrap the dough, divide it in half and return half of it to the plastic wrap and wrap tightly to prevent it from drying out. Place the remaining half of the dough on a very lightly floured surface, sprinkle very lightly with more flour and roll into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.* Flip and shift the dough often to prevent it from sticking, sprinkling only very lightly with more flour as necessary to allow movement. Continue to roll out the dough until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Remove and gather the trimmings, and reroll them as possible. If you sprinkle the dough with too much flour during shaping, you won’t be able to reroll the trimmings. Repeat with the remaining dough.

    *For instructions on how to roll out the dough using a hand-crank pasta machine, please see this post.

  • Fill and shape the pasta. Place the filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Place about 1/4-teaspoon of filling in the center of each round of pasta. Moisten the edges of each round with water in your fingertips, and fold each round in half, sealing in the filling, and making sure to squeeze out any air that might get trapped. Gently pinch the filled pasta in the middle, right in the center of the filling, and bring together the edges, forcing the filled center to further pucker. Moisten and press the edges together to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and filling.

  • Cook the pasta and prepare for serving. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a rolling boil. Place the filled and shaped tortellini pasta in the pot and stir to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Depending upon the size of your pot, you may have to cook the tortellini in batches to prevent crowding. Boil for about 2 minutes, or until the tortellini float in the pasta water and have become more yellow in color. Using a slotted spoon or spider strainer, remove the cooked tortellini from the pasta water, drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat. To serve over zucchini, trim the zucchini ends and cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler, and toss the zucchini ribbons with olive oil and coarse salt to taste. Also using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into ribbons, and toss with the zucchini. Place the cooked tortellini on top of the zucchini and serve immediately.

  • Adapted from the Fresh Pasta recipe (page 43) in the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring (Copyright © 2011) and the Flour Tortillas (page 203) in Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread (Copyright © 2013).

Love,
Me

 

P.S. Don’t have your copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread yet? What are you waiting for?! :)

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/fresh-gluten-free-tortellini/
Super Fluffy Gluten Free English Muffins
23

These super fluffy gluten free English muffins have nooks and crannies that will put Thomas to shame in a hurry. Once they’re cooled and fork-split, they freeze perfectly. And you … more »

Super Fluffy Gluten Free English Muffins

These super fluffy gluten free English muffins have nooks and crannies that will put Thomas to shame in a hurry. Once they’re cooled and fork-split, they freeze perfectly. And you can even finish them in a toaster oven instead of a traditional oven so your kitchen stays cool. Clearly, they’re a breakfast home run. I started out thinking I was making gluten free English crumpets—those cousins of gluten free English muffins that remind me of sturdier pancakes that are cooked on one side only, until bubbles break through the surface. I started with the recipe for gluten free English Muffins from page 118 of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread (which is adapted from the recipe for English Muffin Bread from page 74), and went from there.

Super Fluffy Gluten Free English Muffins

The difference between the dough for crumpets and the dough for English muffins is mostly one of hydration percentages: Crumpet dough is more like pancake batter than any bread dough, English muffin dough seems kind of like how pre-gluten-free-bread-revolution gluten free bread dough—very, very wet (although not quite freely pourable).

Super Fluffy Gluten Free English Muffins

So what’s the difference between the English muffins from GFOAS Bakes Bread and these super fluffy English muffins? A few things, but it’s also mostly a matter of hydration. I won’t bore you with more of the details. I hear the devil is in there anyway.

Super Fluffy Gluten Free English Muffins—Step by Step

Here’s what you need to know about making these muffins: they’re ridiculously easy. Just mix up the dough (with a whisk!), set it to rise for about 30 minutes, mix in the salt and baking powder right before filling English muffin rings (1-inch rings cut from empty aluminum cans work just fine, if you don’t have actual rings) and letting them cook. Finish them in the oven or the toaster oven (or even in the skillet!) and let them cool.

Super Fluffy Gluten Free English Muffins

I do have to insist that you split them properly, with a fork, though. Otherwise? No nooks, not to mention crannies. And that’s the whole point here, isn’t it? Stay tuned for traditional English crumpets, but for now I think these will do. :)

Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook time: 15 minutes       Yield: 9 English Muffins
Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (350 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour*

1 tablespoon (12 g) sugar

1 2/3 teaspoon (5 g) instant yeast

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (9 fluid ounces) warm milk (about 95°F)

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces/10 fluid ounces) warm water (about 95°F)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon (4 g) kosher salt

*BREAD FLOUR NOTES

  1. 1 cup (140 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour, as discussed more fully on pages 8 to 10 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, contains 100 grams Mock Better Batter all purpose gluten free flour (or Better Batter itself) + 25 grams whey protein isolate (I use NOW Foods brand) + 15 grams Expandex modified tapioca starch.
  2. For a calculator that helps you build the flour using my Mock Better Batter, but without doing any math, please see my Gluten Free Flour page.
  3. If you would like to use Ultratex 3 in place of Expandex, please see #6 on my Resources page for instructions.
Directions
  • Place the flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and whisk to combine well. Add the milk and water, whisking to combine well after each addition. The dough will be very wet, and should have a consistency that is slightly thicker than pancake batter. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free location to rise for about 30 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size. Line two small, rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside. Preheat your oven to 325°F.**

    **To avoid turning on your oven, you can either finish baking the English muffins in a toaster oven preheated to the same temperature, or try covering your skillet once the muffins are on the second side, reducing the heat to low and cooking until the internal temperature of the muffins reaches 195°F.

  • Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, or heat a griddle to medium. While the pan or griddle is heating, grease four metal English muffin rings (1-inch rings cut from empty aluminum cans also work well) and place them in the hot pan or griddle. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the baking powder and salt. Uncover the bowl of dough and mix in the baking powder and salt. Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop (or two spoons), fill the English muffin rings about three-quarters of the way full with the dough. Allow the muffins to cook for about 5 minutes before using tongs or a spatula to flip the rings with the muffins inside and cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes or until the underside of the muffins is lightly golden brown. Transfer the muffins in the rings to a prepared baking sheet, carefully remove the rings using the tongs, and place in the preheated oven (or toaster oven) to bake until the internal temperature reaches 195°F (about 7 minutes). Alternatively, cover the skillet or griddle until cooked through completely. Repeat with the remaining dough, using more greased muffin rings.

  • As soon as the muffins are finished baking or cooking, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Split each muffin with a fork by inserting the tines in the center of the muffin along the middle, parallel to the muffin itself, and gently pry open the muffin with your fingers. Serve warm. With butter. Lots of butter.

  • Adapted from the recipe for English Muffins on page 118 of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. Still don’t have a copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread? What are you waiting for? ;)

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/super-fluffy-gluten-free-english-muffins/
Gluten Free Apricot Crumble Bars
18

We were invited over someone’s house for a party last Saturday night (okay we were riding my kid’s coattails since it was a party for the families on her travel … more »

Gluten Free Apricot Crumble Bars

We were invited over someone’s house for a party last Saturday night (okay we were riding my kid’s coattails since it was a party for the families on her travel softball team, and let’s face it I never really get invited anywhere after sunset and I’d prefer not to spend too much time thinking about why). When you have a gluten free kid and you’re invited to someone else’s house, you have a couple questions to ask yourself: 1. What will I bring for my gluten free kid to eat that is portable and doesn’t need to be heated, really, and still fabulously delicious enough that he will feel proud (and hungry) to eat it? 2. What will I bring so I don’t walk in empty-handed? The answer to Question #1 this time was these Stuffed Gluten Free Soft Breadsticks (and a pasta salad). Easy. Done. The answer to Question #2 was my standard gluten free cookie that everyone in my life at all always requests  (4 dozen of them, in fact) + these gluten free apricot crumble bars. And you know what? The crumble bars went first!

Gluten Free Apricot Crumble Bars

Maybe it’s because apricots in the summertime are just.so.gorgeous. It could also have something to do with the fact that I stood by the dessert table eating one and going on and on about how delicious they were and did you know they only had just a few ingredients and were so so easy to make.

Gluten Free Apricot Crumble Bars

The crust is a simple shortbread (oh so simple!) and the topping is nothing more than shortbread dough with some cinnamon and brown sugar thrown in. The middle? Gorgeous summer apricots that bake up perfectly and would never even dream of making the shortbread soggy or the crumble topping any less perfect.

Gluten Free Apricot Crumble Bars

[Oh, and if you're a long long longtime reader of this blog and you're wondering if this is nearly deja vu all over again, you're right!]

Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook time: 40 minutes       Yield: 16 bars
Ingredients

2 1/4 cups (315 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

16 tablespoons (224 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pound ripe fresh apricots, rinsed and dried

Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a 9-inch square pan with crisscrossed sheets of unbleached parchment paper, each overhanging two opposite sides. Set the pan aside.

  • In a large bowl, place 2 cups (280 g) of the flour, the xanthan gum, granulated sugar and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, and mix to combine. The mixture should come together as a soft dough. Remove about 3/4 cup (150 g) of the dough and transfer it to a medium-size bowl. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and the remaining 1/4 cup (35  g) flour to the reserved dough, and mix to combine. This is the crumble topping. Place the bowl of crumble topping in the freezer to chill. Scrape the remaining soft shortbread dough into the prepared square pan, and press into an even layer with well-floured hands. Set the pan aside.

  • Slice each of the apricots in half, then remove and discard the pits. With a serrated knife, carefully slice the apricots into wedges, each about 1/4-inch wide, taking care not to bruise or crush the fruit. Lay the apricot slices on top of the shortbread in 4 parallel rows, from one side of the pan to the other, overlapping them slightly in each row. Remove the crumble topping from the freezer, break it up into irregular clumps with a fork, and sprinkle it in an even layer on top of the fruit. Press down on the topping gently but evenly to help the crumble topping adhere to the fruit.

  • Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is light brown in color and seems set. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely. Carefully remove the bars from the pan by the overhung parchment paper. With a very sharp knife, slice into 16 equal pieces. The top half of the bars will be moist and will not set up rock hard because of the moisture in the fruit, but will hold together when handled carefully.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. Don’t have your copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread yet? Pick one up today! Your support keeps the blog going and the books coming!

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-apricot-crumble-bars/
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