Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Maple Bourbon Chocolate Ganache Tart with Salted Hazelnut Crust, Vegan, Paleo, and Gluten-Free


This may be one of the best desserts I have ever made. It is complex and perfectly balanced with a salted hazelnut crust and a creamy maple, bourbon chocolate ganache filling.

The crust has a similar texture to graham cracker crusts and the filling is richly dense while remaining easily sliceable. The tart is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and paleo.


I recommend it for an adults-only crowd, or reduce or omit the alcohol for younger palates. My kids enjoyed a few bites before announcing that there was something strange about it. I admitted to possibly adding a splash of bourbon. Possibly.

“It was on the shelf,” I said. “It was calling me.” 

“You should have resisted the temptation,” Brad said, pushing his pie away. “See how well it worked out for Adam and Eve?”

Good point. 

Rich helped himself to the rest of Brad’s pie.


In my defense, bourbon has as much alcohol as vanilla extract does. Actually, vanilla extract is bourbon, primarily. So, if you put vanilla in your desserts, why not bourbon? I rest my case. In any case, more pie for me.  

Make sure to use a good quality unsweetened chocolate. I prefer Guittard Unsweetened Chocolate Gourmet Baking Bars because they are Certified Fair Trade and has a deep chocolate flavor with floral and spice notes. 

Maple Bourbon Chocolate Ganache Tart with Salted Hazelnut Crust

Serves 12


For the crust:


2 cups (about 200 grams) ground hazelnuts
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons palm shortening or vegan butter, melted


For the filling:

¾ cup coconut cream, divided
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, divided
Pinch sea salt
6 ounces 100% cacao chocolate, such as Guittard, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons bourbon, optional  

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the hazelnuts, sugar, and sea salt. Drizzle in the melted butter or shortening and vanilla extract. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  3. Press the mixture into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. 
  4. Place the tart pan on a larger baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.


To make the filling:

  1. Bring ½ cup of the coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt, and bourbon to a simmer in a small sauce pan. Remove from the heat. 
  2. Stir in the chocolate with a spatula and then allow to rest for 5 minutes. Stir again until the chocolate is melted.
  3. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup of coconut cream to cool the mixture.
  4. Pour into the prepared tart shell and refrigerate until set, 2 to 3 hours.




Nutrition Information:
Hazelnut Bourbon Maple Chocolate Torte, 12 servings
Per slice: Calories 273, Fat 23, Protein 5, Carbohydrates 17 (Sugars 10), Fiber 4

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Date Caramel and Apples from The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Families



I am so excited to announce that my new book The Gluten Free Cookbook for Families is available for pre-order on Amazon and is the number one new release in gluten-free diet today! My amazing publisher has teamed up with the Beyond Celiac organization to bring one lucky winner a gift basket loaded with gluten-free treats and pantry staples.

Simply pre-order the book, and enter here for your chance to win. 


The winner will receive :
    Arrowhead Mill Coconut Flour
    Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Pasta
    Mia's Kitchen Gluten Free Garlic and Onion Pasta Sauce
    Imagine Organic Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth
    Annie's Creamy Deluxe Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
    Modern Oats Nuts and Seeds Oatmeal
    Modern Oats Apple Walnut Oatmeal
    Enjoy Life Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Jason's Gluten Free Bodywash

Pre-order giveaway for Gluten Free Cookbook for Families

As many of you know, I have written more than a dozen books, but this one is especially close to my heart. Going gluten-free has made such a profound impact on my health and my kids' health and well-being. The book is brimming with stories and recipes for our family's favorite meals. Some recipes I'm especially excited about include Loaded Vegetarian Pizza (with a grain-free, paleo pizza crust!), Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Sauteed Zucchini, and the most authentic recipe for Shrimp Pad Thai you'll ever find. 

I'm also pretty smitten by this simple salted date caramel with sliced apples. It's naturally free from gluten and refined sugar and is a healthy snack my kids will devour when they come home from school. 



Date Caramel and Apple Slices
excerpted from The Gluten Free Cookbook for Families, by Pamela Ellgen

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Allergen-Free, Vegan, One Dish
Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes, plus 15 minutes inactive time / Cook time: 0 minutes 

The first time I tasted date caramel, I was undone. It requires no cooking and no added sugars, and yet it’s sweet, syrupy, and exquisite drizzled over pancakes or used as a dip for apples. Store it in a sealable container for an energizing snack.  

½ cup pitted medjool dates
¼ to 1/3 cup hot water
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored and cut into wedges 

1.     Cover the dates with hot water in a heat proof container, using as much as needed to cover. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.
2.     Add the coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Use an immersion blender to puree until very smooth.
3.     Serve the date caramel with the apple slices.  

Serving Tip: If you’re sending this in a school lunchbox, sprinkle the apple slices with lemon juice to keep them from browning.  


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage and Hazelnuts


In the Christmas movie The Family Man, Jack, played by Nicholas Cage, gets a glimpse of the life he rejected. On Christmas Eve, he is transported from his investment banking, Ferrari-driving, single malt Scotch drinking life in New York City to his college girlfriend, the family he never had, and a broken minivan in suburban New Jersey.

New Jersey, Kate.

Every time I watch the movie, I'm know I'm supposed to think about how rich the simple life is with dirty diapers and barking dogs and friends who wear bowling shirts.

I don't.

I imagine life in a high rise, attending the opera, wearing black dresses that aren't made of jersey knit, and drinking wine that isn't sold by the glass. I am a bad person. 



During his glimpse at what his life could have looked like, Jack takes his wife, played by Tea Leoni, to dinner in the city. As he brings a bite of food to his lips, he closes his eyes and says, "God, I miss that taste!"

That is how I feel about this pasta, especially these roasted butternut squash ravioli with sage, toasted hazelnuts, and nutty brown butter. After five years of being gluten free I have missed the taste of fresh pasta. Last month, I developed a recipe for homemade gluten-free, paleo pasta that fulfills all of my pasta lusts. It is tender, chewy, and perfectly delicate. 

That said, it is temperamental. (Read: I pay the swear jar at least a dollar before I even get started.) But, I try to remind myself that making fresh pasta, even with wheat flour, requires patience and sensitivity. You can't rush the process. It is a labor of love

But once I take that first bite, I realize it is worth every ounce of effort. Hence, I've made the recipe at least once a week in the month since developing it. Tonight, I'm using this pasta dough to make celeraic and chevre fennel agnolotti with brown butter parsley pesto and shiitakes from Local Milk Blog.


Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage and Hazelnuts 

Serves 4
 
Filling
1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds and strings removed
1 teaspoon roasted garlic
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper  

Pasta Dough 
3/4 cup tapioca starch (100 grams), plus more for dusting 
3/4 cup almond flour (90 grams)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
3 large eggs, divided

3 tablespoons ghee  
1 sprig fresh sage, minced
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts

Filling 
1. To make the filling, preheat the oven to 400F. Place the butternut squash in a roasting dish. Roast uncovered for 1 hour, or until the flesh is tender. 

2. When it is cool enough to handle, scoop the butternut squash flesh into a small mixing bowl. You should have about 2 cups.

3. Stir in the roasted garlic and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper. Set the filling aside. You can complete this step a day ahead of time if you wish. 


Pasta Dough
1. To make the pasta dough, Mix the tapioca starch, almond flour, sea salt, and guar gum in a small mixing bowl. 

2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 2 eggs. Use a spatula to stir it around, slowly incorporating the flours until the dough comes together into a ball. Place the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and dust lightly with tapioca starch.

3.  Divide the dough into four to six pieces and cover all but one with a towel or plastic so that they do not dry out. Knead one of the dough pieces with your hand and flatten until it is about 1/4-inch thick.

4. Set the pasta maker to the first setting, #1, which is the widest. Run the dough through the machine twice. If it tears, fold it back onto itself and run it through again. If it sticks, dust lightly with tapioca starch.

5. Set the pasta maker to the next setting, #2, and run the pasta dough through it twice. Reduce the setting again to #3 and run the dough through twice. You can stop at this setting for a slightly thicker noodle, or drop the setting to #4 and run it through twice more.

6. Make two pieces of dough into sheets and lay them side by side on the parchment paper.


7. Scoop the filling onto the dough by the tablespoon, spacing apart by about 1 1/2 inches between each bit of filling.

8. Whisk the remaining egg. Brush the egg lightly along the sheet of pasta with the filling. Carefully place the top sheet of pasta over the filling and press gently in between each lump of filling, then press along all other sides trying to prevent any air bubbles from remaining in each ravioli.

9. Use a sharp knife, pasta cutter, or ravioli stamp to cut each ravioli. Add the scraps to the remaining dough.

10. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough.



 To Cook and Serve
 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ravioli for 7 to 9 minutes. 

2. During the last 2 minutes of the ravioli cooking time, heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sage and hazelnuts and cook until fragrant.

3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked ravioli to the skillet and brown gently in the ghee. Season with salt and pepper.