Tag Archives: food

Gluten Free Nutella Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Earlier this year I decided to start making two loaves of homemade, gluten free bread at the beginning of each month so I could enjoy sandwiches and french toast as often as I liked. One to keep in the fridge for the first two weeks, and the second to freeze until the first loaf had run its course.

I thought I was brilliant.

Two loaves of bread! I’ll eat that in no time! I should make FOUR loaves of bread, because two will never be enough, said my overzealous brain. (Don’t worry, I had a long talk with myself and kept to two loaves.)

Then 60+ hour work weeks entered the picture. And trips to the gym. And errands. And endless meetings. Suddenly, I found myself inundated with loaves of bread I didn’t even have time to eat. (Yes, that’s right. Didn’t even have time to eat.)

I started panicking about what to do with this bread that was occupying my fridge and freezer. It just stared at me, wanting to be used, demanding to be eaten. But you can only consume so many PB&J sandwiches before you start being unable to button your jeans in the morning.

So I took to the internet to search for new ideas and came upon recipes for bread pudding. A while back, I remembered America’s Test Kitchen doing a slow cooker bread pudding recipe that fascinated me. The chefs had dried the bread in the oven to reduce the moisture, which I thought was brilliant. Armed with some other ingredients, I took to my own “test kitchen” to see what kind of magic I could make with these loaves of bread (sans slow cooker).

The result- a gooey yet remarkably light and satisfying bread pudding! And it’s super quick and easy too!

Gluten Free Nutella Cinnamon Bread Pudding

By Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC


7 slices of gluten free bread, cubed and oven dried (see directions below)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nutella spread

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the bread into cubes and lay flat on a nonstick baking tray. Place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the bread starts to dry.Do not let it brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

2. In a bowl, mix the eggs, skim milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Slowly fold in the nutella spread until fully immersed in the egg mixture.

3. When the bread cubes have cooled, place them in one layer in an 8×8 inch pan. Pour the butter evenly over the bread, followed by the egg mixture. If you like, you can sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.

4. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the bread springs back when tested with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream and fruit.


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A Gluten-Free, Sugar Free Yellow Cake for the Healthy Mom

I know what you’re thinking. Gluten-free AND sugar free? For Mother’s day? Blech, no way! That can’t possibly taste good.

I’ll admit, when I began the task of making a gluten free and diabetic-friendly cake for my mom (who is trying to reduce her sugar intake), I was skeptical. I spent a month researching sugar replacements and asking my mom what she wanted in a cake that was slightly out of my realm of expertise. To the rest of the world, most people would throw in the towel, make some fruit salad and call it a day. But not me. I was determined to make this cake work. And as luck (and lots of testing!) would have it–it did!

My ‘test’ cupcakes

To begin my testing, I started with one of my favorite gluten free yellow cake recipes as my base. I first replaced the granulated sugar with raw agave (1 cup granulated sugar= 3/4 cup agave) and used coconut milk instead of regular milk to add some silkiness, and a bit of sweet. Then, to reduce the amount of white carbs (which are very unhealthy), I split the white rice flour with brown rice flour. The recipe took less than ten minutes to prepare!

You may think that in doing this I took out everything that makes a cake fluffy and sweet, moist and delicious. But even I, the queen of all sweet teeth, was surprised to find that this cake not only retained it’s fluffiness, but tasted better than a normal gluten free cake, with a lovely sweet flavor that lingered at the end of every bite. I didn’t miss the sugar! And it smelled good, too! How can you beat that?

Stay tuned for Sunday’s post, when I reveal the final product with all the icing :)

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Yellow Cake

Adapted from a recipe by Elizabeth Barbone

Dry ingredients:

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup raw agave
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 8-inch round cake pans or one 9 x 13-inch pan, or line 20 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and agave until creamy, about a minute. Add the eggs and beat for 15 seconds.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Finally, stir in the milk and vanilla. Batter should be fluffy and light.

Pour batter evenly into pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (round cake pans/cupcakes) or 30 minutes (9×13-inch pan). Insert a cake tester into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is done. Place on wire racks to cool and decorate as you please!

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Coconut Banana and Gluten Free Gingersnap Parfait

It is not often that I crave dessert that isn’t chocolate-infused, but today was one of those days (see the Pastry Affair’s wonderful, related post about mascarpone cheese ). When I’m not in the mood for chocolate, my dessert has to be rich and creamy. I am all about texture and flavor, and I particularly like mixing salty and tangy with sweet.

Two of my favorite flavors (ever) are ginger and coconut. I’m not sure how many of you have tried this combination, but if you haven’t yet–you should. It’s divine. I love how the sweetness of the coconut cools the zing of ginger. It makes me feel like I am sitting on some faraway island, relaxing and listening to the sounds of waves crash on the shore. Ahhh. Bliss.

Today I decided to take my quirky love of ginger and coconut and blend it into a well-loved dessert: the parfait. Parfait, which literally means perfect in french, is typically a layered dessert of cream and berries (or, if you are Rachel Green from Friends, you make it with cream and beef).

For my version, I chose to use four ingredients: vanilla pudding, gluten free gingersnap cookies, bananas and shredded coconut. The dessert is light, creamy and just sweet and cool enough for a summer or spring day. It can also be made in large batches, perfect for a party. Enjoy!

Coconut Banana and Gluten Free Gingersnap Parfait
by Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC

Serves 3

2 cups vanilla pudding (see below for recipe)
2 medium bananas, sliced into coin-size pieces
30 gluten free gingersnap cookies
1 tablespoon shredded coconut

For the pudding:

This recipe is adapted from Fresh and Fast by Marie Simmons.

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and then add the hot milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar in fully dissolved and the mixture starts to boil and thicken. This should take about 10 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until fully incorporated. When the pudding has thickened, add the salt and vanilla. Remove from heat.

Let the pudding cool completely before making the parfait, about an hour. Make sure to stir the pudding from time to time so it doesn’t become too thick. When the pudding has cooled, alternate spreading layers of the ingredients in this order: pudding, gingersnap cookies, pudding, bananas, pudding, gingersnap cookies. When it is finished, sprinkle coconut on top. (If you really love coconut, you may add it to the pudding as you layer.)

Refrigerate for an hour and serve at almost room temperature.

One Year Ago: Matzoh Brei

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Easy Fried Sweet Plantains: “Maduros”

As you all know, I am a huge fan of all things Latin. Language, culture, dance and of course, food. Recently, I was lucky enough to be taught how to make fried sweet plantains, one of my favorite Latin dishes, by a family friend who happens to be Colombian.

Plantains are produced worldwide, generally in tropical climates, but also in parts of Africa and the Northern US. They are similar to bananas in shape and color, though the fruit of the plantain is much firmer and not as sweet. Unlike the banana, which you can eat raw, plantains are generally cooked before eaten.  Two types of plantains work in this instance: the green plantain, which is an unripe, starchy and therefore savory plantain used to make chips and tostones and the overripe, yellowish-black plantains, which is what I used to make the fried sweet plantains. (I am partial to the yellow plantains, as I have a massive sweet tooth.)

Fried sweet plantains, known in Spanish as maduros, are made using only two ingredients: oil and yellow plantains. They take all of ten minutes to make, taste like candy, and are best when served warm. I will eat them as a side dish with rice, beans and/or meat, but since they are fried until golden brown, they can also be eaten as a dessert. I’ve heard tons of different ideas on what can be done with the fried sweet plantain: served with hot fudge on ice cream, stuffed in french toast, sprinked with sugar and coconut (as if they needed to be sweeter!), but for now I will leave you with the basic recipe…and then you can decide how creative you want to be! Enjoy!

Fried Sweet Plantains

Serves 2 people

1 yellowish-black overripe plantain (ask around in your grocery store if you need help)

Vegetable Oil, for frying

Prepare a large plate by covering with paper towels. This will help to reduce the oil left on the cooked plantain.

Placing the plantain on a cutting board, use a knife to cut off the top. Very carefully skin the plantain with your knife, noting that this will take a bit more time than it would if you were peeling a banana.

Slice the plantains lengthwise, about 3/4″ thick each. Set aside.

In a medium sized frypan, with high sides to prevent splattering, heat about 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetable oil. When the pan is hot enough, CAREFULLY place each plantain slice into the pan, taking care not to touch thehot oil. Use a fork to submerge the plantain fully in the oil.

Brown each side of the plantain (about 4 minutes total) or until the plantains are soft. Remove the plantains from the pan, taking care to  let any excess oil stay in the pan and not spill over, and place on the prepared plate. Gently pat the plantains dry and serve warm.

(Hooray, this is post #100!)

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An Attempt at Easter Egg Cookies

Tonight, I am a sad baker.

As Easter rapidly approached this week, I was filled with eagerness at the thought of baking cookies to bring to my best friend’s family’s house. I found a lovely little picture of slice and bake chick cookies, which I intended to replicate from scratch, and made the dough (in two colors) a day ahead. Tonight was going to be my night to slice, bake and decorate.

At 4:45pm I made it to my kitchen to begin. As I rolled out the dough and combined the two colors to shape, I realized that this wasn’t going to work. Quickly, my mom and and I dyed the rest of the dough other colors and began to braid them. Our plan was to roll out the dough, with the colors all mixed in together, and then cut them out in the shape of easter eggs.

That was the plan.

After a short dinner break we got back to baking. I tasted the first batch and discovered, ick, these cookies had no taste at all! What a bummer! But, as all great bakers know, the creative process is mostly trial and error. Even a fool-proof, tried and true recipe is prone to some mess-ups here and again. And, like all great bakers do, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off (literally) and try again.

So tomorrow morning, before work, I will get up and make a new batch of cookies, determined as ever to bring a giant tray to my best friend’s house.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday weekend,


Last Year’s Easter: Birds’ Nest Rice Krispie Treats

Last Year’s Passover: Gluten Free Matzoh and Dirty Macaroons

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Take Two: CHOCOLATE Peppermint Irish Cream Sandwich Cookies

Last year for St Patty’s day, I posted this recipe for Peppermint Irish Cream Sandwich Cookies. They were such a big hit, that I thought I’d do a slight variation on them, making them look like a real Peppermint Patty.

Now, I wont tell a lie…the cookies in these pictures are NOT gluten free, because I was making them for work, but if you want to make them gluten free I recommend visiting Elizabeth Barbone’s blog or her book, Easy Gluten Free Baking. Her chocolate cookies are amazing!! (If you want the actual recipe I used, visit Brown Eyed Baker, also a delicious, though sadly not gluten free, site)

After making and matching the cookies for size, I filled them with my Creme de Menthe flavored frosting (see blog post for recipe) and dipped them in melting chocolate, which you can purchase at any baking goods or crafts store. The cookies were then placed on wax paper and refrigerated overnight.

I hope my work buddies like them!

One Year Ago– Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread

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Sushi Cake!

My sister is a sushi fiend. She adores it, and is quite adventurous when it comes to trying different types. So, for her birthday this year, my mom and I thought it fitting to make her a cake that encompassed her love of sushi. We even went a step further and planned a surprise party for her that included some of her close friends! It was pretty fun, if I do say so myself.

We prepped ahead by baking and freezing the cakes a few days before the party, and then took them out to defrost a couple of nights before. The day before the party we made our frosting and built and covered the cake with black fondant. (It was super heavy!)

The best part was making the “sushi”, the “wasabi and ginger” and the little bowl for soy sauce, which we filled with chocolate syrup. We were particularly inspired by re-shaping different candies and pieces of cake to look like the real thing. Everyone got their own plate of sushi with chopsticks!

Half-donette, swedish fish and fruit leather

Fondant wrapped marshmallow, white icing and sprinkles and swedish fish

Fruit leather wrapped twinkie with beige frosting, white sprinkles and orange sugar

Green ‘leaves’ made out of spearmint candy

Ginger/Wasabi/Bowl made out of fondant!

Did I mention the cake was gluten free? Yum! It took us a week to eat…

Happy Birthday, sis!


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Gluten Free Sweet Strawberry Bread

I may or may not have purchased two boxes of strawberries the other day at the grocery store. ‘Why?’, you ask. To be honest, I’m not too sure. Could it have been the woman standing next to me, praising the bright, red color of strawberries that looked ‘shockingly good for a New York winter’? Perhaps. Might it have been the creepy grocer staring me down the aisle, willing me to place something in my basket? Quizás. Or maybe it was the low, inviting price of two boxes for $5.

Yes, that sounds more like it.

But then I arrived home…with two boxes of strawberries…and the reality hit me. What was I going to do with all those berries? I started flipping through my recipe books for gluten free baked goods with strawberries and found nothing. Nada. Zilch. How could that be? All I had to go off of were directions for making a banana bread. So I did what I do when I have no recipe: I made up my own. And because I really love sweet breads, I added extra berries to the batter. Yum.

Within minutes of entering the oven, the house was filled with the smells of strawberries and sugar. Amazing. And it tasted delicious too! I ate this cake tonight for dessert, but I would eat it for breakfast as french toast as well! Enjoy!

Sweet Strawberry Bread

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup turbinado sugar
2 ¼ cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup or 1 stick softened butter
2 large eggs
¾ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

Mix sugars and strawberries in a bowl and set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and set aside. In a third bowl, cream butter and then add eggs. Add dry mix slowly and blend until smooth. Blend in milk. Lastly, fold in the strawberry mixture carefully.

Pour mixture into loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for five minutes and serve warm, with butter.


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Pan con Tomate for New Year’s

Need a really simple, really quick appetizer to make for a New Year’s Eve party? Look no further! I ate this dish in Spain all the time and love it because it’s extremely rich and flavorful and requires very few ingredients. My host parents used to eat these for snack and it was a regular fixture at our dinner table as well. Now that I’m home, I make it whenever I have the time to make a homemade bread which fortunately was this week!

Enjoy–and happy new year!!!

Pan Con Tomate

By Emily of (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC


Gluten Free Baguette or French Bread (I use Gluten Free Pantry mix)
Ripe tomatoes, pureed with skin
Fresh garlic cloves, peeled
Olive Oil

Begin by slicing the bread into small rectangles or ovals, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch think. Toast on both sides until light brown. Be careful not to burn the bread!

Spread about 1/8 teaspoon of olive oil on each piece of bread and sprinkle lightly with salt. Rub some fresh garlic on the olive oil side of the bread–not too much, but enough for the toast to pick up some light garlic flavor. Place a dollop of the tomato puree on each piece of bread and serve warm. Buen provecho!

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Gluten Free 7 Layer Bars

I made these 7 layer bars over the weekend to bring to my friend’s house for Christmas. They are an ooey-gooey mess of sugary delight–layers of butter, chocolate and coconut blend together to make an irresistable combination. (I personally had a hard time resisting the urge to take another…and another…and another)

Though they are sinfully bad for you (I don’t even want to know the calorie count!), they are a huge crowd pleaser and quick and easy to make. They sure won’t help your resolution to ‘eat healthfully’ but hey, the new year hasn’t arrived yet! So go on, make a batch…betcha can’t eat just one :)

7 Layer Bars

Original recipe by Bernadette

Serving Size:       16


1/4 pound sweet butter
1 cup gluten free graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut, shredded
6 oz. chocolate chips
6 oz. butterscotch chips
15 oz. condensed milk, sweetened
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I use a mixture of pecans and walnuts)
sea salt

Spread melted butter in 9×13 pan. In this order, spread layers of: graham cracker crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, condensed milk and chopped nuts. For an ‘8th layer’, sprinkle some sea salt on top to give them some extra flair.

Bake for 35 minutes at 350. Let cool and cut into squares.

One Year Ago: Gingerbread Houses

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