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A BFA Painting and Drawing graduate gone cookie designer and decorator.  I bring my knowledge of art, composition, and color to pastries to create the perfect cookies and cakes for your events or occasions.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Hunker Down for the Hurricane

So, while I'm not freaking out like crazy buying the grocery store out of a year's supply of bottled water and batteries, it's common sense to not plan on going out at all during a hurricane.  Later tomorrow or Sunday I'll be posting a recipe for Anything Imaginable Oatmeal Loaf.  It's a gluten free loaf base recipe that has room for add ins of whatever you desire.  I've done everything from Banana, Coconut, Chocolate Chips, and Walnuts to Apples, Carrots, Cranberries, and Walnuts.  What you do need is a stocked pantry.  Being a baker, my pantry is always stocked with gluten free baking necessities...especially for those last minute chocolate chip cookies urges.  So here's a quick break down on some gluten free alternatives always in my kitchen:
-Brown Rice Flour - Dense and a bit grainy, but Bob's Red Mill version is actually pretty fine compared to others. When recipes don't call for a lot of flour (like my brownies) and it's silly to do a blend, I almost always will use just brown rice flour.
-Sweet Rice Flour - A thickener but also adds the sweet flavor of rice versus the more nutty almost flavor of brown rice flour.
-Oat Flour - (Obviously) adds a great oat flavor, and when mixed with other flours layers in really nicely.  My favorite recipe I notice it in is my chocolate chip cookies.  There's just a subtle undertone of oat flavor.
-Tapioca Flour - Helps in holding together the batter.  Adds that spring to baked good that tells you they're down.  It also helps add a nice crispness and golden brown color...which if you've tried a gluten free recipe without it you may have noticed that gluten free flours don't tend to brown.
-Sorghum Flour (I haven't used it yet but I'm excited to try it. It's pretty high in protein without the very earthy taste and smell of something like Garbanzo flour)
-Xanthan Gum - Necessary to add viscosity to gluten free batters.  Otherwise, anything baked free of a mold (like cookies) will not hold their shape and spread out too much while they bake
-Gluten Free Baking Powder - Baking Powder has some kind of starch in it. It can be cornstarch, potato starch or wheat starch...the latter of which will make it contain gluten.  So make sure you check the ingredients in it or make sure it says "Gluten Free."  I use Davis.
-Gluten Free Vanilla - Vanilla contains alcohol...some use a grain alcohol.  So again, make sure your vanilla says "gluten free."  I use Kirkland's Vanilla (the Costco brand...it's gluten free, tastes good, and you get a pretty gigantic bottle for very cheap compared to the gluten free vanilla in the supermarket)

Of course, my kitchen always has chocolate of some kind, sugar, salt, baking soda, unsalted butter, milk of some kind (usually almond because I actually love the flavor it adds, but just make sure no one has any allergies!), cinnamon, eggs, and so on....all the usuals for any pantry and fridge used in all kinds of baking recipes.  I also plan on making some homemade gluten free Graham Crackers this weekend...half of which I'm pulverizing to make Gluten Free S'mores Cookies.  So between that and possibly making some hurricane cocktails, I think I have a good plan to survive Irene.

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