Eaton Mess!! Katie’s Birthday Cake!

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Yesterday was my little girl Katie’s 26th birthday and her wish for dessert was a super easy dessert called Eaton Mess!!  It is a traditional dessert of crushed up meringue mixed with whipped cream and strawberries and bananas.  It is usually served at Eaton College during their annual cricket match against Harrow College.  But we served it for my daughter’s birthday, since we didn’t want to have to wait for the cricket match.

Eaton Mess

Serves 8

8 egg whites
2 cups of white sugar
large pinch of salt
2 tsps of vanilla

4 cups of whipping cream
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

6 cups of chopped mixed fresh fruit and berries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two baking pans with parchment paper.  Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla until opaque.  Add sugar very gradually until soft shiny firm peaks form.  Spread the meringue mixture evenly over the two pans and bake for 75 minutes, switching the pans around half way through.    Then turn off oven and open the door.  Allow the meringues to cool in the oven until room temperature.  While meringues are cooling, cut up and prepare fruit.  Whip the whipping cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla til stiff peaks form, refrigerate fruit and cream.  When cool, remove meringues from oven and tear into bite size pieces.  Fold the meringue and fruit into the whipped cream and serve.  So delicious!!  I hope you enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies!!

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I brought these cookies to work yesterday and they were a huge hit.  So I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips in a stand mixer for 2-3 minutes on medium til smooth and well mixed. The dough will be quite stiff. Add chocolate chips and mix until just combined. One recipe makes 12 cookies. Make the dough into 12 equal sized balls and place on cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with your hand. Bake for 8 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 10 minutes before removing to cooling racks to continue cooling. This recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled and kept in the fridge for 4-5 days and made in small batches. Enjoy,   Cheers, Michele

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes!! Delicious and Healthy Recipe!

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I saw a recipe on Pinterest that inspired me to create this recipe.  I made up a batch today and they are delicious.

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2 large cans (1080mL) of chickpeas rinsed and drained
6 eggs
1 cup maple syrup
2 tsps baking soda
1 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted and cooled butter or coconut oil
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp grated orange peel

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.  Line muffin pan with paper muffin cups and spoon batter into cups, filling to the top.  Bake for 22-25 minutes until a tester comes clean.  Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Pavlova For My Niece Cheryl!! Delicious New Zealand Gluten-free Recipe!

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My niece Cheryl spent some time in New Zealand and while she was there she tried Pavlova and fell in love with it.  So this past weekend I made this dessert for her.  I tripled the recipe to serve 10 people with a small amount of left overs.  I hope you enjoy this delicious gluten-free dessert.


4 egg whites at room temperature
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 pint of whipping cream whipped with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla
4 cups of mixed fresh fruit

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then add sugar and cornstarch in small amounts while beating until meringue is stiff and shiny.  Fold in vanilla and lemon juice.  Line a pizza pan with parchment paper and place the meringue in a mound in the centre.  Spread the meringue out to form a shallow bowl of meringue.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours until meringue is lightly browned and crispy.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before peeling off the parchment paper and placing on a large plate.

You can serve this Pavlova with the following lemon/lime curd using up the left over egg yolks.

Lemon Lime Curd

4 room temperature egg yolks
2/3 cup of white sugar
pinch of salt
juice of one lemon
juice of 1 1/2 large limes
zest of one lemon
zest of one lime
1/4 cup of butter cut into small pieces

Place egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler which has about an inch of water in the bottom pot over medium heat.  Whisk for 1 minute and then add the salt, juices and zests.  Whisk continuously until the curd thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Add butter gradually while whisking.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Refrigerate and when Pavlova is ready, spread over the cooled meringue before topping with the whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Pavlova is traditionally served with passion fruit purée or chopped kiwis but we had it with berries, melon, banana and fresh pineapple.  It was delicious.  For an extra decadent treat drizzle cooled melted chocolate over the top of the assembled Pavlova before serving.  It can be made into individual Pavlovas by portioning the meringue into the appropriate number of mini meringues.  Reduce the cooking time and keep an eye on them until they are very lightly browned and crisp on the outside.  I hope you enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Bars!! Gluten-free!

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My daughter, Katie and I made these yummy bars for her to take to her future in-laws.  They are very delicious and super easy.  Try them out!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line deep baking pan with parchment paper.

3 cups smooth or crunchy peanut butter

3 eggs

2 1/4 cups of light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsps baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

3 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup oatmeal

2 cups of chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined.  Press mixture into baking pan in an even layer.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, let cool completely in pan before cutting into squares and eating.  They are good, still warm, with vanilla ice cream though!!  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Almond Cake!! A Gluten-Free Recipe From My Aunt Jackie and America’s Test Kitchen!

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My Aunt Jackie made this recipe recently for a group of her friends, it was a big hit and she was kind enough to share it with me. She served it with the Orange Creme Fraiche that she shared the recipe for as well.  I have modified the recipe slightly to make it completely gluten-free.

Almond Cake

1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup of sliced almonds, toasted

3/4 cups of gluten-free flour mix

3/4 tsp Xanthan gum

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

4 large eggs

1 1/4 cups of plus 2 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

3/4 tsp of almond extract

5 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup of vegetable oil

Place rack into middle position in oven.  Preheat to 300 degrees F.  Grease a nine-inch round pan and line with parchment paper.

Place 1 1/2 cups of sliced almonds, gluten-free flour, Xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a food processor.  Pulse 10 – 15 times until almonds are finely ground.  Remove from food processor and place in bowl.  Place eggs, 1 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon peel and almond extract in food processor.  Process for 2 minutes til pale yellow.  With processor running, pour melted butter and oil into feed chute.  Then remove the lid of the food processor, add the almond mixture and pulse til combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

With remaining lemon peel and sugar, mix together until well combined.  Sprinkle extra 1/3 cup of sliced almonds over cake followed by lemon peel and sugar mixture.  Place pan in oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotate pan and bake for an additional 15 minutes til tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.  Then loosen edges with a paring knife and turn cake onto cooling tray and remove parchment paper.  Allow to cool fully.  Serve with Orange Creme Fraiche.

Orange Creme Fraiche

2 oranges

1 cup Creme Fraiche

2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 tsp salt

Take the zest off one orange, place in mixing bowl with Creme Fraiche, sugar and salt.  Cut the peel and pith off the two oranges and cut the fruit sections off the membranes.  Mix into the Creme Fraiche mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving with cooled Almond Cake.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Pineapple Blackberry Upside-down Cake!! Gluten-Free Deliciousness!

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My husband is a big fan of pineapple upside-down cake but I don’t like maraschino cherries so I did mine with blackberries.  I also decided to do mine in a big skillet to make it easier.  I hope you try it out.

Pineapple Blackberry Upside-down Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1 can of pineapple slices undrained, reserve juice

3/4 cup of blackberries fresh or frozen

4 Tbsps butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of rum


2 cups gluten-free flour

2 tsp Xanthan gum

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup room temperature butter

1 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of reserved pineapple juice

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.  In a stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar til light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time with mixer on low.  Add vanilla.  Then alternating pineapple juice and dry ingredients mix until smooth and well combined.

In a large oven proof skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add pineapple, covering bottom and cutting pieces to fit in one layer.  Add brown sugar and sauté for 4-5 minutes.  Flip over pineapple slices and cook for 4-5 minutes more.  Add the blackberries to fill in the gaps and holes in the pineapple.  Add rum and cook for 5 minutes.  Pour cake batter over fruit making sure to cover it all.  Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until tester comes clean.  Allow to cool slightly and then invert cake onto a plate.  Serve and enjoy.  Hope you like this gluten-free upside-down cake.  You can vary the fruit and use bananas, plums or apples if you like.  Cheers, Michele