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Archive for June, 2011

Aayy, Shortcake!

And now, another lovely entry by my food-a-licous husband, Tim!

Strawberry shortcake!  Nothing says early summer to me quite like it.  I remember fondly every Sunday after dinner in May and June, Mom would serve up the beautifully double-stacked piles of shortcake, sweetened strawberries and whipped cream (two layers with a whole berry on top).  As fast as strawberry season comes in Maryland, it’s gone, and I know Mom cheated with out-of-state berries  now and then, just because we loved the dessert so much.  I still remember one time eating it by candlelight, due to a thunderstorm-induced blackout.

Going gluten-free a few years back meant not being able to enjoy some of my favorite foods for awhile.  I’ve happily been able to find good substitutes for most of them, but it wasn’t until the most recent strawberry season came upon us that I decided I couldn’t live without the shortcakes anymore.  I thought to myself, “well a shortcake is just a sweetened biscuit, so why don’t I just make them?”  Buzz!  Wrong.  The gluten-free biscuits with sweetener (we use agave or stevia normally) didn’t make it.  They were too hard, and not sweet enough.  Undaunted, I found myself with some time on my hands one day, and hit the internet up for some recipes.  First of all, I needed to remember that Mom used Bisquick, not just flour, so my first stop was the Bisquick shortcake recipe.  Simple enough – Bisquick, sugar, milk, and oil or melted butter.  However, we all know Bisquick isn’t just flour (otherwise – well, you know), so I searched about for scratch Bisquick substitutions.  I found a few variations, but the one that seemed the best equated a cup of Bisquick with a cup of flour plus baking powder, salt, and oil or melted butter.  Since the Bisquick shortcake recipe calls for 2 1/3 cups of flour, I then ran the calculations to figure out how much of everything need to go into it (hence some of the TBSP + TSP stuff in the recipe below).

I baked my first test batch, and they were almost perfect!  Not exactly the same, of course (less crumbly, for one thing – maybe I need to cut back on the xanthan gum), but a revelation for someone who’s not exactly a baker, in the first place.  We ate that test batch without any berries at all!  Just gobbled them down like scones.  The next batch I made with freshly-picked black raspberries baked into them, since strawberry season was over.  My father loved them, which was a glowing endorsement for me.

Irony of ironies is that I discovered that they actually make gluten-free Bisquick – after I figured this whole recipe out!  Will I try it?  Maybe, but I’m pretty happy with this recipe, right now…

-Tim (Hopeful Foodie Husband)

Awww, yeah.

Gluten-Free (and sugar free if you like) Shortcakes

2 1/3 Cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour

1 3/4 TSP xanthan gum

1 TBSP + 1/2 TSP baking powder

1 1/8 TSP salt

5 TBSP + 1 TSP oil or melted butter

1/2 – 1 Cup milk*

3 TBSP sugar**

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until soft dough forms.   Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet to form six shortcakes.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

*Bob’s Red Mill Flour tends to soak up moisture – the original wheat-flour recipe calls for 1/2 cup of milk.  Add milk by the 1/4 cup until dough that is softer than biscuit dough forms (similar to chocolate-chip cookie dough).

**Sugar substitutes: 3/4 TSP pure Stevia powder or  2 TBSP agave nectar (if using agave, reduce other liquids by 1/3).

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In The Red

Cheesy

Thanks to everybody for bearing with me being an Indian for the last couple of weeks.  Here, finally, is the correct link to my interview with Good Morning Maryland!  I’m pleased to share with you The Real Thing.

The next place I’ll be reviewing puts my happy stomach in the red with their incredible cheese steak wraps and gluten-free subs.  It’s a little place in the middle of absolute nowhere called The Red Cafe and I can’t wait to write about it.  It will lend a nice opportunity to visit the country-fried, farm-laden roads of Northern Baltimore County and eat like an absolute pig (which is what I really do best, next to writing about it).

I have to bring some swine-like accomplices with me for this one since their delectable homemade gluten-free sub rolls are sadly yeasty to the hilt, but that will just turn a whimsical writing project into a full-fledged field-trip and I’m always down for that.

While you’re waiting for Gluten-Free Glutton article numero dos, check back this week for Tim’s awesome revamped and revived gluten-free shortcake biscuit recipe (great with strawberries, cream and a big, fat smile)!  They are so flippin’ good that I devoured one today sans the fruit and all by it’s hot-out-of-the-oven, naked little self.

Stay Red,

Cellina

The Hopeful Foodie


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