Gluten Free Graham Crackers
May 22, 2014

GF Graham crackers

One of my favorite things in the world are s’mores.  I don’t even need a campfire.  Just give me a graham cracker, fat marshmallow, and a square of chocolate and I’ll take it to the microwave or even the fireplace or a hot plate.  In the microwave you can watch the marshmallow grow to 10x the size, or in the fire you can catch them on fire and blow them out just as they get singed to your personal preference.  And then ooh, the hot marshmallow melting the chocolate ever so slightly.  Smoosh them between two graham crackers and let the crumbs fly and cover your face with gooey, sticky marshmallowy chocolately goodness.  Ahhh….

But not everyone can enjoy this experience that appeals to all of your senses.  I was reminiscing about s’mores recently to a gluten sensitive friend and realized how sad it is she can’t enjoy them.  So, just as I converted my Molasses Cookies to gluten free, I figured I could try my hand at creating a gluten free graham cracker.  This is the result and I’m quite pleased!  And of course, these can be crushed up and substituted for any graham cracker pie crust too!

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

300 g Gluten Free Flour (equal parts or 100 g each: brown rice flour, tapioca flour/starch, sorghum flour)
51 g sweet rice flour
3/4 tsp xanthan gum (or 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and 1/4 tsp guar gum if you have it)
1.5 tsp cinnamon (or less if you want it less cinnamon flavor)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 c packed light brown sugar
8 Tbsp butter cut (still cold from refrigerator)
3 Tbsp cold water
3 Tbsp honey (or more if you want more honey flavor)
3 Tbsp molasses (or less if you want less molasses flavor)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flours.  Then mix in xanthan gum, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Then mix in sugar.  Cut in butter 1/2 Tbsp at a time and mix on high for several minutes until the mixture resembles sand or cornmeal.  Stir in water, honey, molasses, and vanilla.  Mix until dough forms one ball.  Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325º.  Place parchment paper on cookie sheet and set aside.

Lightly dust another piece of parchment paper or a clean counter surface with sweet rice flour.  Once dough ball has chilled, divide in half and put half back in the fridge.  Roll out the dough to 1/8″ thick.  Use a pizza cutter or pastry cutter to cut out a large rectangle, dividing into smaller squares or rectangles for the crackers.  Score the  crackers in half and use a plastic fork to create desired designs.

Transfer dough crackers to cookie sheet, keeping small distance between each.  They will not spread, but will stick together if touching.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the sheet at the halfway point to help bake evenly. Once crackers are lightly browned and begin to feel firm to the touch, remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  They will continue to harden as they cool.

Notes:
* Just before baking, you can lightly dust the crackers with cinnamon and sugar, if desired.
* It is not necessary to cut them into boring rectangle crackers.  Feel free to use any cookie cutter you have handy.
* Add or subtract cinnamon or molasses according to taste.  Note, that you may need to add more water (or honey) one tablespoon at a time to achieve the desired dough consistency if you use less molasses.

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Get a napkin
September 28, 2011

Let tell you something shocking.  It is actually possible to over-indulge in chocolate.

Last weekend, I had a fantastic dinner party planned, and I was in charge of making dessert.  The only request was that it had to be chocolate and very dark chocolate at that.  I love my chocolate dark, so I had no problem working on this task.  After much drool-worthy painstaking research, I came across this recipe.  The richness of the chocolate, paired with the intense molten center made it impossible to finish one on your own.  I recommend sharing these, or making in much smaller oven-safe containers.  For those of you with any gluten issues, the good news is this is gluten free!  I opted to serve this warm dessert with some spumoni gelato from our local Bravo Gelato to pair the hot and cold with the cake texture and the molten center.

And make sure you have a napkin ready, because I was telling my friend Tabbulous about the recipe while she viewed the picture on my phone, and she threatened to lick my phone!  You might need to wipe off your computer screen.

Baked Chocolate Pudding (Gluten Free)
adapted from Jamie Oliver recipe

4 120z oven safe ramekins (or 6-8 smaller ramekins)
1 ice cube tray

16-17.5 oz high quality dark chocolate. (minimum 70% cocoa solids, I used Green & Black’s 85%)
1/2 cup hot very strong coffee or hot espresso
1 stick + 1 Tbsp of butter, plus extra for greasing ramekins
6 eggs, separated
1 cup + 2 Tbsp of sugar
3.5 oz almond meal
3.5 oz rice flour

Brew the coffee/espresso, then melt 4.5oz chocolate (about 1.5 bars of a 3.5oz Green & Black’s) with the coffee.  Very dark chocolate won’t melt entirely with the coffee, so after mixing, I microwaved the mixture for 30 seconds at a time while stirring until totally mixed.  Pour chocolate coffee mixture into ice cube tray and freeze until hard.**

Grease the ramekins with butter and place in the fridge (to keep from melting) until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Melt remaining chocolate with the butter in a bowl over a pot of boiling water, constantly stirring.  The chocolate  will melt faster than the butter, but keep stirring until mixed.  Allow the chocolate butter mixture to cool so as not to cook the remaining ingredients.  I placed it in the fridge for a few minutes, but don’t let it get cold and harden.  Whisk the egg yolks and fold into the chocolate butter mixture.  Add almond meal and rice flour and stir/whisk by hand until fully mixed.  Your mixture should look a lot like brownie batter.

Whisk egg whites with sugar until stiff in a separate large bowl with a stick blender or hand mixer with a whisk attachment.  Note, I recommend begin whisking the egg whites and slowly add sugar.  I whisked them together and my mixture looked more like marshmallow cream rather than meringue.  I don’t think it made a huge difference in taste or texture, but next time I will opt for this method.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites gently until completely  mixed.  Spoon the chocolate pudding mixture into the ramekins, filling about 1/3-1/2 full.  Push one of the chocolate coffee ice cubes into the pudding mixture, with the narrow portion of the cube towards the bottom of the ramekin.  Spoon the remaining portion of the pudding over the ice cube until fully covered.

Bake 18-20 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the side will indicate if done, but do not insert in the middle as it will always be gooey and yummy.  Carefully turn ramekin upside down and remove baked pudding while still hot.  If you allow the pudding to cool, even while still warm, it will stick to the bottom and may break apart.  Serve immediately while still warm.

 

** Bonus – use the extra chocolate coffee ice cubes in your coffee or hot milk the next morning!