Flourless Chocolate Cake

February 06, 2014


Before going gluten free, I am not sure that I noticed just how big of a role food plays in our lives.  But now that we have to think about everything we consume, it can feel like we go from one holiday to the next.  And every occasion requires new research into what is safe and what is not safe.


This Flourless Chocolate Cake will make your loved ones swoon on Valentine’s Day. 


Serve it while you watch the movie Chocolat for a fun evening.  Chocolat is a movie about a young woman and her daughter who open a chocolate shop in a small French village.  The opening of the chocolate shop during lent causes a battle between Christian beliefs and paganism.   We just watch the movie for the love story and the love of chocolate.   


Recipe for Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cake


TIME: 1 hour plus overnight

Use Earth Balance to make this recipe dairy free.






  • 8 large eggs, cold
  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces (use Earth Balance for dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting the cake and strawberries for decoration







1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom of a Non-Stick 8-Inch Springform Pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with 2 sheets of heavy-duty foil. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

2. Beat the eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer at high speed for about 5 minutes or until the volume doubles to approximately 1 quart.

3. Heat the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 50 percent power for 2 minutes.  Stir and add the butter and coffee.   Heat at 50 percent power, stirring every minute, until the chocolate and butter are melted and are smooth.

4.  Using a large rubber spatula, fold the egg foam into the chocolate mixture working in batches.  Fold a third of the egg foam into the chocolate mixture until only a few streaks of egg are visible.   Then fold in half of the remaining foam.  Then fold in the last of the foam, until the mixture is homogenous.

5. Set the prepared spring form pan inside the roasting pan.  Add the batter to the spring form pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.  Set the roasting pan on the lower-middle position of the oven rack.   Bake 22 to 25 minutes, until the cake has risen slightly, the edges are just beginning to set and a thin glazed crust (like a brownie) has formed on the surface.  When finished, an instant-read thermometer inserted halfway into the center will read 140 degrees.  

6. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

7. 30 minutes before serving, remove the sides of the pan; invert the cake onto a sheet of waxed paper and peel off the parchment paper.

Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and decorate with strawberries cut in quarters and lined around the outside of the cake.

Use a thin-bladed knife to cut, dipping the knife into a pitcher of hot water and wiping the blade before each cut.




Original Source of this Recipe is Baking Illustrated.



Vegetarian Nacho Pie

January 31, 2014


This dish may be vegetarian, but let’s be clear this is not health food.  Anything that starts with ½ cup of butter and includes ¼ cup whipping cream is not going to be featured on a health network. 


This is football food! 


I wish you could of heard the “oh my goodness this is good” which rang out from the kitchen table when I served this dish. 


Recipe for Gluten Free and Vegetarian Nacho Pie




  • 3 cups GF chicken broth  
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup GF flour (any kind of GF Flour will work)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) frozen corn, thawed
  • 4 cups GF tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz.)




  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a saucepan, heat broth over medium-high heat.
  3. In a deep skillet, melt butter and 2 tablespoons of the warm broth over medium-high heat.
  4. Add carrots, onion, garlic, seasoning, pepper and salt. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender.
  5. Gradually whisk in flour.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in whipping cream and remaining warm broth.
  7. Heat to boiling.  Add beans and corn.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
  9. Spoon into a greased, 2 quart baking dish.
  10. Top with crushed tortilla chips and sprinkle with cheese.
  11. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.





Gluten Free Calzones

January 29, 2014

I was thinking of waiting to post this recipe until I had better photos because the photos really do not do the recipe justice.  These Calzones taste great and they are really easy to roll out.  But it is so dark in the beautiful Pacific Northwest at this time of the year that it is really hard to get good photos at dinnertime. 

Here is photo of how dark my kitchen is at this time in the evening – the black rectangular thing is actually the base of my SUPER BRIGHT LIGHT that I use to light up the kitchen. 




Adding to my issues with these photos is that I made them before a high school basketball game.  While I was trying to adjust the light to get at least one good shot, my Gluten Free Teen (who helped me make them) was standing there anxiously tapping her foot because “Mom I need to leave.” 

So here you have a great recipe and not so great photos. 


Recipe for Gluten Free Calzones




  • 1 ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup millet flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup tapioca starch
  • ¼ cup dry milk powder (for dairy free use Vance's DariFree)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 Tablespoons GF flaxseed meal
  • 1 pack GF active yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus additional sea salt for sprinkling on top
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil (plus additional olive oil for sprinkling on top)

Your choice of fillings.



1.  Whisk together the brown rice flour, millet flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, dry milk powder, xanthan gum, GF flaxseed meal, yeast and salt until they become one consistent flour-like texture.
2.  Add to the bowl of your mixer.
3.  Add the wet ingredients.
4.  Mix until a firm dough ball is formed.  This will not take too long.
5.  If the dough is not holding together, add more olive oil as needed.
6.  Next roll out the dough on a surface lightly floured with cornstarch until it is about 1/8 inch thick.   Add more olive oil if too dry.  Be careful with the starch because the dough will not stick together if you get too much of it on the dough. 

I love my Silicone Baking Mat with Measurements.  I highly recommend it if you do much Gluten Free baking that requires rolling things out such as cookies, pies, calzones or scones.




Cover with saran wrap that has been sprayed with oil and let rest for 30 minutes.  Even though this recipe has yeast in it, the idea is not for the dough to rise much.  The yeast is just added for flavor.  
7.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
8.  Cut out the calzones – the easiest way to do this is with a medium round mixing bowl. Simply use it like a cookie cutter.





Move to a cookie sheet.   The Pastry Scraper/Chopper makes moving the Calzones a breeze. 

 9.  Fill the lower third of the circle with your choice of fillings. Some favorites:

  • Pizza or pasta sauce,
  • Cheese - cheddar, mozzarella, and goat cheese or your favorite non-dairy cheese alternative,
  • Olives, onions, red pepper, mushrooms,
  • Pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon,
  • Salt, fresh basil, parsley.




10.  Fold the calzone in half bringing the exposed edges together.  Seal the edges. 






11.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
12.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Let cool - the insides will be hot.





I have been adding new places to eat Gluten Free in Paris to my website. I am thinking I need to schedule another trip – for research purposes of course. 


Paris can be tricky but it is getting easier as more dedicated gluten free cafes and bakeries open.  A successful trip begins with the attitude that you will be happy with naturally gluten free food that is beautifully prepared and delicious.   Supplement these meals with a few visits to some of the gluten free bakeries listed on my website and you will have a wonderful trip. 


The funny thing about Paris is that there are places where we have eaten out very successfully multiple times, such as Brasserie Balzar.  We were not served gluten free bread or pasta, but I have had two delicious meals at the restaurant.  At the same time, I heard from another traveler who was told there was nothing gluten free on the menu.


What can I say, it is the French!  It always helps to start with a very warm Bon Jour and a smile and a parlez-vous anglais and a French dining card.  If you are making reservations, let them know your diet restrictions when you call. 


Here are two new places to eat Gluten Free in Paris:


Biosphère Café

47, rue Laborde 75008 Paris

01 42 93 45 58







Biosphère Café is a dedicated gluten free and organic creperie.

They offer all kinds of gluten free food including fresh baked baguettes, pizza, creamy soups, quiches, macaroons and pastries...


Everything is gluten free and homemade.

Everything is organic except the ham and meat.

They also have some pastries that are both gluten free and dairy free.

Located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It is recommended that you call ahead for a reservation.  A good place for lunch and a special treat.


Papy Bio

51 rue de Richelieu

75001 Paris

A new gluten free bakery in Paris that opened Fall of 2013. 




I have not visited myself but according to the website they make gluten free bread, pastries and macaroons.   I believe they also deliver throughout Paris.  Let us know if you get a chance to visit.  The macaroons look wonderful and they emailed me these photos of their tasty treats. 


 Follow this link for more places to Eat Gluten Free in Paris. 


If you need a tour guide, email me!  Wouldn't that be fun! 




My daughter saw the package of Glutino Honey Mustard Pretzels and declared, “My life is complete!”  (I am not joking). 

She went on to exclaim, “Do you know how long I have waited for these?”  Yes, I do.  Nine years to be exact. 

She then proceeded to stalk me around the kitchen until I had a chance to snap this photo.




Yes, they are good.  Very Good.

So good that after the photo, my daughter promptly grabbed the bag and asked me to order more. 

As she walked away with the bag, she added that these would be great to serve during the Seahawks game on Sunday. (Yes, we had to throw that in somewhere - Go Seahawks!)




Need I say more?


From Glutino:


6 oz. bag




6-Pack (6 x 6 oz. bag)






Corn Starch, Potato Starch, Rice Flour, Soluble Corn Fiber, Palm Oil, Canola Oil, Honey Mustard Seasoning (Sugar, Onion Powder, Dextrose, Salt, Maltodextrin, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Prepared Mustard [Distilled Vinegar, Mustard Seed, Salt, Turmeric], Dry Honey, Citric Acid, Spice, Vinegar Solids, Canola Oil, Torula Yeast, Turmeric Extractives, Tricalcium Phosphate, Acetic Acid, Natural Flavor), Sugar, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Yeast Extract, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Salt, Citric Acid

Follow this link to order on-line.


Looking for more Gluten Free Snack Ideas?  Click HERE.

The Hike Up

January 16, 2014

This is a photo from a waterfall from one of my favorite places in the entire world, Princess Louisa Inlet on the West Coast of Canada.  




Princess Louisa is a five-mile inlet with mile high sheer rock cliffs that ends in a cascading fall known as Chatterbox Falls.  




Chatterbox Falls is a breathtaking destination on its own.


But in a wet season you can stand (or sit) on your boat or kayak,




and take in a 360° view that includes more than 15 or so waterfalls, some of them not starting until 3000 feet high and then ending long before the sheer cliff walls reach the water. 


We found this waterfall one afternoon and had to climb it. 




I was a bit skittish that day about bears – I am actually always a bit skittish about bears.   The hair was standing up on the back of my neck as we set off.  I was extra nervous that we were going to bump into one because the rushing water was just loud enough that you could not hear 3 or 4 feet away from you.  I was worried we would not hear the bear, but worse yet, I was worried the bear would not hear us.


Another hazard on this hike up the waterfall were the loose boulders. 




Somewhat dangerous for the one in the lead but even worse yet for those below as occasionally a boulder would come loose and it was a “look out below” yell that went out for anyone in the path of the boulder.


But we persevered and eventually reached some beautiful pools where we took a dip (and a shower - literally).




What has brought this climb to my attention? 


My daughter started a blog as part of a project at school and she posted the waterfall photo.  At the same time, I have been working on a blog post about Starting the Gluten Free Diet. 


When I saw this photo I thought - what a perfect representation of how Going Gluten Free can feel in the beginning.   To go truly and completely gluten free is not an easy thing.  When we first went GF, I felt like I was drowning in information and misinformation and adjustments.  Along the way, I have also felt some boulders flying at me like Going out to Dinner, Camps for my Kids, not to mention Traveling. 


But I dodged the boulders and I kept climbing even though it was challenging, and eventually we did reach a spot where we could sit and relax and just live again. 


So if you are new to GF, just keep climbing, watch out for the boulders, and eventually you will be relaxing in the sun again. 





Gluten Free Smart Soup

January 13, 2014

Smart Soup is a family business, owned and operated out of Richmond, BC.  They sent me a sample of the soups to try.  I have to admit that I had somewhat low expectations.  After cooking from scratch for so many years, I did not think I would like a fast and easy throw in the microwave and have ready in 5 minutes soup.  But at lunchtime I keep going back to the freezer and getting them out until the samples were all gone.  They are very flavorful.  In fact, some were maybe a little too spicy for me but overall a good option for a quick and easy lunch. 


In addition to gluten free, all of the soups are:


-All natural, with no preservatives

-Low sodium

-Low fat and low in cholesterol

-American Heart Association Certified as a Heart Healthy food

(Heart-Check mark)

-Good source of fiber


-Made only from REAL ingredients that you can recognize and pronounce.



The soups are conveniently packaged in single servings that are ready in the microwave in minutes.  This makes them a great option for the lunch box, a college student or a quick grab-and-go lunch for at work.


According to the company:

In order to ensure we comply with our gluten free claim, our procedures include the following:

-All food contact equipment is swabbed prior to production for allergens (including gluten) and verified by QA,

-No gluten products are produced on the same day as the gluten free


-We have external lab tests verifying the gluten levels are well below

10 ppm,

-In addition, our employees follow proper Good Manufacturing Practices




Smart Soup is located in the freezer section and carried in all Super Target stores in the U.S., with more retailers coming soon.  Locations.

Follow this link to More Gluten Free Frozen Food Options. 


Gluten Free Belgian Waffles

January 10, 2014

Last summer for my birthday, my 10-year-old son signed into my Amazon account and bought me this awesome Double Belgian-Waffle Maker



I guess he really wanted to have some Belgian waffles and knew the only way he would get them would be if Mom made them!


Normally, I would not advise a spouse to buy, or participate in the purchasing of, kitchen appliances for his wife for occasions such as birthdays or Christmas.  A vacuum cleaner under the Christmas tree is probably not going to elicit a huge thank you. 


But there are some exceptions for appliances that are extra-special treats.


I have to say this waffle-maker was one of the best presents ever! 


Not because I was super excited to get, of all things, a kitchen appliance for my birthday.  But because of all of the fun family meals and happy memories this waffle maker has brought our family.


When I am coming up with new recipes, I like to create recipes for food that we cannot get GF unless I make it.   I guess my son decided he had waited long enough for a good Belgian Waffle.  So I spent some time in the kitchen tweaking a few recipes and here it is - one of our family’s favorite recipes.


I think it is okay to buy the wife, mother or significant other this gift, but be sure and include the recipe.  Even better yet, make them for him/her!


Recipe for Gluten Free Belgian Waffles




Yields: 8 Large Belgian Waffles


This recipe yields 8 Large Belgian Waffles, which is enough to feed your family and to throw a few in the freezer for breakfast.  My philosophy is that if I am going to spend time cooking something, I would like to yield enough food for a meal and for leftovers.  If it is too much for you, you can cut the ingredients in half. 




  • 8 eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 2 cups milk, warmed (for dairy free use almond or coconut milk)
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter, melted (for diary free use Earth Balance)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional - 1 cup blueberries or chocolate chips




  1. Bring the eggs to room temperature by putting them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
  2. Preheat the waffle maker and separate the eggs.
  3. Mix the egg yolks, milk, butter, lemon juice and vanilla in a large bowl until combined.
  4. Whisk together the brown rice flour, millet flour, potato starch, flax meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt until it becomes one unified texture.
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
  6. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold one half of the egg whites into the batter.   Fold in the other half.  Be careful not to over mix.
  8. Gently fold in optional ingredients such as blueberries or chocolate chips.
  9. Coat the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and pour enough batter in iron to just cover waffle grid.
  10. Cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
Store any extra waffles in individual sandwich bags in the freezer until ready to eat.  Rewarm in a toaster or a microwave. 






Get My Gluten-Free Deals!

Do I need to make my entire kitchen Gluten Free?




Most likely, similar to my family, only one or two of your family members eat gluten free.  In our family, my oldest daughter was initially diagnosed with celiac disease and I went gluten free shortly after that.  For a few years, we were the only two members of our family that were gluten free and so we had a shared gluten and non-gluten free kitchen.

If you have a shared kitchen, set up a dedicated gluten free area in your kitchen or pantry where you can put your gluten free toaster and products. 

  • Clearly label these areas and make sure they are above any areas that have wheat items.  You do not want the crumbs from your wheat crackers to contaminate your GF area.  
  • Make a rule that nothing with gluten in it ever touches the counter in the GF area of the kitchen. 
  • Dedicate the top shelves in your refrigerator as gluten free and clearly label it as your “gluten free only” area. 
  • Keep separate and label all gluten free spreads, butters, and condiments.  You do not want someone sticking a knife that has run over a piece of wheat toast in your GF butter dish.
  • Buy a dedicated GF toaster, cutting boards, strainers, wood spoons, and any other porous items that could trap gluten and clearly label them GF. 
  • Buy dedicated cleaning sponges and scrub brushes for your GF areas and items.   Clearly label all of your dedicated GF appliances etc.

Having these areas clearly labeled makes it easier on baby sitters, sometimes spouses and any company that you have over. 

Going GF all of the way. Eventually, after more than half of my family went gluten free and more gluten free products became available, we decided it would just be easier if our entire kitchen became GF.

This eliminated the cross-contamination issues in our kitchen.   We now just have one toaster, one jar of jam, one container of butter etc.  

I think it actually means a lot to my GF kids to have a safe GF environment at home. No matter how good of a show the child puts on, it can be hurtful when other people eat gluten around them.   Our kitchen is a safe haven where they don't feel constantly deprived and where they can eat anything in the refrigerator and pantry without worry. 

Lastly, having a dedicated gluten free kitchen is easier in the end.  I just cook one meal for dinner and everyone is happy. 


Cleaning out your Kitchen


Once you have a good idea of what gluten is, you need to go through your refrigerator, pantry, your medicine cabinet and your cosmetics and either get ride of everything that is not GF or clearly label it as not GF for someone else in the family to use. 

Even if your butter and jam is GF, in the beginning you will need to buy new-dedicated GF containers of the same.  You do not want to eat butter that may have been contaminated with a knife with gluten on it.  The same may be true for sugar as well if someone dipped a measuring cup with wheat flour into the sugar jar.

Because of contamination issues, clean anything out of your kitchen that could have the residue of gluten on it.  A good scrubbing or trip through the dishwasher will get most non-porous items such as glass, metal and Pyrex clean.  Anything that can hold some residue of gluten should be replaced.  The main items you are going to want to replace with designated gluten free items include:

  • Cutting boards,
  • Strainers and colanders,
  • Wood spoons, plastic utensils,
  • Nonstick pots and pans - can harbor gluten in scratches.
  • Plastic bowls - same reason that scratches can trap gluten.
  • Toaster,
  • Bread maker if you have one,
  • Grills - a lot of marinades contain soy sauce that is made with wheat.  You may be able to bake off the residue, but I like being extra safe.
  • Cookie sheets - a good scrubbing may get any former gluten residue off but I was a little too paranoid to use my old cookie sheets for my now gluten free cookies.  If cost is an issue, you can use parchment paper on old cookie sheets. I would replace silicon baking sheets and muffin tins that have been used with gluten products.
  • Cleaning sponges or scrub brushes – you don’t want to clean your GF dishes etc. with a scrub brush that has been contaminated with gluten.
  • Wooden rolling pins and flour sifters.
  • Any other porous items such as iron pans.

After you have sorted through the food items and appliances, this is a good time to give everything in your kitchen a good wipe down including your refrigerator and the inside of your oven.


My Favorite Kitchen Appliances for My GF Kitchen.


In the last nine years, I have gone from having no-idea how to cook to being a pretty good gluten free chef (at least to my family).  Along the way, I have picked up a few new appliances that I consider essential.  I really believe in the simpler gluten free lifestyle and that carries over into my kitchen, so I don't have a ton of appliances.  But here is a list of my favorite appliances that I would be sad not to have in my GF kitchen.  Of course the two appliances we use most are our toaster and coffee maker.    This is a list of "extra" appliances that will help in your GF cooking.  I even listed them in order of importance to me. 


This may seem surprising but I use my mini processor as much as anything else in my kitchen.  It is great for grinding up a quick topping for baked chicken fingers, some almonds if I need to make some almond flour, chopping up an onion, making chicken salad.  It is something that I would really miss if I did not have it.


This would be my second most favorite appliance.  I love my KitchenAid Mixer.   I use it at least five times a week for making everything from a quick batch of GF brownies to perfectly whipped mashed potatoes.  I even shred Cheddar Cheese with an attachment.  If you can afford it, you will not regret buying it.


This appliance gets used 1 to 2 times a week depending on the season.  It is great for whipping up some hummus or Thai peanut sauce.  You can also make GF bread dough in a food processor. 



I love this little appliance that is all about speed and efficiency.  We use it to whip up smoothies, make chicken salad, puree soup, and make a chocolate shake for dessert.  It gets used 2 or 3 times a week. 


Popcorn is a pretty regular snack at our house so this get used a lot too.  I even make it and put it in the kid's lunch boxes. 


You might be surprised that I put this one last.  I think a bread maker is a nice luxury if you can afford it, but you can make bread without a bread maker.  Having the bread maker simplifies the process - you just pour everything in and turn it on.  If you have the time, you can be successful at making GF bread without a bread maker. READ OUR FULL REVIEW.

Now your kitchen is all cleaned out, tomorrow we will go shopping for some gluten free food!