Avocado Encore: Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I know that it’s Easter weekend and the typical thing to post about would be Easter-related. We’re not exactly holding the traditional Easter weekend this year. So, I thought I’d do a post on a recipe that I tried out last week.

Remember how I had said in my Mango Avocado Salsa post that my Quack had recommended that I eat more avocados? Not long after I did that post, I found an article in my Living Without magazine all on Avocados. If you are a subscriber to the magazine, you can get the full Avocados article when you log in here. If you’re not a subscriber, and are interested in the article, you can buy that particular issue (February/March 2013) here under Recent Living Without Back Issues.

The article includes the following recipes (for those of you with a subscription, you’ll be able to use the below links to log-in and access the recipes if you’re February/March 2013 issue isn’t handy):

Avocado Lemon Quick Bread
Avocado Dinner Rolls
Chocolate Avocado Muffins
Blueberry Avocado Pancakes
Simple Avocado Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Avocado Chocolate Pudding

So far I’ve only tried the Avocado Chocolate Pudding, but I intend to try most, if not all, of these recipes.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I don’t have a food processor so I used my blender, so the pudding came out with some small avocado chunks in it. I think it’s time that I finally invest in a food processor. Speaking of food processors, local blogger Colorful Canary just did a post on a BPA-free Glass Bowl Food Processor that looks economical.

Because Living Without is a subscription based website, I didn’t want to reproduce the recipes here. I did notice that the Avocados article was written by another blogger, Colette Martin, of Learning to Eat Allergy Free. So I checked out her blog and she just happened to have the Chocolate Avocado Pudding recipe there. The only difference is on the blog the serving size is half of that in the Living Without article (Living Without version Serves 4) as well as the Living Without version also recommends to refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. So I’ll direct you over to Colette’s blog to check out her Chocolate Avocado Pudding recipe.

If you’ve tried this recipe, let me know what you think! I thought it was delicious! 🙂

Free For All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes

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I ordered this cookbook quite some time ago with the intention of trying out some new recipes. It only took about a year later and one “snowpocalypse” to attempt my first recipe from it. The result? Deliciousness! … But I’ve saved the details for a separate post 🙂

0738213950

I discovered this cookbook, along with several others that I have yet to try out, from the Living Without Website. A list of all their cookbooks that are available for sale are found here: http://www.livingwithout.com/products/ … The magazine is a US publication and there is usually a link for Canadian purchases, which can mean higher prices but most always means higher shipping costs. I’d recommend checking out Chapters.ca or Amazon.ca to see if you can find a better deal, as you can combine with other products and receive free shipping if you cart total is usually above $25 (or some other determined amount).

What I like about this cookbook is that it is broken into two parts:

Part I: Essentials for Gluten-Free Baking

Part II: The Recipes

The majority of Part I is dedicated to ingredients and substitutions. Jules starts out by giving an overview of the items that one might find in their pantry which are basic/naturally gluten-free. She then gives a list of safe, gluten-free ingredients (such as grains, pseudocereals, beans, etc.) and then follows up with a list of evil non-gluten-free grains and other ingredients to avoid.

One of the most useful parts of the book is the Handy Substitution Guide. The guide starts out talking about Flour and how Jules devised her Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Blend. It then discusses other premixed blends, as well as making your own gluten-free blend.

She then lists other gluten-free ingredients that you should keep on hand, such as baking powder, baking soda, yeast, sugar and sweeteners, gluten-free oats/cereals/chips,  as well as flax seeds. She gives an overview of each one, lists several brands that she has used, and also makes some references to use in recipes found throughout the book.

Egg substitutes are the next topic and one that I thought was presented very well. She briefly discusses store-bought egg replacers but goes into great detail about homemade egg replacers. She gives a recipe for 12 different egg replacer recipes and groups them according to what they are best suited for:

  • Quick-breads
  • Yeast breads
  • Batters
  • Pancakes
  • Cakes
  • Brownies
  • Cookies
  • Savory Dishes
  • Replacing Egg Yolks
  • Frying foods or browning crusts

Dairy and soy substitutes are also presented. Substitutes for milk, buttermilk, Half-and-Half/heavy cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, yogurt/sour cream, butter/shortening, cheese/cream cheese, ice-cream/whipped cream are explained with recipes for non-dairy evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk given.

Nut substitutes are explained and are broken out according to whether you are looking for the nutty texture, or the nutty taste.

Jules then discusses alcohols in baking. She notes that although distilled alcohols are gluten-free, you need to be weary of added flavourings. She also discusses use of gluten-free beers in her recipes, as well as flavour extracts.

My favourite part of the book is that there are food restriction icons for each recipe which include: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free or Vegetarian. Many of the recipes are possible this way because Jules highlights the option for substitution. For example, for many of the egg replacements she suggests which Egg Replacer recipe to use which will save you time when executing the recipe! 🙂

Part I is then capped off with some baking notes … which I thought came in handy. For example, I had no idea that kneading gluten-free doughs actually do more harm than good (…. Good tip, Jules! Thanks)

Once you’ve digested (figuratively, of course) all of this info, it’s time to jump into the next stage of actual digestion – the recipe execution!! Part II is broken out into:

  • Breakfast Foods
  • Appetizers & Side Dishes
  • Breads & Rolls
  • Soups
  • Main Events; and last but not least
  • Desserts (the largest section! Jules, you know the way to a girl’s heart!)

This cookbook looks fantastic and should give those with food allergies and food intolerances the ability to enjoy fantastic meals and treats without having to worry about their safety or digestion woes!!

As I try out recipes from this cookbook, I’ll update with links below!

If you are currently using this cookbook, please share what your favourite recipes are! 

Happy Baking/Cooking & Eating!!

Krista.

Recipe Modification Experimentation: Dairy-Free, Vegan Pumpkin Smoothie

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You win some …. you loose some ….

(I haven’t quite decided yet where exactly this recipe modification attempt falls in between these two options)

Ever since I seen this image shared by Kathy Smart of “Live the Smart Way” on her Facebook Page, I’ve been dying to try a pumpkin smoothie!

I knew that I just happened to have a can of pumpkin in my pantry that didn’t get used on Thanksgiving Weekend a few weeks back, so I finally decided to attempt a similar version of this smoothie with the ingredients that I already had available in my kitchen.

Raw banana upsets my stomach so I decided to try some frozen mango that I had in the freezer. I also only had regular almond milk instead of the vanilla version so I attempted to duplicate the same thing by adding vanilla extract. I happened to have some Clubhouse Pumpkin Pie Spice in my cupboard so I figured I could just use that instead of the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. In addition to this, I’m convinced that dairy doesn’t agree with my guy, so I just happened to have a carton of Healthy Top dairy free whipping cream (almond & cashew based) in the fridge so I decided that now was the time to test it out.

Let’s focus on the “awesome” lessons learned from the recipe mod attempt:

  • Healthy Top = Awesome Top. I was a little weary when I cut open the carton and the contents didn’t pour out. It had solidified on the fridge and I had to scoop the contents out with a spoon. As I was turning to place the spoon in the dishwasher, I licked the spoon and discovered that the taste was fantastic, despite it not resembling anything like regular whipping cream. I flipped the switch on the mixer and the product quickly softened up and looked as real whipping cream should.

Now for the real lessons learned:

  • Skip the Pumpkin Pie Spice and go for the real stuff. The Clubhouse mix contained the spices that the recipe called for, but also included Cloves & Sulphites. I’ve tried this mix in a failed attempt to make a homemade version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte and I think it’s time to give up on it.
  • Frozen Mangoes were not the best substitute for bananas in this case. I think bananas would have given a better texture/consistency. Because I didn’t enjoy the the Pumpkin Pie Spice mix, I added in more frozen mangoes as I didn’t think that the smoothie was sweet enough when really it was the spice that was just to overpowering (to be fair, it should be noted that I probably added too much of the spice mix to begin with)
  • 1 cup of grated pumpkin is not likely equivalent to 1 cup of grated pumpkin. In fact, I think this is where it all started to go down hill. The pumpkin was too overpowering from the start so I had to play a round with the other ingredients to try and balance it out.
  • There’s a reason they sell Vanilla Almond Milk. Don’t bother trying to replicate it. Postpone your recipe for a few days until you can get some.

Although I pointed out several things that were wrong with my recipe mod attempt, don’t get me wrong; it did taste ok…… It just wasn’t of the “leap out of your seat to go write a blog post about it” calliper. The main thing I took away from this process is that I can find a good replacement for regular whipping cream that tastes great! So all is not lost! Here’s to hoping that my next attempt at this modified smoothie is a success!! 🙂

Cheers!

Recipe: Vegan Gluten-Free Coffee Crisp Clusters

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In my last post I talked about how I found a Coffee Crisp Hot Chocolate mix when I was visiting friends in Halifax. I looked at the ingredients and it appeared to be gluten-free after consulting my pocket dictionary that I received from the Canadian Celiac Association. And just for good measure, I contacted Nestle and they assured me that if there was any possibility of it being contaminated with gluten, then gluten would have been listed as a “may contain” ingredient.

And it was just like I remembered Coffee Crisp bars tasting ….. absolute deliciousness!

My next thought? …… Must.Find.Gluten.Free.Coffee.Crisp.Bar.Recipe!

I expected to have to scroll through pages and pages of search engine results to find recipe links until I found the proper one, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I hit the jackpot with the first result! www.iheartwellness.com .

The recipe sounded super easy and the pictures of the clusters looked inviting. I then read the About section of the blog and my jaw dropped at how much I could relate to Kris and her life experiences! I’ll send you over to her blog to get the recipe but the gist of the recipe is as follows: dark chocolate, grapeseed oil, coffee, coconut flour and flax, mix in a bowl and toss it in the freezer. When you have things to do, people to see, and topics to blog about … you can’t go wrong with a recipe as simple as that! 🙂

For the most part, the ingredients were fairly straight forward. I knew that I’ve never seen Perky’s Crunchy Flax Cereal at any of the nearby supermarkets, and I had also planned on visiting my li’l cousin, Monica, in Clarenville that coming weekend. Knowing that she’s crafty like me and enjoys “baking”, I figured that this recipe would be a fun thing to do together…. but if I had to rely on ordering the Perky’s online, I wouldn’t be able to receive the package in time and would have to hold off for a few more weeks before being able to try these little morsels out.

Or would I??

Enter Exhibit A: Real Food Market. An online organic store offering delivery in the St. John’s area. Here’s how they work. I had remembered corresponding through email with the owner a while back and remembered them saying that they would be stocking gluten-free items. I wondered if they would carry Perky’s. …… and I was in luck. I checked my address to figure out my delivery zone, and my Perky’s (in addition to the other items that I purchased) would be delivered to my door on Thursday night, just in time for me to pack it in my bag before heading to Clarenville for the weekend 🙂

I forgot to bring a few things out to Clarenville with me: like a vegan dark chocolate bar, grapeseed oil and decaf coffee so I had to do a little improvisation. Despite this, the result was still fantastic!! And I can totally understand Kris’ obsession with Perky’s!!

The odd thing, I came to discover once we were finished making the recipe, was that Monica doesn’t even actually like chocolate!  I’m sure that the most confused look rolled across my face followed by the biggest “Grinch” of a grin ….. it was all mine. Those delicious little nuggets, were all mine 😉

Thanks to Kris at iheartwellness.com for posting her recipe and Real Food Market for stocking Perky’s! You are awesome!! 🙂 🙂

Trading One Island Dining Experience for Another

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Last week we vacationed in Prince Edward Island (PEI) via Nova Scotia. It was a great break! We flew into Halifax on Friday morning and my guy, Rob, met up with his buddies to drive to Moncton for a Curling Bonspiel while our friends Sheena & Chris picked me up to stay with them for the weekend at their home in Upper Tantallon.

Not being sure of the ease of dining out gluten-free in PEI or the Upper Tantallon area while in Nova Scotia, I made sure to bring my own gluten-free snacks and relied on internet searches for ideas of where to eat out. One of the sites that I heavily relied on was The Celiac Scene.

My usual Saturday morning routine when home in Newfoundland is to go to the St. John’s Farmers Market early in the morning to ensure that I get some good gluten-free goodies before they are all sold out. Sheena had asked if I wanted to go to the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market on Saturday morning and I just assumed that she was just being polite on account of her knowing that I enjoy heading to my local market on Saturday mornings. Turns out that she also likes to spend a couple of hours at the Market! I was super excited to enjoy some girl time together in addition to enjoying the market 🙂

Halifax Seaport Farmers Market

I had no idea how big the Market would be. There were two levels and possibly close to a hundred vendors. I was tickled pink! Here I am enjoying gluten-free gelato. Not sure if you can see but there are 3 aisles of vendors plus another level of vendors on the top.

Selwood Greens Kale ScrambleWe spent a good two hours roaming through and had breakfast at a green/organic vendor called Selwood Green. I had a Kale Scramble with local bacon, and a local greens salad which was delicious. They even had gluten-free bread, however they do use it in the same toaster as regular bread. I decided to try it out to see if I would react. The potato-millet bread tasted delicious and it came from Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Gourmet which is a vendor at the Market. I didn’t grow a gluten-baby from the cross-contamination, but my stomach did feel a bit upset. I wasn’t entirely sure if this was due to trying Kale for the first time or if it was due to gulten crumbs from the toaster. I decided to pick up a loaf to bring to PEI with us, and ended up using the same toaster at the cabin. My stomach was upset most of the week so I now suspect that I even have to avoid  using a toaster that has been used to toast glutenous bread. First when I went gluten-free, I was able to tolerate this, however over the past year my stomach has become even more sensitive and I am now going to have to start using Toast It Bags. For those of you living in the St. John’s, NL area – You can purchase these at the Nourish Gluten-Free Bakery in Paradise.

Coffee Crisp Hot ChocolateWe considered having a fire in the backyard on Saturday night and we went to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients for S’mores. That’s when I came across this multi-pack of Hot Chocolate.

I haven’t had Coffee Crisp since going Gluten-free and after a quick perusal of the ingredients (and a later consultation with Nestle), I discovered that the mix was actually gluten-free! I had some that night and it was FANTASTIC!! It tasted just like eating a Coffee Crisp!! 🙂

Sheena had arranged for us to rent a cottage in Rocky Point, PEI. We drove to Moncton on Sunday afternoon to pick up Rob and then crossed Confederation Bridge into PEI. It was the first time that I had been back to PEI since I was little. We got to the cabin around 7:00 that night I loved how the owners had decorated it – lots of bright colours, bold and funky patterns and a mixture of retro and rugged furniture/appliances.

Once we were done exploring the cabin, we headed into Charlottetown to find something to eat. We landed at a place called Gahan House Brewery which had gluten-free items identified on their menu. Most of the options were seafood, which I’m not a huge lover of but I do like Salmon and settled on that. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a cheesecake that was on the menu that was considered gluten-free. I let Rob have a couple of bites of it before I curled my arm around the perimeter of the plate and pulled it in close to my body to shield it from Rob’s reach. Rob let out a high pitched “Raaarrrrn” (think: squealing cat noise) and I asked if he could blame me, considering that I haven’t been able to eat cheesecake at a restaurant in a very long time. He nodded and said that I had a good point, but he continued to eye my plate.

Monday morning I got up super early before everyone else and decided to read my book out on the veranda. It was soooo relaxing, especially when the hummingbirds would come by and drink from the feeder :). The book I’m reading? It’s called The Procrastination Equation ….. I bought it in May and only started to read it on the plane … a sure sign that I need to be reading the book, 😛

Once everyone else got up, Rob made breakfast for us (complete with Mimosas!). Then we went to a few outlet shops and did a little bit of shopping in downtown Charlottetown. We stumbled upon the menu for Redwater Rustic Grille and I discovered that they offered Gluten-Free PASTA!! I was ecstatic!! I’ve only ever been able to enjoy gluten-free pasta at home, made by myself. This surely would be my new favourite place! 🙂 I also had a delicious Gluten-Free flatbread as an appetizer!

The next day we went looking for a place that we had seen on The Celiac Scene for lunch, only to discover that I didn’t really fancy the options, instead we stumbled across a place called Globe World Flavours which had better gluten-free options identified on its menu. I discovered that they also served gluten-free pasta as well but I opted for Pad Tai instead, and it was delicious! That night we picked up food for a BBQ and had a few drinks on the deck. All the good food (and the golf for the boys) knocked us out early that night.

The next morning the boys went golfing again and Sheena and I decided to try out a nearby beach. It was a very tidal beach so there were a couple of sandbars and there were many people there digging for clams. The wave action had also left a ripple effect in the sand. We put down some towels and started to read our books but the sand was still somewhat wet and started to seep up and make us wet. It was also windy and I’m super-prone to ear aches so we had to call it a morning. We then decided to head to Pizza Delight for dinner (as I can order gluten-free pizza there) and brought some pizzas back for the boys to enjoy once they were finished golfing. That night we decided to relax at the cabin again. I had a headache (from sleeping in various beds, as well as a flight and a long drive) so I slept most of the evening only to wake at 10:00 and discover that everyone else was ready for bed :S

Thursday we were supposed to drive back to Halifax but due to the lack of getting in the ocean or a pool we decided to book a cabin in Cavendish and hang out there for the day. On the way we popped into the PEI Preserve Company because Sheena had read that they had a café with gluten free options. While checking the place out, I discovered that they had Gluten-Free ice cream cones. I hadn’t bought an ice cream cone since going gluten-free and I had one with maple espresso ice cream. It was delicious and I was so excited that I requested a photo to be taken. We got to the cabin, dropped off our gear and decided to take a drive through the main stretch of Cavendish so I could revisit the places that we frequented on our family vacations when I was a kid. …. Everything seemed so much grander in my memories. We roamed through the Boardwalk, drove past Ripley’s Believe It or Not and the Wax Museum, drove past where Rainbow Valley used to be, popped into Cavendish beach for an hour, and grabbed a quick lunch all within the span of a couple of hours. And I thought, how did we spend a week to two here when I was a kid? Again, the place seemed much larger in my memories. I was glad that we had spent the majority of our week in Rocky Point because it appears that Cavendish is really a family vacation spot. … or a golfer’s spot. Rob counted 4 golf courses in the span of a kilometer — while wiping the drool from his chin 😉

We then spent the remainder of our afternoon in the pool and hot tub before getting cleaned up and heading back to the PEI Preserve Company for supper. It’s always a good sign when they decide to put the dessert on the front page of their menu. I decided to try their potato and bacon pie which was in a garlic cream sauce. It was delicious! And I actually had options for dessert! I was hoping that I could have the Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake for dessert but they didn’t have any available apparently. Then she said that there was Strawberry Shortcake which was gluten-free so I decided to have that because I didn’t know when I would be able to enjoy such a dessert while dining out again.

The next morning we went back to the PEI Preserve Company for breakfast. And it was good. They offered Gluten-free bread but when I asked she said that it is toasted in the same rotisserie that they use for regular bread. I figured that this was fine but when it came out, I could see a lot of crumbs on the surface on it so rather than risking a swollen and uncomfortable “gluten baby belly” and being sick for the whole ride back to Halifax, I decided to skip the bread. Which worked out because it turned out that they had made more Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake and I had room in my belly to eat it …. despite it being before 11:00 in the morning.

After breakfast we headed back to Halifax and got to Sheena & Chris’ around mid afternoon. We cleaned up and went downtown for supper and ate at a place called The Carlton Music Bar and Grill. There I enjoyed several glasses of delicious Sangria and another pasta dish! This time it was an amazing chicken fusilli in a cream pesto sauce and the others all agreed that it tasted so good that it didn’t taste like it was gluten-free. For dessert, there were two gluten-free options and Sheena just happened to order the other one (some sort of chocolate almond or possibly hazelnut torte) and I had a mousse that was chocolately/mocha/hazelnut (although apparently it wasn’t quite memorable enough for me to remember exactly what it was).

At one point while eating dessert, the following conversation occurred:

Sheena: “This kinda reminds me of those chocolately balls you eat at Christmas”

Me: “Ferrero Rocher?”

Sheena: “Yeah, that’s it”.

Krista: <Inserts fork into Sheena’s dessert (very stealthily), pulls plate across table, quickly samples without permission> “I haven’t been able to eat one of those things since going gluten-free!!!!!!!”

<This is the point where they all stared at me as if I was a starving seagull…>

And I can confirm that Sheena’s dessert was a tasty one 🙂

The next morning we went to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market for Round Two. We went back to Selwood Greens for breakfast and roamed around the vendors. I enjoyed some gluten-free Biscotti flavoured gelato from Foxhill Cheese, among some other goodies. Then we headed back to Sheena & Chris’ so we could get ready for our friend’s wedding that afternoon. It was the wedding of Rob’s best friend from high school, Michelle. We hadn’t seen her in a long time to it was nice to see her get married and to be able to chat with her off and on throughout the evening 🙂

Rob has always said that he wants to do a cross Canada trip for a vacation some year and I’ve always said that I would love to make that trip into a “restaurant tour” where we pick different restaurants along the way and plan our route around it. This trip felt very much like a snapshot of what that trip would be like. In order to dine out, we had to do research beforehand (which usually involved consulting The Celiac Scene scene, and in some cases, Urban Spoon for ideas), locate the restaurant of choice and finally enjoy a good gluten-free experience.

Did I honestly expect to have such a fantastic gluten-free dining out experience considering that we would be visiting an island that is roughly just under 1/4th of the population of (and over 70 times smaller than) Newfoundland?  Well …. no, not in my wildest dreams. Gluten-free dining out is relatively new to the St. John’s area and has only popped up in the last couple of years. Considering that PEI’s capital city, Charlottetown, is about 1/3rd of the population of Newfoundland’s capital, St. John’s – I didn’t have high hopes for a lot of variety and suspected it was likely that I could end up  being sick from cross-contamination at least once if not more. To my surprise, the Charlottetown dining scene was far more evolved when it came to gluten-free menu development. At first I wondered if it was because PEI was a small population and that many people were choosing to remain in PEI rather than relocating after post-secondary, and therefore a prevalence of a Celiac Disease in the province. But then Sheena had mentioned that PEI has a highly acclaimed culinary institute, and it’s likely that many new chefs are incorporating dietary restrictions into their menus after just learning about it. There were also many occasions where other dietary restrictions were identified on the menu such as dairy-free and vegetarian, which I always love to see 🙂

All in all, it was a fantastic vacation. I find that being in nature resets/rejuvenates me, and it was great to hang out with our friends, see other friends get married and enjoy some fantastic food! For the first time since going gluten free I felt like I had a real “Foodie” experience again. It was awesome. And therefore it is only fitting that I share with you this video that I stumbled upon during the trip:


Have you ever had poor expectations for an adequate dining experience during vacationing, only to discover the most amazing meals and/or restaurants?

Until next time,

Krista

p.s. Did anyone else automatically start singing the “Schoolhouse Rock!” theme song when you read the words Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Gourmet??

Recipe: Boston Cream Muffins

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The hardest part when I go to Tim Horton’s for a tea is not having the option to indulge in a Boston Cream Doughnut anymore since going gluten-free.

My sister decided earlier this year to implement “Muffin Mondays” where she tries to bake muffins and cupcakes to bring in to her office. Some weeks she said that she wasn’t able to get a batch ready in time for Muffin Monday but on those particular weeks it just so happened that someone else (i.e. Donna) had happened to bring in muffins that day. One day my sister mentioned that Donna had brought in Boston Cream Muffins…. and suggested that it was likely possible to make a gluten-free version. My jaw dropped to the floor at the idea of Boston Cream gluten-free anything and I demanded that she get this recipe from Donna. My sister immediately whipped out her blackberry and emailed Donna for the recipe.

I’ll include both the glutenous and gluten-free versions of the recipe below.

Gluten-Free Version:

Ingredients:

For Cream Filling:

1 cup of milk
2/3 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons gluten-free flour (I used Nourish‘s blend of GF flour)
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Muffins:

2 packages of Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix (yields 12 cupcakes per package) or any other GF cupcake mix
6 Eggs (or as per other Gluten-Free cake mix directions)
1 1/3 Cup Water (or as per other Gluten-Free cake mix directions)
1 Cup butter, softened (or as per other Gluten-Free cake mix directions)
4 tsp pure vanilla extract (or as per other Gluten-Free cake mix directions)

For Ganache Frosting:

12 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used Enjoy Life‘s chocolate chips to make it peanut/tree nut free as well)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream, boiling

Directions:

Make the cream filling FIRST!

Cream Filling:

1.Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until completely combined
2. Add gluten-free flour, whisk very well and set aside while heating the milk
3. Heat milk, heavy cream, butter and salt until simmering
4. Slowly add the heated milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture stirring constantly. Whisk well slowly
5. Return the mixture into the pot and bring to simmer stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken within 30-45 seconds. Take off heat.
6. Whisk in the vanilla, set aside to cool to room temperature

Muffins:

Prepare as per package directions

Gluten-Free Muffins just warm out of the oven

Fill a melting/decorating squeeze bottle (such as this Wiltonone) or an icing decorating bag (with a long thin decorating tip) with the cream filling. Insert the tip into several points on the top of the baked muffins while they are still hot and squeeze until you see the filling start to ooze out.

Boston Cream Filling

Boston Cream Inserted

Ganache Frosting:

1. Bring the heavy cream to boil, be careful not to let it actually boil or it will raise
2. Pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Cool to a little warmer then room temperature

When the muffins are completely cooled, remove the excess filling that might have expanded from the top of the muffins and dip the top of the muffins into the ganache frosting. Hold the muffins horizontal so that the excess chocolate drips free. You may want to turn the muffins to allow the chocolate to drip from various points. Once it seems like all the excess chocolate has dripped free, lay the muffins down so that the chocolate can properly set.

Completed Boston Cream Muffins!

Once set, ENJOY!! 🙂

For Donna’s regular (non-Gluten-Free) Version:

Cream Filling:

Same as above except she uses regular flour.

Muffins:

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
Note: the cupcake recipe didn’t call for oil but she would add 1/3 cup of oil (she usually uses olive oil)

1. Preheat the oven to 375, place the cupcake liners into the 12 cup muffin pan
2. Beat the butter is a large mixing bowl for 1 minute
3. Add sugar and beat for another minute
4. Add one egg at the time, beating after each addition (if you’re going to add the oil I’d add it here)
5. Beat in vanilla
6. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt
7. Add milk, beat well for about a minute
8. Pour into the muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean

Ganache Frosting:

Donna didn’t follow the above method for the ganache. She always put water in a dipper (about 2/3) and bring to a boil. She puts the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl and place over the boiling dipper (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Once the chocolate is melted she takes it off the dipper and mixes in the cold cream.

I also doubled Donna’s Ganache recipe for the dipping method, so if following the non-gluten-free recipe version, half the amounts listed above.

Thanks to Donna for letting me indulge in Boston Cream again!! 🙂