Gluten-Free Baking Tip

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/27/gluten-free-baking-tips-2/

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/?p=122263

Have you ever found a recipe that looks so amazing and you want to make it so badly, but you can’t because it’s not gluten-free?

I know I have and if you’re gluten-free or know someone who is, I’m guessing this is an all too familiar feeling for you as well. So what do you do? Well you can either give up or you can try your hand at converting the recipe.

As bakers, we encourage you never to give up – we want to see you succeed! So today we’ve got a handy little trick for converting traditional recipes to be gluten-free. This gluten-free baking tip, which I know you’ll find super helpful, works for stir-together recipes like muffins, quick breads, donuts, coffee cakes, etc. – but not for yeast breads, cookies, pizzas or other recipes that require kneading, rising, or creaming butter and sugar together.

Making a standard recipe gluten-free – easy as 1-2-3.

  • First, replace the flour in the recipe with an equal amount of King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour.
  • Next, substitute 1 large egg for 1/4 cup of the recipe’s liquid: milk, water, or oil. The protein in egg helps add the structure gluten-free baked goods lack, resulting in better texture.
  • Finally, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum – again, for help with structure and texture.

To demonstrate how this works, here are few recipes we’ve successfully tested with this method:

gluten-free-pumpkin-doughnuts-2

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Doughnuts

Here we replaced the flour with our gluten-free flour, substituted 1/4 cup of the oil with an egg and added 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum. The doughnuts were perfect!

Gluten-Free Cake Pan Cake via @kingarthurflour

Gluten-Free Cake Pan Cake

Again, we started by substituting the flour with our gluten-free flour, then replaced 1/2 cup of water with 2 eggs and added 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum. Once again, the cake tasted just like the original!


And here are just a few more recipes to try!

Doughnut Muffins via @kingarthurflour

Donut Muffins

Here’s what we recommend trying:

  • Replace flour with gluten-free flour
  • Replace 1/4 cup milk with 1 egg
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Apple Cinnamon Muffins via @kingarthurflourApple Muffins

Here’s what we recommend trying:

  • Replace flour with gluten-free flour
  • Replace 1/4 cup buttermilk with 1 egg
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

King Arthur Flour Banana Bread via @kingarthurflour

Banana Bread

Here’s what we recommend trying:

  • Replace flour with gluten-free flour
  • Replace ¼ cup butter with 1 egg
  • Add ½ teaspoon xanthan gum

And now we’d love to hear from you! If you try this tip on any of our recipes, or even your own recipes, please leave us a comment and let us know how they turn out. Happy Baking!

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How to assemble and frost a layer cake

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/25/assemble-frost-layer-cake/

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/?p=121593

parchment placed on cake standIt’s a labor of love, and a chance to show your stuff. Make your layer cake gorgeous by assembling it with these simple steps.Place first layer

Patience makes perfect. Take the time to chill or freeze your baked layers before assembling the cake. The layers will be less fragile, and you’ll have more control and better results with frosting. While they’re chilling, line your serving plate with 2″ to 3″ wide strips of parchment paper.

Trim any dome from the top of the first layer so the cake is flat, then flip it over and place it on your serving plate cut side down.pipe dam illo

Pipe a rope of frosting around the outside edge of the cake layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes so it will become firm. This “dam” keeps frosting or filling from bulging out the side of the finished cake. After the dam sets, fill the top of the layer.place 2nd cake layer illocrumb coat cake illo

Trim the next layer and place it cut side down over the first. Chill the cake again, if it isn’t cool to the touch.

Smear a very thin coat of frosting on the sides and top of the cake.

cake illo finish coat

This is called the crumb coat. It’s fine if it looks messy, and crumbs are showing through. Refrigerate the cake until you can touch the crumb coat without leaving a fingerprint, 20 to 30 minutes.decorate cake with spoon

Once the crumb coat is firm, cover the top and sides of the cake with a finish coat of frosting. Gently remove the parchment paper strips.

Decorate and embellish to your heart’s content.

This article appeared in the premier issue of Sift.

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Berry Star Cookies

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/23/berry-star-cookies/

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/?p=121665

There are so many things to love about summertime. At the top of the list? Fresh local fruit and warm sunshine. We here at King Arthur Flour are fortunate to be surrounded by farm stands, farmers’ markets, and so many places to pick our own fresh fruit and vegetables.

Combine this plenitude with our love for baked goods, and you’ve got a recipe for success. There’s always an overflow of tasty treats filled with fresh produce brought into our employee break room, for sharing and enjoying. That’s actually how this recipe came about.

Charlotte, my dear friend and King Arthur recipe developer/food stylist, had made these berry star cookies and put them out in the kitchen. So good! So pretty! These absolutely needed to be shared on a larger platform… if I could manage to recreate them properly.

I don’t have much of an eye for food styling. Honestly, I find myself hanging out in the “Pinterest fails” group more often than not. But hey, at least my friends and family get a good laugh out of it while they’re chowing down. My goodies thankfully taste much better than they look!

So when I got to the decorating phase of these cookies, I wasn’t expecting too much. I plopped myself outside at the picnic table and got to decorating. To my utter surprise, my husband came out after I’d finished a few and told me how great they looked. Success! Needless to say, these little gems are now my go-to for parties and BBQs.

How to make Berry Star Cookies via @kingarthurflour

You’re going to need a few things to create these tasty masterpieces.

1. Star-shaped sugar cookies. The Holiday Butter Cookies are the most popular cutout cookies on our website, and for good reason. The recipe makes 5 dozen buttery, crunchy, 2″ cookies, so you’ll have plenty to share. If that’s too many, you can always bake up however many you want and freeze the rest of the dough for later.

2. A star cookie cutter. We used a 3″ star to make these cookies. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand, and adjust your fruit sizes from there.

3. Soft Cookie Frosting. You can flavor the frosting however you’d like. We went with vanilla and almond extracts, which paired perfectly with the fresh berries. This frosting stays soft and fluffy like buttercream, even when left uncovered.

4. Strawberries. We won’t tell you how many you need; just be sure it’s enough to snack on while you work!

5. Blueberries. I bought a pint, which was more than enough. I kept dipping the extras in the cookie frosting while I worked. So good.

How to make Berry Star Cookies via @kingarthurflour

Trim the strawberries and slice them into wedges.

Cut the green tops off your strawberries, then cut each berry into 1/4″-thick slices. Cut the slices in half lengthwise. Play around with this; you may find that you like thinner or thicker slices.

How to make Berry Star Cookies via @kingarthurflour

Frost the cookies using a knife or offset spatula.

Spread a layer of frosting onto each star. Be as generous as you’d like; I found that I used 1 teaspoon per cookie. Just keep in mind that you’ll be pressing berries on top, and the more frosting you use, the more likely it is to squish over the sides.

How to make Berry Star Cookies via @kingarthurflour

Arrange the berries on top of the frosted cookies.

Arrange strawberry slices on the points of the star, trimming as needed. Finish with a blueberry in the center. Depending on how fancy you’d like to get, you may need to tidy up the frosting that crept over the edges while you were adding the fruit.

I did a little experiment and left a few cookies out on the counter for a couple days to see how they’d hold up. The juicy berries held up really well on top of the soft frosting, with no visible weeping. Which makes these the ideal little snack to make the night before the party, if you’re looking to save some time.

Berry Star Cookie via @kingarthurflourHave fun with it; bring all the pieces out to the picnic table and turn it into a family activity. Take lots of pictures and post these beauties all over social media as a baking “win!”

Be proud of your fancy new decorating skills. Simple yet stunning, these berry star cookies are the perfect dessert to bring to the table during these fabulous summer months.

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Strawberry Almond Flour Cake

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/22/strawberry-almond-flour-cake/

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/?p=121955

Have I mentioned that I love baking with almond flour?

Of course I have, because it really is a spectacular flour. Especially for recipes like this: a soft, tender, moist cake that happens to not only be gluten-free, but also grain-free and dairy-free as well!

It’s hard to believe something this decadent could be made with just a few simple ingredients.

Unlike most cakes, this one doesn’t use milk or oil. Rather, it relies on eggs and almond flour for  moistness and structure. But the real trick to keeping this cake ultra-light and fluffy is separating the eggs, then whipping the egg whites into a soft meringue and folding them into the batter.

You’ll also notice that I opted for adding 1 tablespoon of coconut flour. The coconut flour helps give the cake a tighter crumb, while also helping with the tenderness of the cake. If you don’t want to use (or don’t have) coconut flour, no worries! Just add another 1/4 cup almond flour to the batter.

The result? A beautiful cake that’s perfect for any occasion and happens to be delicious when topped with fresh berries, like these gorgeous strawberries. But what I really love about this cake is that it can be served either  as a dessert – or a healthy breakfast!

To start, we’re going to preheat the oven to 350°F.

How to make a perfect Almond Flour Cake via @kingarthurflour

In a large mixing bowl, beat together:

4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to make a perfect Almond Flour Cake via @kingarthurflour

In a separate bowl, whisk together:

1 1/4 cups almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Set this aside while you whip the egg whites.

How to make a perfect Almond Flour Cake via @kingarthurflourIn a third (and final) mixing bowl, whip the four egg whites. Using an electric hand mixer (or your stand mixer), beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Once soft, slowly incorporate another 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat again until just incorporated. Set aside.

How to make a perfect Almond Flour Cake via @kingarthurflour

Add the flour mixture to the egg yolks and mix to form a dough. The dough will be quite dry (almost like pie dough), but have no fear. Once we add the egg whites it will loosen up.

How to make a perfect Almond Flour Cake via @kingarthurflour

Fold the egg whites (1/2 cup at a time) into the dough, until fully incorporated. The final addition of the egg whites should leave you with a light, fluffy, smooth batter. 

How to make a perfect Almond Flour Cake via @kingarthurflour

Lightly grease an 8” round pan with butter (dairy-free if desired) or coconut oil. Swirl it in the pan and make sure it goes up the sides. Then sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar into the bottom of the pan – this will give the cake a sugary, syrupy coating on top.

Pour the cake batter into the sugar-coated pan and bake on the center rack for 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides, then turn the cake out onto a serving plate.

Strawberry Almond Flour Cake via @kingarthurflour

Allow the cake to cool fully before topping with sliced strawberries – you’ll need about 2 cups.

Serve this cake as is or with some whipped cream or coconut cream. And if you’re opting for a truly decadent dessert, a dollop of dairy-free ice cream or a drizzle of chocolate glaze would be perfect!

Strawberry Almond Flour Cake via @kingarthurflour

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Hummingbird Cake

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/21/hummingbird-cake/

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/?p=121751

It’s not often that a cake recipe stems from a tourist promotion, but that seems to be just the case with Hummingbird Cake. A cake rich in banana and pineapple with hearty pecans, all covered in sumptuous cream cheese icing, Hummingbird Cake isn’t your everyday bakery cake but something so much more.

So many people have commented on the name Hummingbird Cake and wondered “who named it that, anyway?” that I went in search of an explanation. I was thrilled to find a great little blog over at  toriavey.com. Tori researches and shares stories of unique recipes and their origins, like this gem of a cake.

The national bird of Jamaica is the doctor bird, a colorful member of the hummingbird family. It’s so named because the probing of the bird at flower blossoms reminded people of the probing and prodding we all get at the doctor’s office.

When Air Jamaica was formed in 1968, their tourism information included recipes from the island converted for use in the American kitchen, including their beloved Doctor Bird Cake. These cakes are so sweet and fruity it’s claimed they even draw hummingbirds to the table.

Doctor Bird Cake became Doctor Byrd Cake in the Southern U.S., where Byrd was a popular family name, and from there became the more generic Hummingbird Cake we know today.

I love the fact that this cake is also known as Granny Cake and Don’t Last Cake. Believe me, that’s exactly what we experienced last time we served this cake in our test kitchen: it went from full three-layer cake to empty platter in 15 minutes flat. A record Granny could be proud of!

There are a few secrets to making this outstanding cake the best it can be, and we’re happy to share those with you.

Bump up the flavor.

Toasting nuts brings out depth of flavor as their natural oils roast. You can toast them in the oven as you preheat it for the cake; or you can toast them in a dry skillet on the stove top. The downside is that these oils can burn quickly, so whichever method you choose don’t leave nuts unattended.  Watch them closely and remove them from the heat as soon as they become fragrant, and you’ll be in the clear.

How to make Hummingbird Cake via @kingarthurflour

In the oven this should take about 5 to 7 minutes at 350°F; on the stove top over medium heat it’ll be slightly longer. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat to speed up the process; you’ll end up sitting sadly in a smoky kitchen with no pecans for your cake.

How to make Hummingbird Cake via @kingarthurflour

Use room temperature ingredients.

Next, plan ahead and take the butter and cream cheese for your icing out of the refrigerator well ahead of time. Cold cream cheese makes for lumpy icing with unpleasant texture, as small pieces of cream cheese will remain in the otherwise smooth icing.

How to make hummingbird cake via @kingarthurflour

Pay attention to how the batter comes together.

Bringing the batter together in a particular order definitely makes a difference. This cake is oil -and egg-based, so it’s rich and moist like carrot cake as opposed to light and spongy like butter cake.

It’s important to emulsify the eggs and oil for a couple of minutes, then add the banana and dry ingredients before the tasty bits and pieces. Let’s take a closer look at how to make batter the correct way.

How to make hummingbird cake via @kingarthurflour

It’s all about method.

Hummingbird Cake not only has banana for moisture and flavor, but coconut, canned pineapple, nuts, and dried pineapple as well – about 60 ounces total, in fact. So, why not just dump it all together with the flour and stir it around?

For help in explaining this, I turned to King Arthur Flour’s pastry chef and test kitchen guru, Frank. Here’s how he talked me through it.

By creating batter first with eggs, oil and flour, you create a sturdy base into which you can stir your inclusions (fancy term for added bits), a batter in which they’ll be well supported. If you just try to stir flour into a mixture thick with inclusions, you end up with pockets of flour that never get incorporated – and uneven batter.

Have you ever had a piece of carrot cake where the raisins or carrots sported clumps of flour? That’s from adding the bits and pieces first, and then trying to work the flour in and around them to form your batter.

Baking science – it’s fascinating! How to make hummingbird cake via @kingarthurflour

Let’s talk texture.

I weighed the batter for this cake and it was up in the 8-pound range. Talk about chock full o’ nuts!

The self-rising flour yields a tender crumb, but each bite is still packed with tasty add-ins. If you’re looking for a fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth cake, this might not be your first choice; but it’s tops for being rich and moist.

Now let’s talk a bit about self-rising flour. It’s the only flour we sell that includes baking powder and salt in the base of a low-protein flour. If you have to use all-purpose flour that doesn’t contain baking powder and salt, please be sure you add these to your recipe.

The basic formula for self-rising flour is 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt. Your cake texture will be somewhat denser/less soft due to the higher protein level in the all-purpose flour.

One thing I adore about these cakes is their even bake. No doming; just flat, smooth, and even in texture. You shouldn’t need to trim the layers before creating your sky-high stack.

How to make hummingbird cake via @kingarthurflour

The icing on the (Hummingbird) cake.

Remember how you brought your cream cheese and butter to room temperature first? A silky-smooth icing is your well-deserved reward. The butter and cream cheese will easily blend with the confectioners’ sugar, leaving no lumps, just velvety soft swirls.

More step-by-step photos on cream cheese icing can be found on our Kitchen Sink Carrot Cake blog post.

How to make hummingbird cake via @kingarthurflour

A well-deserved reward.

We’ve delved together into the mysteries of Hummingbird Cake and come out the other side with layers of sweet knowledge. For me, I think a slice of Doctor Bird Cake is just what the doctor ordered after all of our studies.

Please bake, rate, and review our recipe for Hummingbird Cake.

Print just the recipe.

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How to glaze berries

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/19/how-to-glaze-berries/

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/?p=121367

Have you ever admired the super-shiny fruit tarts you see at the supermarket bake shop?

Nestled like colorful jewels in the bakery case among the plainer sugar cookies and lemon squares, they stand out like royalty at a peasants’ ball.

How do they make those strawberries and blackberries and raspberries SO shiny?

Well, supermarket bakeries often use a clear, gel-based spray or liquid coating to glaze berries. Easily applied, it sets up quickly and holds well, often for days.

But at home, there’s a solution that’s just as easy and, in my opinion, much tastier.

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

Jelly – pure, plain, and simple.

Not jam; not preserves. And no guarantees with sugar-free – I’ve only tested this with standard jelly.

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

But look what a nice job it does – those are some shiny berries, eh?

Let’s put this tip into action on one of my favorite desserts, Easy Cheesecake.

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

How to glaze berries, step #1: Make sure the base for your berries is completely cool.

A pie, tart, or cheesecake that’s even slightly warm can wreak havoc with your glaze.

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

How to glaze berries, step #2: Heat jelly until it liquefies.

This will only take 20 seconds or so in the microwave. I’ve chosen strawberry as a nice complement to the berries. Currant jelly is the traditional choice for glazing. Use apple if you’re using sliced fruit instead of berries (e.g., peaches, banana, or kiwi), and want a neutral color.

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

How to glaze berries, step #3: Toss the melted jelly with the berries of your choice.

I’m using about 4 cups: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. This is enough to cover the surface of a 9″ pie or cheesecake. Cut the strawberries into bite-sized pieces if they’re large.

ONE MAJOR CAVEAT HERE: Chopped berries, even when glazed, tend to exude juice as they sit. If you use chopped berries, top just before serving, or within a few hours. If you wait longer than that, berry juice will start to seep down into the filling, creating a potentially messy presentation.

Toss the berries with the melted jelly; a tablespoon or so is enough to coat a cup of berries, so I’m using a generous 1/4 cup jelly here.

Add the raspberries at the end, stirring briefly just to combine. They’re fragile, and can’t stand much handling.

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

How to glaze berries, step #4: Spoon the fruit atop your dessert.

Don’t be afraid to rearrange the berries a bit, for best presentation.

Looking for a more orderly look? Arrange individual berries atop your dessert, rather than tossing them all together. Here’s how –

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

How to glaze berries, step #5: Arrange fruit artfully, rather than tossing.

For a more elegant presentation, make a pretty pattern with the fruit.

Create your arrangement on “dry land” first. Here I’ve used an 8″ parchment round to mimic the surface of the cheesecake. Looks good on paper – translates nicely to the cake.

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

How to glaze berries, step #6: Brush with melted jelly.

The jelly not only looks nice, it imparts a bit of berry flavor.

Note that strawberries cut this way – in half, with their cut side facing up – won’t “weep” juice and puddle onto the filling below, as chopped berries can.

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

Here are a couple of other options for glazing. At left, glazed berries have been ladled over unglazed. At right, glazed kiwi slices are topped with unglazed blueberries.

How to glaze berries via @kingarthurflour

Talk about the perfect 4th of July dessert…

What will YOU top with glazed berries this summer?

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Chilling cookie dough

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/17/chilling-cookie-dough/

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/?p=118729

Why refrigerate chocolate chip cookie dough – or for that matter, any basic drop cookie dough – before baking? Does it really make any difference?

The short answer: yes, chilling cookie dough prior to baking does make a difference.

But the story behind that “yes” might surprise you.

I recently tested this question with a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. Understand, though, that these results can be applied to other kinds of plain drop cookie dough: sugar cookies, snickerdoodles…

First I baked some of the cookie dough immediately, without any chilling.

Then, I put the dough in the fridge and continued to bake cookies over the next 10 days, at regularly spaced intervals.

The result?

Test: chilling cookie dough @ via kingarthurflour

Chilling cookie dough for just 30 minutes makes a big difference.

The cookies pictured above are the same size, weight-wise. But look at the difference in spread – the cookie dough that was refrigerated spread less.

The cookie dough without refrigeration also browned less.

So, the longer the dough is chilled, the more the cookies change?

Results: chilling cookie dough via @kingarthurflour

The longer you chill cookie dough, the smaller the changes become.

Call it the law of diminishing returns. The major difference is between no chilling at all vs. chilling for 30 minutes. After that, the baked cookie continues to evolve – though very gradually.

Test: chilling cookie dough @ via kingarthurflour

Over time, chilling cookie dough produces cookies with darker color and more pronounced flavor.

Here you see the beginning and end of the test: clearly the cookie baked from dough chilled for 10 days spread less, and is darker in color. Its flavor is also more pronounced; our taste testers couldn’t identify any particular flavor note that stood our above the rest, but simply noted that the 10-day cookie “tastes better” than the cookie baked on day #1.

My personal evaluation is that the cookies baked immediately tasted rather flat; and their texture was soft and rather doughy, without being chewy. Cookies baked after chilling the dough (for as little as 30 minutes) became chewy, and progressively more flavorful.

So, what does chilling cookie dough do, exactly?

1. Chilling cookie dough controls spread.

Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread.

In addition, the sugar in the dough gradually absorbs liquid. If you bake the dough immediately, before sugar has a chance to absorb much liquid, that liquid remains “free” in the dough, and promotes spread. Think of this in terms of thin vs. thick pancake batter: the more liquid in batter, the more it spreads, right? Same with cookies.

Test: chilling cookie dough via @kingarthurflour

That’s fresh dough, at left; three-day-old dough, at right. The longer the dough chills, the drier it becomes.

2. Chilling cookie dough concentrates flavor.

As the dough chills, it gradually dries out, concentrating the flavors of all the ingredients. Think of watered-down lemonade, vs. lemonade with less water: dull flavor vs. bright, tangy flavor. Same with cookies.

Something else happens as the dough rests: part of the flour breaks down into its component parts, including a simple carbohydrate, sugar. Thus, since sugar is a flavor enhancer (like salt), the cookies may taste more flavorful, as well as sweeter.

3. Chilling cookie dough changes texture.

Again, it’s not really the chilling, but the dough gradually drying out, that’s responsible for texture change. The drier the dough, the more concentrated the sugar.  And a higher percentage of sugar creates cookies with chewy/crisp (rather than soft/doughy) texture.

Result: chilling cookie dough @ via kingarthurflour

So, enough with the science; let’s enjoy one of these fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, shall we? At the end of the day – or even after just 30 minutes – there’s simply nothing finer.

Do you have any chocolate chip cookie tips to pass along? Please share in “comments,” below.

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Dairy-Free Ice Cream

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/15/dairy-free-ice-cream/

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/?p=121529

There’s almost nothing better than a big scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day.

But for someone who doesn’t eat dairy, my options are limited to sorbet. And while delicious, it can get a little boring after awhile.

The beauty of it is that making ice cream at home is a cinch. Especially dairy-free ice cream. As long as you have an ice cream maker and a few simple ingredients, in a matter of a few hours you can have a batch of ultra-creamy, decadent and delicious ice cream to enjoy.

In today’s post, we’re going to share six essential tips for making your dairy-free ice cream a home run. AND we’re going to give you the basic recipe which you can jazz up as you wish.

So let the brain-freeze party begin!

Tips for: making dairy-free ice cream

How to pick the right milk for Dairy-Free Ice Cream via @kingarthurflourPicking a base

When you’re choosing which plant-based milk to use when you make your dairy-free ice cream, there’s isn’t a “best choice.” Really, it’s up to you; but do keep in mind that different milks will have varying effects on the end product. Here are some milks to choose from:

  • Full-fat coconut milk
  • Almond milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Rice milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Soy milk

You can decide by flavor, but also think about texture. If you want ice cream that’s ultra-creamy, silky smooth, and fairly decadent, then choosing a milk with a higher fat content – like full-fat coconut milk – is your best bet.

Since fat freezes at a different rate than water, using a higher-fat milk will result in a creamier, less icy ice cream. But at the same time, these ice creams will be quite rich and also high in fat and calories, so consider that as well.

My preference is to combine a high-fat milk with a lower-fat option. I find the texture just how I like it, and the ice cream is a bit on the lighter side. I like to use a blend of coconut milk and either almond, cashew, or hemp milk as my base (mainly because I like the taste of these milks the best).

What sugar to use in Dairy-Free Ice Cream via @kingarthurflourChoosing a sweetener

Next up is picking your sweetener. As with any ice cream, you have lots of options. You can go with a granulated sweetener like cane sugar or coconut/palm sugar. Or you can opt for a liquid sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or agave. Both are great options; again, it just depends on what you prefer.

If you’re opting for granulated sugar, just note that you’ll need to dissolve the sugar in the base before churning it, which means you’ll also have to chill the base for longer before being able to make your ice cream. I’ve tested both ways and like them both, but I tend to opt for maple syrup as my sweetener of choice because, hey, I’m a Vermont girl and any excuse to eat maple syrup is a win in my book.

Also, while I haven’t tested this myself, I do think that you could use stevia as a sweetener. I’d start with 1/2 teaspoon and increase it by 1/8 teaspoon until you find your desired sweetness level.

How to make creamy Dairy-Free Ice Cream via @kingarthurflour

Eggs vs. no eggs

This is a common question I’m asked when talking about making dairy-free ice cream at home: do we add eggs or not? The answer is… it depends.

When you’re using eggs in your ice cream, you’re essentially just making a custard base which you then churn and freeze. Custards are usually on the thicker side, and have a very creamy, smooth texture.

Egg yolks are primarily fat and protein, and help keep the ice cream smooth (similar to the higher-fat milks). Egg yolks also act as an emulsifier: The proteins in the yolk bind with water and fat molecules in the milk, which results in a more stable and creamy end product. Basically, the ice cream will melt more slowly.

So again, as we did with our milk bases, the dilemma of adding or not adding eggs comes down to texture and personal preference. My best tip is to first use eggs when you’re not using high-fat milks. So if you’re making an ice cream that’s just soy milk, to get that rich, creamy texture you’re going to want egg yolks in the mix. If you’re making your ice cream with coconut milk (or even cashew cream) as the base, then you probably don’t need the eggs.

And then experiment and find what you like best.

Xanthan Gum from King Arthur Flour

Adding a thickener

While not a required step in the dairy-free ice cream making process, adding a thickener can help make your ice cream more creamy and help reduce the amount of ice crystals that form during the freezing process, especially if you’re not using egg yolks. Even with the higher-fat ice creams using coconut milk that you see at the store, you’ll often find a thickener on the ingredients list because it helps give the ice cream wonderful creamy texture.

Common thickener options include:

Since I’m not using eggs in the recipes in this post, I’ll be adding 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum to each batch of ice cream.

How to make Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream via @kingarthurflourFlavor options

OK… now the fun part: the flavors! Making ice cream into tons of different flavors is definitely my favorite part of doing it at home. I can play around with all types of ingredients and find the combination I like most.

Here’s how to make the most common flavors:

  • Vanilla: blend the seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod OR 2 to 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract into the base before churning.
  • Chocolate: blend 1/4 to 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder into the base before churning. The more cocoa powder, the darker chocolate the ice cream will be.
  • Coffee: add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee/espresso OR a few teaspoons of instant coffee/espresso powder to the ice cream base before churning.
  • Strawberry: macerate the berries in lemon juice and sugar for 10 to 15 minutes, then blend them into a purée and add them to the ice cream base before churning.
  • Mint: either add 1 to 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract OR blend 1 bunch of fresh mint with a bit of the milk (or water) and add that to the ice cream base before churning.

I’m sure you’re starting to notice a theme here. When flavoring the base of your ice cream, do it before you begin churning. You want to be sure the ice cream base is completely smooth before churning. Check out the image above to see this process in action!

How to make Dairy-Free Ice Cream via @kingarthurflour

Adding extra goodies

Another fun part of making ice cream at home is adding your favorite goodies. Whether you’re a fan of chocolate chips, cookie dough, white chocolate, or any other delicious add-ins, jazzing up your ice cream is super easy.

Just pick your favorite extras, and add them to your ice cream maker when it’s got about 5 minutes left of churning. You want the base to still be somewhat soft, so all the ingredients are evenly mixed throughout; but not so soft that they fall to the bottom. I like to add any extras when the ice cream is the texture of soft serve.

Check out the image above to see the different stages that the ice cream will go through. I’m adding our delicious chocolate sprinkles to a coffee flavored ice cream!

Perfect Dairy-Free Ice Cream via @kingarthurflour

Dairy-free ice cream recipes

And now for the recipe! The great thing about dairy-free ice cream is the base is pretty much the same for each recipe. Head on over to our Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipe where we’ll show you the base and give you a few tasty variations for you to try, including this dark chocolate and java chip!

Print just the recipe.

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Berry Tiramisu

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2015/05/13/berry-tiramisu/

http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/?p=121397

When summer arrives in New England and the time comes to pick your own berries, it becomes an all-day event, akin to the family trip to the seashore, or a jaunt to the town Founder’s Day picnic.

Sunscreen and bug spray? Check. Water bottles and berry baskets? Check. Bright shirts with long sleeves to stay protected, most often pre-spotted with berry juice from picking trips past. A shady hat, comfy shoes, and we’re headed off to the fields before the sun is over the yardarm.

Just as in the classic children’s book Blueberries for Sal, the ka-plink, ka-plank, ka-plunk of the berries in the bottom of the pail is deeply satisfying. Blueberries make a twang, strawberries make a rounder thunk, while juicy blackberries and raspberries make hardly any sound at all.

Before too long the urge to sample “just one” gets the better of you, and you indulge in sneaking a nibble here and a nosh there. Lips and fingertips turn vivid red and purple-blue, giving away your secrets.

Buckets full, you weigh out and pay your fees, loading your goodies into the car. On the way home you scratch a few bites and talk about what treat you’ll be making first. You’ll be happily tired and in need of a bit of a pick-me-up. Nothing will fit the bill quite like our delightful Berry Tiramisu.

A departure from the classic coffee-infused dish from Italy, our Berry Tiramisu features bright citrus flavors to offset the sweetness of your berries, and is so light it won’t weigh you down. Even better, the mixing and baking times are short, keeping you out of the kitchen and on the porch enjoying the sun and fun of the season.

So, wash up and let’s get started.

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1. Prepare your oven and pans

Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease and line with parchment two 9″ square pans. If you only have round pans, you can use two 9″ rounds. The layers will be slightly thicker and will take a few extra minutes of baking time.

2. Make your cake batter

Beat together:

6 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

The key to getting a light and airy sponge cake is to whip the eggs for several minutes to incorporate air and emulsify the egg’s water and fats. The batter will thicken and turn pale yellow. It’ll drop from the beater in a thicker stream, instead of a thin trickle like water or juice.

In a separate small bowl combine:

1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt

Whisk to make sure there are no lumps of flour or baking powder.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the dry mix over the surface of the whipped eggs, and gently whisk it in. Repeat twice more, using about 1/3 of the dry mix each time. The batter will thicken even more, and begin to look bubbly and a bit more like a sturdy foam.

3. Bake and cool the cake

Spread the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 20 to 23 minutes. The cake will color slightly on top and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan when it’s done.

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Learn from my mistake and place your cake on your serving platter before brushing with syrup. A moist, tender cake is hard to move.

Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan while it’s still warm.
Place the cake on a rack to cool completely before taking it out of the pan.

4. Prepare the soaking syrup and brush the cake

In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer:

zest (peel) of 2 lemons, peeled in strips with a peeler
juice of 2 lemons (1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice)
2 whole cloves (or a pinch of ground clove)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or fresh orange juice (if you use an orange, save the grated peel for the filling).

When the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear, strain it and set it aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

berry tiramisu-003

5. Make the filling

In a large bowl, combine 1 pound mascarpone cheese and 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange peel (zest). The citrus flavors are going to play beautifully with whichever berry you choose to use in your tiramisu.

Gradually pour and fold in 1 cup of heavy or whipping cream (unwhipped)  until the mixture is smooth. Finally, for sweetness, stir in 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar.

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6. Build the cake

Place one cake layer down on your serving platter. Use a pastry brush to coat the cake with some of the syrup. Brush, then allow a few minutes for it to soak in. Reserve half of the syrup for the second layer. You remembered and moved the cake off the rack before soaking, right?

Place one quart of the sliced berries of your choice (single variety, or a combination) on the cake. Strawberries are a classic but blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all excellent.

Dollop about half of the filling evenly over the berries. I like to fill the four corners, and then place some filling in the middle. You can then spread the mounds to meet each other, and create one layer.

berry tiramisu-8

It’s hard to resist stopping here and eating the whole thing, but try to hold off just a bit. Believe me, it’s worth it.

Place the second layer of cake onto the cream, and repeat the soaking process with the second half of the syrup. Add the remaining cream filling;  and finally another layer of berries.

If you prefer, you can divide the cake into serving portions and top each with an individual sliced berry, rather than garnish the entire top.

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Chill the cake for at least an hour (up to overnight) before serving. This dish is best served within a day of making it; after that your cake can tend to get a little soggy.

You can make your filling and syrup two to three days ahead of time, if you wish. Then just assemble the day you plan to serve, and you’ll have a sumptuous dessert with very little effort.

Best berry tidings of summer, from our kitchen to yours.

Please bake, rate, and review our recipe for Berry Tiramisu.

Print just the recipe.

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