Tag Archives: chocolate

A Chocolate Chip Off the Quick Bread

It wasn’t something I was planning on, but something lead me to it. Outside, it’s been very cold … bones freezing and a horrid cough creeps in and out of me, provoked by the cold air. My body craves warmth, deeper than what Vicks vapor rub can do for my respiratory system. I find myself therefore standing in the middle of my kitchen where I see the oven and the burners, the only hearth I know can yield the warmth my body desperately needs to get me over this terrible cold lingering inside my system.

I want something that goes well with tea. Jasmine tea, ginger tea and lemon tea have been the drink of choice these past couple of months to warm the throat and tone down this unsparing barrage of cough coming from me. Frankly, without any added sweetener, the tastelessness finally wears my palate down, and the drab inside my mouth searches for something to compliment tea.

Given the ingredients available to me, I came up with a gluten free chocolate chip bread. In the pantry, there were chocolate chips, sugar, a medley of gluten free flours and olive oil. I still had a tub of sour cream from Costco that needed to be finished along with some eggs. I wanted to use all of these and ended up putting together a somewhat decent gluten free quick bread that I believe matches tea very well.

Chocolate Chip Bread
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Bread

Dry:
80 g garbanzo bean flour
60 g potato flour
20 g coconut flour
100 g tapioca starch
40 g arrowroot starch
1/2 t xanthan Gum
1/2 t baking Soda
1/2 t salt (Kosher)
1 1/2 t baking soda

Wet:
150 g sugar
1/3 C olive oil
1 C sour cream
1 C milk
2 ea eggs
1 t vanilla

2 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375*. Grease or coat 2 one pound loaf pans and set aside.

Combine and whisk together all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until all the flour mixture is moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips until well distributed throughout the batter.

Divide the mixture evenly between the two loaf pans and bake in a 375* oven for 20 minutes. Turn the loaf pans and bake another 20 minutes, this time turning the oven heat down to 325*.

Let the loaves cool for 15 minutes. Slice and eat to your heart’s desire! With tea, of course!

Afterthought:

There are plenty of recipes out there on the internet, more alike in so many ways, but different because they are found in different sites. It is the baker’s duty to read these recipes and catch the anomalies, inconsistencies and edits these recipes undergo because though they look good on paper, how it looks in the bowl sometimes goes against the baker’s instincts. I didn’t realize I had these instincts until I came across a recipe I was trying out which at the end simulated cookie dough rather than a loose quick bread batter. At first sight of this quick bread, I thought my entire body was at a standstill. My mind couldn’t move forward and was urging me to add liquid. Had I not added some milk into the batter, this entire blog entry might be saturated with disappointment rather than pride and joy. So for all the bakers out there, novice or experienced, do not ignore those baker’s instincts when you proceed through a recipe… or else you might just regret slicing into a rock rather than a piece of bread. Best of luck and Happy Holidays!

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Chocolate… A Tale of Two Cakes

Was I dreaming this? Is this for real? I’m fast asleep on the airbed in the extra room when my niece came in and woke me briefly. She said hello and I acknowledged her with eyes barely opened, trying to make sense of time and place and where the hell I was. Oh yes, I was waiting for her to come home. After work, I stopped by her house to visit, but she had gone to a party. She was about to exit the room, and my head ready to fall back on the pillow, when she suddenly backtracked and asked, “Where’s my chocolate cake?” It must have been ten o’clock at night already.

I am the aunt who went to culinary school and spent 6 years in a pastry kitchen. Therefore, I became the go-to person for cakes. Cheesecakes, cupcakes… chocolate cakes. My niece eats a modicum amount of food, but she has fixations when it comes to sweets. They arrive in waves depending on what she’s remembered or learned. It could be a week of pining for, or rather whining for, cookies, brownies or banana breads. I don’t really know whether her list of cartoons actually elicits these cravings, but this week it was chocolate cake. The reminders passes from random voicemail to her own mother calling me about how her daughter, my niece, had been asking for chocolate cake. “Fine, fine,” I said, “I’ll make it on my weekend.”

It’s been a long time since I baked a cake. Since my focus lately had been on gluten free bread, cakes were far from my mind. But since my niece reigns supreme in my heart, gladly I take this on. The simple chocolate cake. But I want to enjoy the cake too and I want my sister to enjoy it too. It can only be gluten free.

The sponge would be the challenge, but a minor one because I already know that I would only need to substitute the A.P. flour with a gluten free alternative. For this, I used a combination of garbanzo and almond flour along with tapioca starch and applied it to a chocolate cake recipe. The result was a success. I baked it on a half sheet pan and decided I would just split the sponge in three equal parts and layer it. I explained this to my sister, upon which she texted me promptly back and asked if I could make two cakes instead of one. I have a nephew now after all and if I make it for one, it meant, I have to make one for the other. “No problem,” I texted, “I got you.”

chocolate cakesIt was one of the hottest days that week… a heatwave fell upon the day when I had to ice the cake. Seeing that my sponge turned out well and the chocolate icing was just right, I had forgotten about temperature playing a crucial part in making cakes. If I was melting in this horrid weather, the cake would surely do too. Thank goodness for my pastry smarts kicking in when they did. Placing the cake back and forth inside the refrigerator seemed to stave off the icing from turning into liquid butter. My poor refrigerator though… it worked double time to keep the cool in. The rewards though… priceless. A tale of two cakes… one for my niece and one for my nephew… gluten free at that… was absolutely enjoyable! Another gluten free success.

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