Friday, January 28, 2011

Condensed Milk Chocolate Pound Cake (Gluten Free)

This was the excuse needed to sit down yesterday and create a gluten free chocolate cake. I have only made chocolate box mix chocolate cakes since becoming gluten free.  Being that it  was National Chocolate Cake Day(January 27, 2011), I now had an excuse
I found the recipe shown below first, but since it wasn’t gluten free, had to do some comparisons to chocolate cakes, gluten free cakes and cakes that used condensed milk

1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
 1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
Cooking Spray

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-cup fluted tube pan with no-stick cooking spray.
Combine sweetened condensed milk, shortening, brown sugar and eggs in medium bowl with electric mixer; mix well.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in small bowl; stir into milk mixture just until moistened. Gradually add vanilla and water. Pour into prepared pan.
BAKE 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; remove from pan. Cool 30 minutes.

I finally created a gluten free version that I liked. I always think nutrition when I make sweets or breads. My goal when creating the gluten free version is to reduce cholesterol, starch, sugar and fat. That’s not to say it will not be fit to eat, just a little healthier.
This is a half sized recipe

Condensed Milk Chocolate Pound Cake (Gluten Free)
Lait condensé Gâteau au chocolat Pound (sans gluten)

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, softened
1/2 cup sugar
7 ounces fat free sweetened condensed milk (half of the can, weigh to be accurate)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
Dry Ingredients
1 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix (suitable for cakes) plus 3/4 tsp Xanthan gum
6 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
Frosting (optional):
1 tbsp Peanut Butter Chips
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a half sized Bundt pan with oil spray, set aside.
2. In a large bowl using a mixer, mix butter, shortening, condensed milk, egg and sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla.

3. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and cinnamon. Add to mixing bowl. Continue mixing, adding the liquids used.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 - 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto serving plate.

The slight discoloration is caused by extra oil spray in the pan.

5. To frost, melt peanut butter chips and frosting in microwave about a minute and stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake. I chose to not completely blend the peanut butter chips and frosting

Yield: 1 half sized Bundt        Servings: 10

As prepared: Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 338 calories, 17.2g total fat, 5.3g monounsaturated fat, 1.6g polyunsaturated fat, <1g trans fatty acids, 8.7g saturated fat, 53.1mg cholesterol, 135.2mg sodium, 319mg potassium, 43.3g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 41g net carbohydrates, <1g starch, 25.1g sugar, 4.4g protein, 1.1mg iron.

The frosting only adds:
Nutrition (per serving): 21 calories, <1g total fat, 0g monounsaturated fat, 0g polyunsaturated fat, <1g trans fatty acids, <1g saturated fat, <1mg cholesterol, 13mg sodium, 7.5mg potassium, 2.9g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 2.7g net carbohydrates, 2.3g sugar, <1g protein, <1mg iron.

So enjoy with the frosting!

This cake can also be baked in a loaf pan (decided to not fill the Bundt pan to 3/4th full). Scraped the remainder into a small loaf pan and dropped a few peanut butter chips over it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Year Ending, Year Beginning


Now, to reminisce…….
For New Years Day, I did a different take on dinner. Of course, I like black-eyed peas and ham hocks, BUT…. This is my mix-up that I find quite delicious.

New Years Peas with Kale and Ham

1 16 oz bag of frozen black-eyed or Crowder Peas
3 cups fresh chopped Kale
2 cups cubed cooked ham
2 Tbsp dehydrated diced onions
1 tsp ginger, powdered
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb spice mix
1 Tbsp Litehouse Freeze Dried Herb Salad mix
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Olive oil

1. Prepare all ingredients. Spray an iron Skillet with oil spray (optional).
2. Place 1 tbsp of oil in skillet and heat to hot (not smoking).
3. Add the spices, kale and ham to the skillet, Sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring to mix.
4. Add the peas and stir to combine. Continue stirring about 5 minutes.

5. Add 1/3 cup water, stir and cover. Turn heat to low and allow cooking for about 45 minutes.
6. Test for seasoning; add a little more, if desired
7. Check for done-ness and seasoning. If additional liquid is needed, add 1/2 cup of water AFTER checking for seasoning. Replace cover and allow the liquid to be somewhat absorbed into the dish.
8. Serve hot Yield: Estimated number of servings: 6

Nutrition (per serving): 229 calories, 5.8g total fat, 2.9g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, 1.4g saturated fat, 25.7mg cholesterol, 639.6mg sodium, 669.5mg potassium, 25.5g carbohydrates, 4.9g fiber, 20.6g net carbohydrates, 1.3g sugar, 19.9g protein, 3.1mg iron.

I recommend that you do not add salt as the ham most likely has lots of salt.
Of course, out came the Spicy Salsa Muffins

I also made what I refer to as Asian Inspired Ribs – sort of sweet /sour/spicy
Baked on grill pan with Cajun spices, and then moved to dish with combination of barbecue sauce with Balsamic vinegar added.

Of course later in the week, it was time to pull out the salads, with some left-over ribs. There were lots of salads the second week of January!

As the third week of January rolled in, I remembered the Dakota Lakes Gourmet coating that I won earlier in the year. Used it to bake some chicken breasts. Just prepare the chicken, place it in a sprayed dish and sprinkle ample coating over it!

Well, I seem to have cooked all week

Saturday – 1/22/11

Now-That's Spicy! Corn and Andouille Sausage Skillet
2 lbs fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 large red bell pepper cut into cubes
1 12 oz pkg Wellshire All Natural Andouille Sausage
1 Tbsp dehydrated onion
1 tsp Parsley Flakes
1/2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp Litehouse Freeze-Dried Salad herb blend
2 tsp Chili powder

1. Chop peppers and cut Andouille sausage into cubes.
When doubling this recipe…..
2. Place peppers and Andouille sausage  into iron skillet or Dutch oven and sauté for about five minutes to release the oil. Add in the corn and spices.
If not doubling, just add all of the ingredients in the skillet and sauté.

3. Cook on high and stir to mix all ingredients for 5 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low. Stir after 25 minutes. This is ready in about 1 hour.

Tip: Best cooked in cast iron utensil, no additional oil or salt is needed
Feel free to substitute the sausage with Kielbasa, if Andouille is too spicy.

Servings: 8
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 210 calories, 5.6g total fat, <1g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, 0g trans fatty acids, 2.2g saturated fat, 42mg cholesterol, 256.4mg sodium, 456.5mg potassium, 27.9g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 24.4g net carbohydrates, 0g starch, 4.9g sugar, 13.3g protein, 1.2mg iron.

Also,  during the third week, I spent time replenishing the pantry with my home-made snacks:

Granola Bars

A Snacker that will be in the upcoming cookbook

Graham Crackers

Made S’mores with the graham crackers

Yes, they stand up for S’mores – kinda microwaved the chocolate too long

December is a blur…….

For Christmas, I managed to bake big batches of gluten free cookies

Pictures of some of the goodies - will be in cookbook


Over the next few weeks, I will be spending time working on my planned cookbook.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Since I retired, I have begun to fall into the ‘stay up late’, sleep late syndrome. That means I am missing eating breakfast at a normal time. My first meal is usually around 11:30 or noon.

I was advised to eat more protein at breakfast, but that is a bit difficult for me because the ‘meat’ protein that I like is not the healthiest meat. Of course, I love bacon (loaded with sodium), those little brown and eat breakfast sausages (loaded with sodium). Often it’s a quick Eggbeaters’ egg and a glass of water with my meds!

There is an interesting article Healthy Eating Planner: 31 Days of Superfoods that really makes sense for all meals. Most of the things on the list are in my meals. Of course, I do not eat wheat or beef! I like all of their Superfoods, including the dark chocolate.
Lemons, Broccoli, Dark chocolate, Potatoes, Salmon, Walnuts, Avocado, Garlic, Spinach, and Beans

Another great article is on the Anti-inflammatory Diet: Anti-inflammatory Foods. Most of us could use it, because it removes most refined products (white sugar, white rice, pasta, cookies (on no!)) from the diet. Can’t give up the cookies; just have to work on making sure they have some good nutrition along with the ‘fillers’. The “diet” includes “spicing it up”, which is normal for me.
According to the article, the anti-inflammatory diet is probably very close to the Mediterranean diet, which avoids processed foods.

I made a recipe from Betty Crocker: Baked Apple Oatmeal that is very good! The original recipe is for 8 servings so I scaled it to 4 servings. This is a good-size serving and very filling. The recipe said to top with the walnuts. I added them in. I peeled half of the apple because I don’t really like apple peel on some apples. The unpeeled apple is just fine. My recommendation is not to peel the apple. I used a sweet red apple (not red delicious), probably McIntosh.

If you can get the kiddies to sit for breakfast, make this for them and use the old-fashioned oat meal as stated!.

This is how I prepared it:

Baked Apple Oatmeal
1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup raisins
2 cups milk 2%
2 tbsp Brown or Turbinado Sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium apple, chopped (approximately 2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In  large casserole, mix all ingredients.

2. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed. Serve with additional milk, if desired.

Yield: Makes 4 large servings

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 303 calories, 9.3g total fat, 2g monounsaturated fat, 4.2g polyunsaturated fat, 0g trans fatty acids, 2.3g saturated fat, 9.8mg cholesterol, 52.1mg sodium, 344.9mg potassium, 49.8g carbohydrates, 4.7g fiber, 45g net carbohydrates, 1g starch, 28.1g sugar, 9g protein, 1mg iron.

If you are watching sugar, substitute 1 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend or 2 tbsp Granulated Stevia(In the Raw). 

Remember the Sweet Potato Muffin Top Biscuits? Well, I baked them as biscuit muffins. I added a little extra water to thin the batter to cake batter consistency. Of course, you can add another tablespoon of sugar or honey. They were baked in a 6-cup muffin pan at 350F.