AIP Banana Bread (GF, DF, Paleo)

This is new territory for me.  I tried making an aip zucchini bread last week with cassava flour that was a crispy crust on the outside but pudding on the inside.  Ew.  It really put me off baking for a few days.  

Today I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to have banana bread.  The flavor and smell is 100% classic banana bread but you will notice the texture is very tender and cake-y.  It's still delicious, easy to make and AIP friendly.  

AIP Banana Bread

3/4 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

2 super ripe bananas

1/2 ripe avocado

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoon gelatin powder

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon room temperature

2 tablespoon warm water

1/4 cup coconut oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.  Oil and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and clove.  Set aside.

In another bowl, Mash banana and avocado until smooth.  Stir in maple syrup.

Make the gelatin egg: Whisk gelatin, vinegar and room temperature water.  Let gelatin absorb water.  Whisk in boiling water.  Give it 2 minutes to set up.  

Whisk coconut oil with gelatin egg.  Stir into wet ingredients.  Combine wet and dry ingredients until coconut flour is hydrated.  Pour into prepared pan.  Smooth surface and bake 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan 15 minutes.  

Chocolate Fudge Pops (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Fudgsicles!  Low sugar and the perfect individual serving size.  We're having a heat wave here in Brooklyn but staying cool with these popsicles.  Because they are free of chemicals, they are a bit hard right out for the freezer.  I place mine in a glass and let it soften for 5 minutes before eating.

The avocado is optional - it adds a subtle flavor and creaminess.  I didn't try it but add in like finely chopped fruit, dark chocolate chips or ginger would be great.  

Chocolate Fudge Popsicles

1 14oz tin coconut milk

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted

pinch salt

dash cinnamon

Puree all ingredients on a blender until smooth.  Pour into molds, insert sticks. Freeze until set, about 4 hours.  Run molds under warm water to release pops.  

 

Cinnamon Rolls + Blood Orange Glaze

Buns!  I never make these because I will eat about six the first day.  My willpower stands no chance around cinnamon buns.  None at all.  Luckily, I had a work meeting I knew these would be perfect for.   

The blood orange juice makes the prettiest pink glaze.  I love the color, so cheery and fun. 

Makes 16.

Cinnamon Rolls + Blood Orange Glaze

for the rolls

1 packet active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

pinch salt

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

for the filling

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons maple syrup

 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

for the blood orange glaze

2 cup powdered sugar 

2 tablespoon melted butter

pinch salt

splash vanilla extract

about 1/3 cup blood orange juice

In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk yeast, warm water and sugar.  Let sit.  

In a small pot, melt butter.  Add milk.  When steaming hot, remove from heat.  When warm, whisk into yeast mixture.  Add egg, salt and flour.   Knead with dough hook attachment for a few minutes until dough is a smooth ball.  (More flour maybe added during kneading if dough seems too sticky.)   Place dough ball in an oiled bowl, turning to coat.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. 

While dough is rising, whisk together melted butter, maple syrup, sugar and cinnamon.   

Punch dough down to deflate.  Roll out into a large rectangle, roughly 9" x 24".  

Spread filling evenly over rectangle.  Roll up dough, beginning with the long side.  Seal ends. Slice into 16 slices.  Arrange in 9"x 13" baking pan, leaving space between each roll.  Let rise about 40 minutes.  

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. 

While cinnamon rolls are baking, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, pinch salt, vanilla and blood orange juice until smooth.   

Glaze rolls and serve warm.  

Palmiers

Got a holiday party to go to?  Good.  Whatcha bringing?  Bring these!  Palmiers, a darling little puff pastry based cookie.  Also sometimes called elephant ears or palm leaves.  Because there's only three ingredients, one of which is pre-made puff pastry, they are one of the quickest and most economical treats one could make.  I really can't get enough of these little things.  

Palmiers

1 lb puff pastry dough, thawed if frozen

flour for dusting rolling surface

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine cinnamon and sugar.  Set aside.  On on lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry dough into a 18" x 14" rectangle.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.  Usea rolling pin to press sugar into dough.  Flip dough, sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar, press sugar into dough with rolling pin.  Fold left and right edges in so they meet at the center.  Fold edges into center again and fold in half like a book.  Chill about 15 minutes to firm dough - this makes it easier to cut.  Then slice into 1 centimeter wide slices. Press each slice into cinnamon sugar.  Arrange on a parchment or silpat lined sheet tray, leaving 2 inches between each slice with each slice sightly pinched out.   Bake 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and flip each individual palmier to caramelize the sugar on the other side.  Return to oven and bake 6 minutes more or until golden brown.  

Baked Stuffed Apple

Like super easy mini apple pies.  Perfect for a healthier thanksgiving dessert.  Serve with caramel sauce to make things extra delicious.  (Everything's better with a sauce or condiment, yes?)  Recipe is per apple.  I used granny smith.  I like them best for baking but if you're feeling crazy try  crispin, honey crisp or pink lady.  

Makes 1.  

Stuffed Baked Apple

1 apple

1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped pecans

1 1/2 teaspoon oats

1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar, plus a pinch more

cinnamon, to taste

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 sheet phyllo dough

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel apple halfway, leaving peel of bottom for apple with peel.  Carefully, remove core from the bottom.  Save the blossom/end piece.  Mix pecans, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and about 1 teaspoon of the melted butter.  Spoon into apple.  Replace end bit.   Rub apple with brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon.   

Brush one half of the phyllo dough with melted butter, fold in half and wrap apple.  Brush with butter.  Place baking dish and bake for 35 minutes.  

For the  apple cider sauce:  boil 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons apple cider and a pinch of salt.  Carefully, stir in a teaspoon of butter and a splash of milk.  Serve warm.  

 

Green Tea Meringue Parfait

The secret ingredient in this is matcha, a powdered green tea.  Matcha is powerful stuff and a little goes a long way.  This in an crisp, airy dessert with whipped cream, raspberries and a drizzle of honey.  

Serves 6.

Green Tea Meringue Parfaits

for the meringues

2 egg whites, at room temperature

pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon matcha powder

for the whipped cream

8oz heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar

for the topping

8oz fresh respberries

honey

Heat oven to 225 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, whip egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until they begin to become foamy, about 1 minute.  Keep beating an add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.  Beat until thick and glossy.  Beat in cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and matcha.  Beat until stiff meringue has formed.  It will hold its shape on an inverted whisk/beater.  

Spoon  dollops of meringue onto a slipat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  They dollops require minimal spacing.  They expand only a centimeter or so when baking, usually from slight deflation from moving the pan around.  Size according to serving glasses. 

Bake 40 minutes.  Turn pan.  Bake 40 minutes more.  Remove from oven and cool.   

In a small bowl, whisk heavy cream and sugar.  Don't over whip.  

In serving cups, later meringues with whipped cream, raspberries and a drizzle of honey.  

White Chocolate Brownies + Blueberries

These were almost raspberry brownies but we made a split decision at the market.  I think any kind of berry would be great in these.  

White Chocolate Berry Brownies

1 stick unsalted butter

8oz white chocolate (I like chips)

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup ap flour

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an eight inch square pan with foil or parchment paper and grease.  Set aside.

Place a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Add butter and melt.  Add chocolate chips, and melt.  Remove from heat.  Mix in sugar and vanilla.  Beat in eggs.  Mix in salt and flour.  When well combined, fold in berries.  

Pour into prepared pan and bake until center of brownies are set and test clean, about 30 minutes.  

 

 

Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies

So much good looking citrus around lately.  I love Meyer lemons, they tasty like a very lemony orange.  Meringues are super light, airy confections for whipped egg yolks and sugar with a crisp outer shell and soft inside.   Easy as they are too make, they are easier to eat.  I have the hardest time not eating all of these while they are cooling.  

Also, don't throw out those egg yolks.  Save them for hollandaise, mayonnaise, key lime pie, custard, ice cream.  I think I'm saving mine for pasta.  

Makes about 36 1 1/2 inch cookies.

Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies

3 egg whites (at room temperature)  (save the yolks!)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

generous pinch of salt

3/4 cup sugar

zest of 1 meyer lemon

1 1/2 teaspoon meyer lemon juice

Heat oven to 200 degrees.  Line 2 half pans with a silpat or parchment paper.  

In a mixing bowl, give eggs a quick beat eggs until foamy, about 10 seconds. Add cream of tartar and salt.  Beat on medium speed until peaks form.  Slowly add sugar, by the tablespoon, beating well after each addition, until all sugar is gone and stiff peaks have formed.  Fold in zest and juice.  

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large flower tip.  Pipe cookies of desired size onto lined baking sheet.  Meringues don't expand or rise when baking so they don't require much room.  Cookies can also be formed by being dropped by the spoonful onto the baking sheet.  

Bake 2 hours on upper racks.  Cool in oven 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes more. 

Marbled Pumpkin + Cardamom Cheesecake

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Cheesecake making requires a bit more attention to detail and patience than most cakes.  When making a cheesecake you are part cook and part baby sitter but it's worth it, no?   

Here are a couple tips on cheesecake making.  Mostly, we are trying to avoid cracking, a common problem. 

First, make sure the cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature.  Otherwise, your filling could be lumpy and lumps can lead to cracking.  The eggs and wrapped cream cheese can be quickly brought to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of very warm tap water for 15 minutes.   

When mixing the filling we want to whip the least amount of air in as possible so use a low speed.  Eggs hold air, so add those towards the end.  

Use a water bath when baking and bake at a low temperature.  Baking times can vary  start checking it around the 40 minute mark.  The cake should be very lightly golden at the edges and almost set with a moist, wiggly center.  

As the cake cools it will want to pull away from the edges so run a knife around the edge before cooling to help loosen it up.  Also, it's going to need to cool as slowly as possible.  Cool in the water bath and then out on the bath on a rack for about an hour.  It will then need to go in the fridge to finnish setting for at least 6 hours.   

When cutting the chilled cheesecake use a large knife and wipe clean in between cuts.   

Pumpkin + Cardamom Marbled Cheesecake

for the crust

1 1/2 graham cracker crumbs, (about 10 full sized cracker/ 1 wrapped package) 

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

pinch salt

4 tablespoons butter, melted

for the filling

2 8oz packages cream cheese, not low fat, at room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 eggs, at room temperature 

1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 or 9 inch springform pan.  Combine graham crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter.  Press into pan to form the crust.  Bake 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.  

Cream the cream cheese at a low speed until very smooth.  Add sugar, salt, flour, vanilla and lemon juice.  Continue mixing until evenly combined.  Add eggs and mix until just combined.  Divide filling in half into two bowls.  In the one bowl, mix pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg.   In the other bowl, mix in cardamom.  

Grease the sides of the crust pan again if needed.  Tilt the pan slightly to one side and pour in pumpkin filling.  Pour cardamom filling into the other side of the pan, strategically tilting the pan as needed.  Use a small spoon or butter knife to marble the two fillings together. Place spring form pan in a larger pan or baking dish.  Fill with warm water to an inch below the top of the spring form pan.

Bake 40-60 minutes at 325 degrees until center is just set but wiggly and moist.  Remove from oven, run a knife around the edge of cake to loosen from pan and cool in bath 10 minutes.  Remove from bath and cool on a rack about an hour.  Transfer to fridge and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.  Pan sides can be removed before chilling if you prefer.  

Pavlova + Roasted Peaches + Whipped Cream

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Mmm.  Pav.  Love it.  Possibly the fanciest way to showcase fruit in a dessert.  It's a light and airy.  The outside of the meringue is has a delicate crunch while the inside is soft and marshmallowy.  

I prefer serving individual desserts but this recipe could be used to make a 9 inch pavlova.  Just trace around a 9" pie pan and use it as a guide if needed.  If you eyeball it, just try to keep it 2 inches tall.  The pav can be made a day ahead and topped before serving.

Serves 10-12. 

Pavlova with Roasted Peaches + Whipped Cream

4 egg whites, room temperature  

pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter  

1 cup white sugar  

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

splash vanilla extract

3 peaches, pitted, sliced

1 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 230 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, whip egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until they begin to become foamy, about 1 minute.  Keep beating an add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.  Beat until thick and glossy.  Beat in cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla.  Beat until stiff meringue has formed.  It will hold its shape on an inverted whisk/beater.  

Spoon large dollops of meringue onto a slipat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  They dollops require minimal spacing.  They expand only a centimeter or so when baking, usually from slight deflation from moving the pan around.  Create a slight depression in each dollop that will hold the whipped cream and peaches.  

Bake 40 minutes.  Turn pan.  Bake 40 minutes more.  Remove from oven and cool.   

For the peaches:  Raise oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange sliced peaches on a lined pan and roast 25 minutes.   

For whipped cream:  Place cream in a bowl (with optional pinch of sugar and vanilla extract) and whip until it becomes fluffy.  Don't over whip. 

Top each pavlova with whip cream, then peaches.  

 

Peach Crisp for One

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Sometimes I just want a little treat but I don't want to make a whole batch of something.  A crisp is a great solution because It's very quick and doesn't require any crazy ingredients.  It's fruit based and perfect for enjoying whatever fruit is in season.    

Bake in any small oven safe baking dish like a mini pie pan or ramekin.   

serves 1. 

 Single Serving Peach Crisp 

1 large or 2 small peaches, pitted and sliced

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

pinch sugar

pinch salt

couple turns black pepper

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons oats

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

pinch cinnamon + nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon cold butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl toss peach slices, cornstarch, pinch sugar, salt, black pepper and lemon juice.  (I just use my hands.)  Transfer peach mix to baking vessel.  Wipe out bowl and mix oats, light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.   Work butter in with fingers until a course crumb forms.  Cover peach mix with oat mix.  

Bake 30 minutes.   

Watermelon Popsicles

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It's summer and it's hot.  It's nice to have a chilly treat to cool down with.  

Watermelon Popsicles

1 small watermelon

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup sugar

10 stems fresh mint

First, turn that watermelon into juice.  If you have a juicer or food mill, use it.  Otherwise, place a large fine mesh sieve over a bowl.  Chop watermelon into pieces and rub/mash them into the sieve.  You will be left with a few seeds in the sieve and about 3 cups watermelon juice in the bowl.  Set juice aside.  

In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice, sugar and mint.  Give the mint a few smashes with a wooded spoon to help release its flavor.  Heat until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes.  Remove mint and add liquid to watermelon juice.  

Pour into popsicle molds, position sticks and freeze about 4 hours.   

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

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I can't believe I'm saying this but I really prefer these without frosting because the actual cake base is so flavorful.  The buttermilk adds a little tanginess and the (in season) blueberries are juicy and sweet.  If you do want to frost these, after all these are cupcakes and what's a cupcake without frosting?  (practically a muffin.) , consider a lemon glaze or a lemon cream cheese frosting.  

I like to smash the blueberries instead of leaving them whole, they float in the batter instead of sinking.  Just put them in a bowl and smash them with a spoon, fork or masher.  

Makes 24 standard cupcakes

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick butter, very soft or melted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 pint blueberries, lightly smashed

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep cupcake tin with papers or oil.  Set aside. 

In a bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.   

In a large mixing bowl, mix butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs.  Mix until pale yellow.  Add flour mix and buttermilk.  Add vinegar and fold in blueberries.  

Spoon into prepared cups, filling 2/3 full.  Bake 20 minutes or until they test clean.  Carefully, remove from tin, cool completely before frosting.