Category Archives: Baking Wrecks

Oh yes, I screwed up big time

Baking Wrecks: A GF Cherry Pie Wreck on Pi Day

Lulu and Phoebe were willing to eat this – We weren’t!

I really do know how to make a pie.  I’ve made some fabulous pies over the years.  But once in a while a whole bunch of pies will come out of my kitchen less than edible.  It seems to happen in cycles.  And because I am stubborn, I keep going until the pie-wreck cycle is broken.

I’ve gone through pounds of butter and flour with mixed results.  Some would make better wall-paper paste than pie crust, but as long as I could stuff it into the pan – it would be baked.  Other doughs rolled out perfectly and went into the pan like a pie crust should only to come out of the oven like it was exchanged for dessert sand. Continue reading

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Baking Wreck: The GF Croissant that Wasn't

Photobucket19 hours of labor later

They look quite like about-to-be croissants in this photo.

Those three in the back were set to become little pain au chocolat.  It took over 19 hours to make them that pretty.  First there was the top dog secret dough prep by Captain Awesome.  Then came the chilling, then the folding, then the chilling.  That included making sure the marble board was ice cold for each turning so the result is a zillion layers folded in loaded with good unsalted butter.  They were left to rise, slowly overnight, ready to bake in the wee hours of the morning.

Captain Awesome is on a mission to create a gluten free puff pastry and croissant that reminds him of Paris.  These little pastries came out of the oven looking like perfect little gluten free imitations of a French croissant.  Small, crispy, flaky on the outside and the smell would have made you swoon with lust.  For croissants, that is. Continue reading

Baking Wreck: The Fallen Gluten Free Angel (Cake)

GF angel cake wreck; tunnel meets too much chocolate glaze

Like calculus, there are some things that defy staying cemented in my brain.  Like the difference between  chiffon and angel cake.   I thought they were both of the sponge-ish variety and kind of the same – only different.  If you want to read up on chiffon, Google a guy named Harry Baker.  Seriously, that’s his name.  He was the dude who developed the chiffon way back in the dark ages and guarded his top-dog secret ingredient until he met that siren called Betty Crocker.  By the 1940s, chiffon was a cake that everyone was writing about.

The big obvious difference is that angel cake has no fat in it, just a boat-load of sugar.  The chiffon has oil and yolks.  Think hybrid – a sponge-ish cake that looks a lot like an angel cake, but has the flavor of a yellow cake.

Chiffon and angel were the dressy cakes in our house.  Mom made those for parties, gifts, and Hadassah meetings or holidays.   My mother taught me all kinds of baking, but never how to do the chiffon or an angel cake.  Somehow I got the idea that they were complicated enough that I didn’t dare to try to make them. Continue reading

Baking Wreck: Gluten Free Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake

For every goody that makes it to the blog – recipe stage with a pretty little photo, there is a train wreck of casualties lined up behind it.  No recipe ever gets to the blog without repetition and plenty of upgrades along the way.   I thought you might enjoy some of the wrecks – kind of like a look into why I drink an awful lot some days (yes, kidding, sort of).

No one ever gets to gluten free pastry perfection  without a boat-load of trial and errors.  Some of those errors are worthy of eating and others more likely to be bulldozed into the trash.  I’ve wasted my share of doughs, pounds of butter, eggs, and flours.  Baking gluten free is not without its moments of humor.  The flours, even if you know a lot of information about their properties, will still work in mysterious ways and sometimes just a little twist of how the ingredients are mixed makes all the difference in success or um, hideous baking wrecks.

I bring you the upside down cake.  I thought it would über spiffy to use up some very ripe pears by inventing a gluten free ginger-pear upside down thingy in a bundt pan.  How hard could that be? Continue reading