Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gluten Free Banana Cake with Cream Caramel

How in the world does time get away from me so fast? I really didn’t mean to have nearly a month pass me by before my next post. For those of you still with me, I have a tasty little cake for you. This is a banana layer cake with banana cream caramel and roasted pecans. What I really like about this cake are two subtle ingredients that I never would have thought to add; dark rum and lime juice. Both the rum and lime juice are sprinkled on each layer of cake giving this cake a great accent flavor. OK, here we go.
Gluten Free Banana Cake with Cream Caramel
from Bon Appetit, modified to be gluten free
2-1/2 cups of GF flour mix
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/2 cups sugar (divided)
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1-1/2 sticks, room temp)
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 Tbs buttermilk
2 small ripe bananas (cut into 1/4 inch cubes)
Banana Cream Caramel:
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 small ripe banana (cut into 1 inch pieces)
3 Tbs unsalted butter (room temp)
3-3/4 cups chilled whipping cream (divided)
4-1/2 tsp fresh lime juice (divided)
4-1/2 tsp dark rum (divided)
2 cups pecan halves
3 Tbs unsalted butter (melted)
1-1/4 tsp fine sea salt
IMG_0558 Let’s begin by making the cream caramel. Combine the brown sugar, banana, and butter in a food processor; blend until smooth. Add 1-1/2 cups of heavy cream and blend again until combined. Transfer to a heavy medium saucepan.IMG_0563Whisk over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan and cook, without stirring or mixing, until the temperature reaches 218 degrees F. Pour the caramel into a medium bowl. Cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally.IMG_0574In a separate bowl, whisk 2-1/4 cups of cream just until it begins to form soft mounds. Fold the whipped cream into the room temperature caramel.IMG_0575This is what your banana cream caramel should look like. Chill the cream caramel in the refrigerator until it is firm enough to spread, about 3 hours.IMG_0582Let’s move on to the cake. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and butter and flour two 9 inch diameter cake pans. Next, sift together the gf flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar together. Beat in 2 eggs. Next, alternate adding the buttermilk and dry ingredients (gf flour)  into the butter, sugar, egg mix until thoroughly combined. IMG_0588In a separate bowl, beat the remaining 4 eggs together with 1-1/2 cups of sugar until the mixture is thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Fold the egg/sugar mixture into the cake batter. Finally, fold in the bananas. Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pans on a backing rack for 15 minutes.IMG_0591After the cake has cooled in the pans, invert them on to a backing rack and cool to room temperature. While the cake is cooling, turn your oven to 325 degrees F and make the toasted pecans. Toss the pecans and melted butter in a medium bowl until well coated. Add the sea salt and toss. Spread the pecans evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until fragrant and slightly darker in color, stirring occasionally.  Cool pecans completely.IMG_0605Let’s put this thing together. Start by slicing both cake rounds in half horizontally so you end up with 4 cake layers. Place one layer, cut side up, on a platter. Drizzle 1-1/2 tsp of lime juice and 1-1/2 tsp of rum over the cake. Next, spread 1 to 1-1/2 cups of cream caramel over the layer. Place the second layer, cut side down, on top of the first layer. Repeat the drizzle of 1-1/2 tsp each of lime juice and rum. Spread on the cream caramel. Repeat for the third layer, cut side up. The fourth layer goes cut side down and is just covered with the cream caramel, no rum or lime juice. IMG_0609To finish things off, I spread the remaining cream caramel around the outside of the cake as well. Top with toasted pecans and you are in business. Now, this cake should be refrigerated to keep everything firm before cutting into it. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of patience. I cut into this cake immediately and the layers wanted to slide around a little bit. Be careful if you don’t have the willpower to refrigerate this cake until it is firm. The flavors in this cake all work together beautifully. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gluten Free Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken

Thank you to everyone who responded in regards to what I should post next. By a narrow margin, buttermilk oven fried chicken won out. I’ll post the banana layer cake soon.
Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken
from Cooking Light, modified to be gluten free
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 whole chicken cut into 6 pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks)
1/2 cup gf flour mix
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp red chile flakes or cayenne pepper
You could easily add any spices you want to the flour mix to customize the flavor for you and your family.
IMG_0385Place the chicken pieces and the buttermilk in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or more.IMG_0389Place the flour and spices in another gallon Ziploc bag. Pull the chicken pieces from the buttermilk. Allow excess buttermilk to drip off and then toss the chicken pieces in the flour/season mix one at a time until well coated. Discard the buttermilk. Place the chicken on a parchment lined baking sheet. Finally give each piece of chicken a light coating of cooking spray, like Pam. IMG_0391Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bake chicken for 30-35 minutes or until done. Turn the chicken once after about 20 minutes.
IMG_0401Serve the oven fried chicken with your favorite side dishes. Check out other dinner ideas over at The Gluten Free Homemaker. Enjoy!!!