Monday, July 17, 2017

Quinoa Flour Brownies (lower-carb, grain-free, gluten-free, high-protein)

Note: I do not think these are yet perfect, but this might be a recipe to start from. More of my notes below.

We were cleaning out the flour cupboard (really just a cupboard that had accidentally become so!) and the quinoa flour was about to expire. I hadn't ever used it so poked around for recipes to try, landing on brownies. (Often with new flours, it's either pancakes or brownies I try first.) The cook who posted the recipe mentioned that chocolate helps cover up the bitterness of the quinoa flour, so I thought maybe that would be the best thing to try.


These are pretty dry and dense. I should have at least baked them 5 minutes less. But this 9x9 pan has a stick of butter PLUS coconut oil so there is no reason for this dryness, unless the quinoa flour is just that dense. I'm pretty sure that's the culprit. But for those of us who only eat this kind of baked good, it might be worth trying. Perhaps it can be better enjoyed with low sugar ice cream.

I took the recipe from Making Thyme for Health, who adapted it from another recipe. The recipe below is based on my own adaptation, so you may want to follow the rabbit trail.

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoons melted unrefined coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup Stevia-sweetened chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350°F then line an 8 x 8” baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly spray with oil and set aside.
  2. Next melt the butter and the coconut oil together. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Using a spatula, stir in the sugar and maple syrup until well combined. Then add the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and continue to stir until smooth.
  4. Add the two eggs and briskly stir with the spatula until the batter is thick and shiny. Then add the quinoa flour and continue to vigorously stir until the batter is smooth, for about 15 strokes.
  5. Lastly add 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the batter and fold together. Pour the batter into the lined baking dish, using the spatula to smooth it out along the edges. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until you can prick a fork into the center and have it come out clean.* Allow to cool for at least an hour before eating. The longer they cool, the better they will hold together. 
*I wish I'd checked at 20! You should too.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Peach Blueberry Biscuit Cobbler

It is peach season in South Carolina! On July 4th, my husband and I went to Strawberry Hill USA to buy peaches. It is along a scenic highway, and is a nice drive from our house. They had several varieties but we went home with a bag of red globe peaches, which seemed sweetest. They are great for eating, sweet and easy to slice up, a freestone variety. Nathaniel sent me an email link to a recipe from TOWN Carolina with the subject line "Yum!" so I marked their recipe for Peach Blueberry Biscuit Cobbler to try. There are so many different varieties of cobblers and fruit dishes - this is a cobbler with full biscuits on top. 

I should have noted that in the photo on the web magazine, there is quite a bit of moisture. I never got this cobbler to the point I wanted it, and had to bake it 15-20 minutes longer than the recipe stated just to get the biscuits past raw. I wish I had cooked some of the moisture off first, but it is possible that if you are using peaches that are not as perfectly ripe and sweet, this will be less of a problem. But fair warning. 


PEACH BLUEBERRY BISCUIT COBBLER 
(from TOWN Carolina)

Serves 8–10 

INGREDIENTS

Filling: 
2 lbs. peaches, sliced 
1 pint blueberries 
¼ c. brown sugar 
¼ c. sugar 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
1 Tbs. lemon juice 
2 Tbs. cornstarch 

Biscuits:
2 ¼ c. flour 
1 ½ Tbs. sugar, plus more for sprinkling 
 4 tsp. baking powder 
½ tsp. salt 
10 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes 
¾ c. heavy cream, plus more for glazing 
½ tsp. vanilla extract 

Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional) 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
2. In a bowl, toss together peaches, blueberries, brown and white sugars, vanilla, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Pour into a 9-in. cast-iron skillet. 
3. In a different bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture, crumbling together until the butter is like sand. Add the heavy cream and stir together with a fork until the dough just comes together and forms a ball. You may need to add a splash or two more of cream to help the dough form. 
4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gently pat into a smooth circle about 1-in. thick. Using a 3-in. biscuit cutter (or juice glass), cut 8 biscuits out and place on top of the fruit filling. 
5. Brush each biscuit with cream and sprinkle the top with sugar. Bake for 30−35 minutes or until golden brown and baked through underneath. Serve cobbler warm with ice cream.