I feel a little funny celebrating anything, much less a Friday, given the tragedy of Sandy on the East Coast. Many of my friends and family are displaced right now, without water or power. I am intensely frustrated by my inability to help. If anyone knows of ways for us to help the East Coasters from other parts of the country, please let me know. So many are still trapped, running out of gas, food, the list goes on. The only good I can see coming of this, is that perhaps NYC will become a bicycle city like Amsterdam and others.
We did go out and celebrate Halloween here in LA with a vengeance, however. People in LA love this holiday, perhaps more than all others, because it allows for so much fantasy. Set dressing, costumes, makeup! It really is a movie town’s dream come true.
Thank you for contributing to last week’s Allergy-Friendly Halloween roundup! Here are the choice Halloween recipe highlights from the last Allergy Friendly Friday. And remember, they are being featured on my Allergy-Friendly Friday Highlights Pinterest board too, so check them out there, along with other featured allergy-friendly recipes from weeks past.
- Mini Bizcochos de Calabaza (allergy-friendly mini pumpkin cakes) from Cocina Amiga
- Caramel Apples from The Liberated Kitchen
- Allergy-Friendly Halloween Spider Cake from Cooking for Stella
I’m baking up a special dessert that one would never imagine could be made Allergy-Free. Boston Cream Pie! That’s right, allergy free, gluten free, vegan Boston Cream Pie!
I’m from Boston, where this dreamy creation is our favorite traditional dessert. Boston Cream Pie is actually a cake; two layers of tasty yellow cake, filled with a fluffy pastry cream, and topped with a luscious chocolate glaze. But it’s usually heavily dependant on such top allergens as wheat, dairy, eggs, and sometimes soy. So as a tribute to all of us out there living with food allergies, I’ve come up with a version of this special treat that is free of all top allergens. Bake it and celebrate how delicious allergen-free can be! (more…)
In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, I thought it only fitting that I should post one of my favorite allergen-free recipes which I shared last year on the MARTHA show. I’m posting the recipe here for the first time, and also the link to the video, so you can follow along if you like. This “buttery” moist gluten-free, vegan coffee cake is the perfect treat for any weekend brunch, or bake it up and eat yourself this week along with your family, in honor of all those we love living with Food Allergies.
Hard to believe these colorful beauties are gluten-free, allergy-free, and vegan, as well as free of any artificial color. Don’t they look like they must be bad for you? Nope, 100% natural, GF, and free of all top food allergens. I was inspired to make them after finding that India Tree has a line of all-natural food coloring. This was an exciting find, indeed, since I’ve never been very happy with the line of natural colors from Seelect, and I really don’t like feeding my children artificial dye. Particularly my multi-food-allergic son, Lennon, who seems overly reactive these days. Just last week he broke out in total body hives after I gave him liquid Ibuprofen, and frankly, I don’t know if it was a medication allergy, or if he was having an allergic reaction to the red dye in the Children’s Advil. Better safe than sorry, so I think we’ll avoid both for now.
These India Tree Natural Decorating Sugars make very pretty pastels, or jewel tones. Add the coloring a drop at a time, until desired shade has been reached. The Jelly Beans I used to accessorize are also all-natural and allergy-friendly from Surf Sweets. And the cute little chicks and bunnies are from Williams Sonoma.
Yes, this cake is allergy-free. Really. But nobody would ever know it. I created this recipe for my son Monte, whose birthday is February 6th. He was supposed to be born on Valentines Day, and was almost named Monte Valentine. However, he came 8 days early, and was named Monte Lovell (which means “little beloved”), which he finds equally embarrassing. Monte loves Red Velvet Cake, fittingly, so this cake is a tribute to him. My little beloved.
I encourage you to bake this cake. What better way to celebrate Valentines Day this year, than with an Allergen-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Red Velvet Cake that can be eaten by all your favorite sweethearts? I promise, it’s to-die-for. Eat it and weep.
“Allergy-Friendly ” Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel “Buttercream” Frosting
For anyone who missed these lovely cupcakes when I first posted the recipe over at Whole Living Daily, I’m posting it here again. This recipe was created for a reader who wasn’t a huge fan of chocolate (my go-to flavor), but adored caramel. They are Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Allergy-Friendly. I have heard from those who’ve baked it, it also makes a great birthday cake!
Also, FYI, I just posted a really yummy new recipe for Gluten-Free Hemp Seed Mexican Wedding Cookies on my Food Allergy Recipe Challenge.
“Allergy-Friendly” Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel “Buttercream” Frosting Makes 12 Cupcakes.
With the heavenly aroma of crème caramel, these tender little gems are like flan in a cupcake!
- 1/2 cup rice milk
- 3/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend, or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 3/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 3 Tablespoons rice milk
- 1/4 cup caramel syrup (recipe follows)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin pan with 12 liners.
- Combine ½ cup rice milk with the cider vinegar and set aside.
- Measure out flour mix by spooning flour into a dry measuring cup, then leveling it off with a straightedge, or the back of a knife. (Do not scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup or you’ll wind up with too much flour for the recipe). Combine flour mix with xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk well. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable shortening and granulated sugar. Mix on medium speed 2 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and egg replacer to bowl of stand mixer. Mix on medium speed 1 minute more. Add caramel syrup, and mix about 30 seconds to combine.
- Using a sifter, sift in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with rice milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and mixing until combined, about 30 seconds. Once batter is smooth, spoon about ¼ cup batter into each liner, filling the liners about halfway full. Do not overfill the liners, or they will overflow and stick to the pan!
- Bake in the center of the oven 10 minutes until tops have domed slightly, then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake 8-10 minutes more until a lovely rich amber color. Resist opening the oven door while baking, they need a consistent temp to rise, and set!
- Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.
Caramel “Buttercream” Frosting A light creamy caramel frosting that can be piped, or spread with a butter knife or frosting spatula, creating pretty swirls. Makes enough for 12 Cupcakes.
- 1 cup Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup caramel syrup (recipe follows)
- 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rice milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream shortening and pinch of salt on medium speed, about 2 minutes.
- Add caramel syrup and mix about 1 minute more. Add confectioners’ sugar in three batches, beating after each addition. Add rice milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Caramel Syrup This syrup can be made in advance. Just be sure to store it tightly covered.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups cool water
- In a small heavy saucepan, combine granulated sugar with ½ cup of the water. Stir well to combine, scraping down sugar from sides of pan.
- Place on burner, over high heat. Cook, stirring, with a wooden spoon, melting sugar and bringing up to a rapid boil. It will foam, turn to liquid, clump, foam again, etc. After about 14 minutes it should turn a dark amber color.
- With caution, add the remaining cup of water to the sugar mixture. Beware, it will act like a bubbling cauldron, sputtering out all over the place, so wear long sleeves and an apron, and be prepared to jump back. Stir water in, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, at a simmer about 5 minutes more, dissolving any lumps. Let cool completely before using. Once cooled, it should be the consistency of corn syrup. If it’s too thin, bring it back up to a boil and cook a couple minutes longer, then cool again. If it’s too thick, add a little warm water and cook over medium heat, until thinned out to proper consistency.
“Allergy-Friendly” Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel “Buttercream” Frosting Copyright © 2010 by Cybele Pascal
(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)
SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.