Yesterday was the second in my series of Drizzle Kitchen Demonstrations at Williams-Sonoma on Michigan Ave. It’s so fun to bring such a big topic into this giant of the culinary world and reach an audience that is growing by leaps and bounds each year.
Yesterday’s demonstration was on allergy free desserts. Let me now answer the question most of you are asking yourselves at this moment- allergy free means free of the top 8 allergens the government recognizes as being most prevalent. They are (in no particular order) wheat, soy, eggs, dairy, treenuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish. So, clearly the fish and shellfish are no biggie when it comes to baking (duh!). But, think about pretty much anything you’ve baked in the past and I am confident that it has included at least one of the other allergens! So, the trick here is to make food that doesn’t taste like cardboard, doesn’t look gross or underbaked (most allergy free products have a tendency to look “grey” when baked as opposed to the beautiful golden brown we’re so accustomed to), and would appeal to people whether they have allergies or not.
So, bless my friends as they are my guinea pigs much of the time! My first big recipe that was successful was for black bean brownies. Now, I know my betty crocker lovin’ friends would look at me like I was an alien if I told them that’s what I was serving them. So, I have learned now to simply tell them I made a new “healthy” recipe, in that instance I told them it was for fudgy brownies. And they LOVED them!! Ha! So, after they had all taken a bite I giggled (evil) and told them the brownies were made with black beans instead of flour J
Well, years later I have tested multiple recipes that are allergy free and with all confidence I will tell you baking is the absolute hardest thing to do. There are so many factors-different combinations of flours (you cannot simply substitute 1 gluten free flour for all purpose), egg substitutes (a chia egg vs. flax egg vs. egg sub), different milks (coconut, rice, hemp) and then you have the fat (coconut oil, earth balance soy free, shortening, olive oil). Not to mention that the food science behind baking is completely different in regards to structural development with allergy free baked goods. Sound fun, right? Want to get started? Ha! Well, it’s actually not that bad once you play with a few recipes. And that is exactly the message I want to get across to all my families that come to me with panic in their eyes and the fear that because their child can’t eat peanuts, gluten or dairy anymore that there will never again be birthday cake, bread or pizza. So not true!! So, here are a few great allergy free recipes that I taught some panicked mothers yesterday. They found them very helpful and easy and I hope you will too!!
Also- a BIG HUGE ENORMOUS thank you to Enjoy Life Foods for sending me some samples to pass out and use during the demonstration. I LOVE LOVE LOVE their products and hope you will find some relief in knowing that if you want to buy cookies, chocolate chips, cereal or bagels that you can find a guaranteed top 8 allergy free product within all Enjoy Life foods. You can purchase them online or at any Whole Foods location.)
Nutty Chocolate Rice Crispy Squares
- 1 c. brown rice syrup
- 1 c. organic cane sugar
- 1 c. sunflower seed butter
- 5 c. Enjoy Life Crunchy Rice Cereal
- 1 c. Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
- Combine brown rice syrup and cane sugar in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Add the sunflower seed butter and stir often until all combined. Remove from heat.
- Mix sunflower seed butter/sugar syrup mixture and Enjoy Life Crunchy Rice Cereal in large mixing bowl until all coated. Sprinkle in chocolate chips and stir.
- Press into a greased 9x13 pan and allow to cool. Cut into squares and try not to eat more than 1…or 2….or 3! Yum!
Everyone loves a nutty chocolate crispy treat!
Makes 12 cupcakes
- ½ c. + 2 T. brown rice flour
- ½ c. + 2 T. buckwheat flour
- ¼ c. potato starch (NOT potato flour)
- 1 t. xanthan gum
- 1 c. organic cane sugar
- ½ c. flaked unsweetened coconut
- 1 t. baking soda
- ½ t. sea salt
- 1 c. coconut milk (light is fine)
- 1/3 c. light olive oil, vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 t. pure vanilla
- 1 t. white vinegar
- *optional addition of 1 c. Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips rather than frosting.
- Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 baking cups with cupcake liners.
- In large bowl mix together the brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, cane sugar, coconut, baking soda and sea salt. Whisk together to break apart lumps and blend.
- In another small bowl mix together the coconut milk, olive oil, vanilla and white vinegar.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the coconut milk mixture in. Gently whisk until just combined.
- Scoop into lined cupcake tins, 2/3 full.
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow to cool 15 minutes in tins then remove to cooing rack to cool completely. Frost if desired with chocolate frosting.