Category Archives: Daring Baker Challange

June 2009 Daring Kitchen Challenge- Chinese dumplings/potstickers

The Kitchen at 200 x 170 (largest)

This month’s challenge is a family recipe from Jen of Use Real Butter.  It is one of the things I used to LOVE back in the ol’gluten filled days – potstickers!  I made a dough last year for mu shu wraps that at the time I thought I would try as a potsticker wrap, but, you know how it goes, I got busy and never quite got to it.  So, here we are, a year later, and it took the amazing Daring Cooks to get me to remember and try it.  Thanks guys!  I am so glad I did.  The fillings used were very tasty.  Jen is one lucky girl having grown up on these every weekend!

This does take a bit of time to put together (think roll, fill, fold and pinch – over and over and over and over…), but I think the results are worth it.  I have missed these.  I am putting these up in the freezer for Mommy treats (okay, I’ll share…) and for guests and just to have on hand.  I will put the freezing instructions and some other filling options on the blog Friday for Gluten Free-zer Friday, so stay tuned!

The Challenge: Chinese dumplings/potstickers (aka gyoza in Japanese)

Challenge by Jen of Use Real Butter (family recipe) adapted to gluten free by me

Jen says:  “It’s a basic concept: a filling inside a dough wrapper, sealed, and cooked. This delicious theme runs through many cultures and is among the more popular bites at Chinese restaurants – especially dim sum. The recipe I provide is based on my family recipe. There is a lot of wiggle room and I encourage you to explore. If you’ve made them before – great! Now try something different!”

Gluten Free Potsticker Wrappers (same as the Mu Shu Wraps) by Angela Litzinger

Made a few more than 2 dozen…  You will need to double this to have enough dough for the filling.

1 cup finely ground rice flour

1/4 cup sweet rice flour

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 – 1 cup tapioca flour/starch

Place rice and sweet rice flour in a pan.  While mixing, add water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until flour is cooked and very, very sticky.  Remove from heat.  Place sticky dough into a mixing bowl.  Add 1/2 cup tapioca flour to bowl and mix with paddle attachment of your mixer.  Allow dough to cool.  When cool, remix.  If dough is too sticky to handle, sprinkle dough with 2 – 3  tablespoons of tapioca flour at a time and mix (this will depend on the humidity in your area).  When you have a dough you can pull off pieces and not have stick to your hands (think play dough consistency – Yum), it is ready.

Roll slightly smaller than walnut sized pieces of dough, flatten into a disk, place on lightly “floured” (use tapioca flour/starch) plastic wrap, roll out dough with a rolling pin, rotating dough/flipping dough over so that wrap is evenly rolled out, using plastic wrap if needed to help pick up dough.  I made 3 1/2 – 4” rounds.

About this size for the dough…

Look how thin this rolls out even though it is a gluten free!  Woo!

Check Jen’s post on how to fill and shape the dumplings.  I wet the edge of the round with a bit of water to get the edges to stick if the pleating wasn’t sticking, but the dough mostly stuck to itself.  Remember that gluten free dough is a bit fragile, so you be gentle to your dough.  Any rips and tears I had were pretty easy to put back together, however.  I did have to place the dumpling dough with the filling on a tray, then pleat, instead of pleating in my hands as the dough couldn’t take too much rough handling…

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Dumplings ready for cooking.

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To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

To steam: Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.

To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

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photoMy tasty potstickers.

(Sorry about the photo quality.  Iphones are great, but maybe not for food photos…)

Jen’s Family Potsticker Fillings:

pork filling:
1 lb (450g) ground pork (I used ground turkey – do NOT use low fat ground turkey- because that is what I had, but will use pork next time)
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
3 stalks green onions, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried – rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
1/2 cup (75g) bamboo shoots, minced
1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce (use a gluten free one!)
2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil (I used toasted sesame oil)
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

I also added 2 cloves minced garlic, because I’m crazy like that…

OR

shrimp filling:
1/2 lb (225g) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (225g) ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup (55g) ginger root, minced
1 cup (142g) water chestnuts, minced
1 tsp (5g) salt
3 tbsp (40g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

dipping sauce:

2 parts soy sauce (use a gluten free one)
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil (again, I like the toasted sesame oil)
chili garlic paste (optional) (use a gluten free one)
minced ginger (optional)
minced garlic (optional)
minced green onion (optional)
sugar (optional)

Thank you,  Jen, for this challenge.  It has inspired me and brought back an old friend to my dinning table!  I will be making, and freezing these with various fillings to enjoy whenever the mood strikes…  Knowing myself, that mood should be very often!


I’m walking 60 miles in the Breast Cancer 3-day!  Will you help me reach my goal?

October 2008 Daring Baker Challenge – Pizza Crust

 

 

This challenge was a nice one.  I had already figured out a gluten and dairy free crust that my family really likes, but this one makes a good crust that is egg free and one you can freeze the unbaked dough.  Nice!  

 

I didn’t get too creative on the toppings.  I have kids and one will only eat “cheese” (cashew cheese sauce) and pepperoni on her pizza, NO tomato sauce or anything else.  Everyone else like lots of toppings, from roasted peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, spinach, etc.  Really anything you can put on a pizza.  (Except my husband, who thinks Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza is an abomination.  I wonder where my picky daughter gets it from?)  We had a wedding to attend and the girls were sitting at the kid table that had pizza.  Using one of the 6 crusts, I divided the dough in half and made two individual pizzas with pepperoni that I had cut into heart shapes.  That was as fancy as I got this time.  

 

I will be making this again.  The only thing I changed from the gluten free version of the recipe (thank you for adapting it for us GF bakers Gluten a go go!) was that I used millet in place of certified gluten free oat flour.  There isn’t as much GF oats available in my area right now, and they are a bit out of budget.  However, I do have a ton of millet flour at the house.  This turned out to be a good way to use it.  Also, because I have a pretty hefty family of BIG eaters, the crust was a little on the skimpy size for them, and too thin.  Remember, though I have a triathalon freek husband and two kids starting puberty in the house, so food-wise they eat A LOT!  I will be freezing the dough by dividing into 3 portions, not 6 so that the crust is slightly thicker and much bigger around for my pizza vultures.

 

Thank you for this challenge, Bakers!  This month was hosted by Rosa’s Yummy Yums.  She was originally to host with two other bloggers, but one has opted out of Daring Baker’s for now and Sherry of What Did You Eat passed away just a short time before.  

 

Of picking the recipe, Rosa said, “As you all know by now, Sherry passed away tragically on the 20th of July 2008 after having been struck by a massive heart-attack. Glenna, on her side, has decided to quit The Daring Baker’s and to stop her baking adventure for personal reasons. So that’s why I am all alone on that challenge.  Prior to her sudden death (9 days before), Sher had shared with me her recipe idea for the October challenge that she, Glenna and myself should have hosted together. When she died, it was clear for me that I would respect her choice and that I would still submit her recipe. This is my last ode to a very appreciated blogger, DB member, skilled baker and cook whom I miss a lot!

Thanks to Sheltie Girl (Natalia) at http://www.glutenagogo.blogspot.com (USA)  for her precious help and for giving me a glute-free version of this recipe!!!”

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THE CHALLENGE: You have to use the tossing method (as explained below) for at least 2 Pizza Crusts. If you are not comfortable with it, then you can switch to the rolling method, but you HAVE to try the traditional method and exercise it, using at least two dough pieces. You should also capture the moment by either filming or photographing yourself while tossing the dough.

THE RULES: This month’s recipe leaves you with much freedom! You can either make the Pizza Dough gluten-free or the normal way. You may use the sauce (anything liquidy, saucy and spreadable like cream cheese, flavored oils, pesto, Nutella, Peanut Butter, pumpkin puree, etc…) and toppings of your choice, may they be savory or sweet, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian or non-vegan/vegetarian. You must use BOTH (sauce & toppings).

JUST USE YOUR IMAGINATION!!! 

POSTING DATE: Wednesday, October the 29th 2008

EQUIPMENT: Stand mixer with paddle and dough hook attachments (optional, see recipe), cooking thermometer, baking sheet, parchment paper, cooking oil, plastic wrap, pizza peel/scraper, pizza stone or pan.

RECIPE SOURCE:  “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” by Peter Reinhart. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA.  Copyright 2001.  ISBN-10: 1-58008-268-8, ISBN-13: 978-158008-268-6.

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~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~
Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter). (or 12 personal sized crusts and 3 large crusts for MY family!)

Ingredients
4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour (I used millet flour), 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
2 tsp Instant yeast
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar (or use agave syrup)
cornmeal for dusting

DAY ONE

Method
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2.  Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter.  Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them.  Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.

DAY TWO

8.  On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator.  Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C). 

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with cornmeal. (I oiled my pan instead)  Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough) on oiled jelly roll or parchment paper.

11.  Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

12.  Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and gfcf cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the ‘cheese’ caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

July 2008 Daring Baker’s Challenge – Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream

Hi.  I have moved.  You can find this post at angelaskitchen.com.

Daring Baker’s Challenge – Danish Braid

May’s Daring Baker challenge was an Opera Cake which I was going to make for my kids’ piano recital…  Um, but after being at the dentist for several hours with my littlest one I, well, didn’t.  And last month, you know, June?  Well, I never did quite get to it until now.  I think I need to stop trying to find an excuse/reason/event to make the challenges for and just make them for the challenge…  And DON’T WAIT FOR THE END OF THE MONTH to start the challenge!  Duh!  Don’t worry, I know exactly when I am making the challenge for July.  And it will be started next week.  Wow, how’s that for planning for a change?

 

I was really quite happy about June’s challenge for a couple of reasons.  One I miss a nice croissant and can see this being very easily adapted to that application.  I have been lusting after the ones on Gluten Free Gobsmacked for awhile now and haven’t gotten to them yet, so this was a nice opportunity to try a similar technique.  And the other reason I was happy? Cardamom, baby.  Oh, yeah.  It’s that Swedish coming out in me.  Ya gotta love it!

 

The biggest problem I had making this recipe is that I chose to make it for July 4th weekend.  It’s not the weekend that was the problem, but the temperature.  Making lamintated dough on a day that is over 80 degrees is not the best idea.  I had to keep tossing my dough in the freezer to firm up the “butter” layers as it kept melting into the dough.  It worked out okay, but the next time I make it I will do so in and air conditioned house.  There would have been more of the flaky layering that usually characterizes this type of dough.  I made half of the dough into the apple braid and the other half I made into small danishes. I show how I shaped the small danishes at the bottom.  I forgot to take pictures of how to shape the braid.  Oops!

 

June’s recipe was chosen by Kelly of Sass & Veracity, and Ben of What’s Cookin’?   Thank you, both.  This was a lot of fun and now I have a great recipe to keep working on that I have a lot of excitement for.  

 

Technique: Making and working with yeasted laminated dough

Recipe: “Danish Braid” from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking

 

APPLE FILLING

Makes enough for two braids

4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 

            ¼-inch pieces

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ vanilla bean, split and scraped

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread or 

            coconut or olive oil

Toss all ingredients except margarine in a large bowl.  Melt the margarine in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 – 8 minutes.  Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes.  If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid.  (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet.  After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    Scraping vanilla beans for the dough…                                    The dough getting ready to be wrapped.

 

DANISH DOUGH

Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough

 

For the dough (Detrempe)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast                  (I may lower amount to give a slower rise…)

1/2 cup unsweetend almond milk

1/3 cup sugar or cane juice crystals

Zest of 1 orange, finely grated

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1-1/2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla extract

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

2 large eggs, chilled

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1 cup millet flour

1 cup tapioca starch

½ cup mixed brown rice flour

½ cup white rice flour

¼ cup sweet rice flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum                      (I will increase this to 1 ½ teaspoons next time)

1 teaspoon pectin or gelatin             (I used pectin for this batch and will try gelatin next time)

1 teaspoon salt

 

For the  “butter” block (Beurrage)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold Earth Balance Buttery Spread

1/4 cup sweet rice flour

 

DOUGH

Combine yeast and almond milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. In another bowl, whisk the millet flour, tapioca starch, rice flours, xanthan, pectin, and salt.  Add the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky,(it will be a bit sticky as it is gluten free dough, but you will be able to roll it out after it has been in the refrigerator). Flatten dough to about 1 inch thick on plastic wrap.  Wrap dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

 

“BUTTER” BLOCK

1. Combine margarine and sweet rice flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.  (It was too warm at my house to leave at room temperature.  Next time I will make sure this if cold enough to be more firm, yet soft enough to be able to indent and spread.)

 

2. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface (use sweet rice flour or tapioca or potato starch). Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the “butter” block evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the “butter”. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

 

3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional “butter” will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

4. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight (I think this is not needed for the gluten free bakers as this is probably to develop the gluten in the dough.  I skipped the 5 hour wait time as I wanted to get going on this.  Next time I will bake off half right away and bake the next half the next day to compare the difference). The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    My dough ready for the fridge…                                                    Look at how nice it rolls out!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       “Butter” block spread out (it should have been colder).                                    First third flipped over…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                            Second third flipped over..                                                                        Ready to chill.

 

DANISH BRAID

Makes enough for 2 large braids

 

Ingredients

1 recipe Danish Dough (see above)

2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see above)

 

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

 

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. Place the dough on the baking sheet.

 

2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.

 

3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

 

Egg Wash

Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

 

Proofing and Baking

1. Spray cooking oil (be sure gluten free!) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.  (2 hours was to long for my house temperature and I think for gluten free – will try 1 to 1 ½ hours next time.)

 

2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.  (I increased temperature to 450 and will try 425 next time.)

 

  1. 3.Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        I did the final roll out and shaping on  my pan.                    The braid.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Proofed, egg washed and dusted with cardamon sugar.                                                   Tastiness!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The layers of the “butter” block did not stay cool enough, so I didn’t get the flakiness I was going for…  Next time!  It was still yummy.

 

 

Smaller danishes:

They all start with a square of dough.  I put them on parchment paper to help with ease of handling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two corner:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four corner:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pin Wheel:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had 3 squares of dough left in the fridge after church, cut them into triangles, rolled ham and turkey around some “cheese,” brushed them with egg wash, topped with sesame seeds.  After they rose for 1/2 hour, I baked them off and we had them for lunch.  The dough is not very sweet, more of an implied sweetness, so the flavors actually worked together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Daring Baker’s Challenge – Cheesecake Pops!

Daring Bakers – the name just makes me giggle!  And the logo?  Fab!  I was so excited to join this nifty group of amazing bakers from all walks of life and types of kitchens.  It’s a group of bakers who all participate in a monthly recipe challenge, then post about their success or struggles with the recipe.  Just my sort of thing.  Hey, I bake without gluten and dairy!  I am already daring!  Woo!  So, the day arrived.  I received my invitation, I signed on and checked for my first challenge.  Would it be some sort of fabulous rustic roasted garlic olive loaf?  A yeasted sweet roll?  They had just done a beautiful party cake and lovely baguettes the months before.  Maybe a cream puff, a ‘la “cream puffs in Venice”?  I clicked on the window and saw, um,  Cheesecake Pops.  

 

Did I mention I am dairy and gluten free?  Cheese.  Cake.  Hmmmm…. Maybe this Daring Baker thing is REALLY going to be more of a challenge than I thought.  But a good cheesecake recipe is never a bad thing to have under your belt, unless it makes it difficult to buckle that belt!  And the photos of the cute little pops (little bites of cheesecake on a stick, dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles) were adorable!  You know I can’t resist cute food!  

 

I’ve made tofu based cheese cake before, back in our vegan days, and it was okay, but I knew it could be improved, maybe with the tofu based mock cream cheese.  Also, what about soy?  It’s high allergen and I wanted to see if a non-soy based cheesecake was possible.  So, I started my challenge deciding to run through it with the cream cheese substitute first, than try to find another substitute without soy.  

 

For my soy free version I wanted to try to use my coconut yogurt to make a “cream cheese” and for the soy version I simply used Tofutti brand soy cream cheese.  They both turned out very creamy and delicious.  I used a bittersweet chocolate as a counterpoint to the creamy filling and really enjoyed how they turned out.  They were not too difficult to make, mostly just a bit time consuming with the different chilling/freezing times.  They will be something we will make again for a special occasion, as they were delicious and so very cute.  My kids loved them, my mom (the cheesecake queen) thought they were delicious (I have to hide them now!), and my husband (who DOES NOT like cheesecake) decided this wasn’t so bad especially with the chocolate coating it.  My dad is even bringing a couple to work.  He likes to sometimes show people that gluten and dairy free doesn’t mean you have to be deprived of tasty fun.  

 

I am so glad I joined this group!  If this month’s challenge is any indication, I have a lot of fun to look forward to!  Thanks, everybody!

Angela’s Coconut Yogurt “Cream Cheese”

 

Scoop one batch of coconut yogurt into a strainer lined with cheese cloth.  The strainer should be over a bowl to catch the liquid “whey” that will drain from the yogurt.  After a couple of hours, I tie the ends of the cheese cake to a wooden spoon and place the wooden spoon on the top of a water pitcher, suspending the yogurt inside the pitcher.  Secure the handle of the spoon to the pitcher’s handle with a rubber band.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-24 hours depending on the desired consistency. The longer the yogurt sits, the thicker the yogurt cheese. Allow 1 cup of yogurt for every 1/3 cup of yogurt cheese.  

Suspended coconut yogurt cheese…

Coconut yogurt cream cheese, unwrapped!

 

Cheesecake Pops 

Original recipe from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor – altered to be gluten and dairy free by me.

 

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

 

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature (use same amount of Tofu cream cheese or coconut yogurt cream cheese)

2 cups sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour (use 2 tablespoons cornstarch)

¼ teaspoon salt

5 large eggs

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (be sure gluten free)

¼ cup heavy cream (use the thick portion of coconut milk that has risen to the top part of the coconut milk can)

Boiling water as needed

Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.) (I used a gluten and dairy free bittersweet chocolate)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I used organic palm shortening)

(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)

 

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) – Optional (be sure to use gluten and dairy free options)

 

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

 

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

 

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.

 

This is my half batch pan set up in the water bath.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

 

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (I cut the cheesecake into even portions, then rolled gently into balls.)  Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.  (I did overnight.)

 

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.  Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

 

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

 

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

 

April Daring Baker’s Challenge – Cheesecake Pops!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

6 Comments $manage-tooltip$ 


Monday, April 28, 2008 – 11:23 AM
Your pops look great! Always thrilled to see other Alternative Daring Bakers!

Monday, April 28, 2008 – 11:58 AM
I am always so impressed when people have to make such alterations.  Great job – they look wonderful!!

Monday, April 28, 2008 – 03:46 PM
You did a fabulous job on your cheesecake pops.  You so rock…another DBer who made their own dairy or nondairy products this month.  We’re definitely getting to be  a wildly creative bunch.  

Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

The Alternative Daring Bakers have a bake together each month.  Send me an email if you’d be interested in baking along with us.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

 


Monday, April 28, 2008 – 04:12 PM
Very nice, I’ll have to try the coconut yogurt cream cheese.

Monday, April 28, 2008 – 09:01 PM
Very impressive! Welcome to the group Daring Baker!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 – 09:05 PM
Kimberly
You NEVER cease to amaze me, my dear!! WOW!! You go, girl…using that talent on loan from God to do some pretty daring baking! :)