I've come across a few new (to me) products recently that I just had to share. I feel like I hit pay dirt when I found Katz's Gluten Free White Bread. It's the first gluten free bread that tastes good without warming beforehand. It's purchased frozen, but after defrosting it can be eaten as is. I went on to try their small challah rolls, and they too were great. I am trying to figure out what Mrs. Katz (a mother of two celiac kids) does to make these gluten free breads and rolls stay soft. She uses a blend of white rice, corn, tapioca and soy flour. Having worked with soy flour before (thank you Dr. Atkins) I think it is that which gives the baked goods elasticity. Lillie also likes their chocolate rugelach. They are available at stores around the country, or you can order online. If you order online, you get free shipping with $100 order. The prices at my local store match the online prices.
On a recent busy day when I needed a gluten free cake, I decided to use a mix from Whole Foods called 365 Everyday Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix. It was a bit more labor intensive than I would like for a mix. It called for adding butter (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks which are pareve), eggs, vanilla extract and buttermilk or yogurt. For the last ingredient, I subbed soy milk with white vinegar added (use 1 cup soy milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar and allow to sit for 10 minutes) for the buttermilk. The result though, was fantastic, I liked it better even than the Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Mix. The texture was very close to glutenny cakes, and the taste was chocolaty and smooth. It lacked any odd taste or texture that sometimes occurs in gluten free cakes. The price was also reasonable, under $4 for one box. However, one box makes an 8 or 9-inch single layer cake. So for a traditional layered birthday cake, you would need two boxes. This seems to be the norm in gluten and allergen free boxed mixes. But, I feel it's still cheaper than a bakery cake!
Another new favorite is Nasoya's Silken Style Creations. This is a silken tofu product that comes in vanilla, chocolate or strawberry flavors, and is vegan, gluten free and dairy free. The chocolate flavor has the exact consistency of good chocolate pudding, and can be eaten straight out of the box as a dessert (o.k. put it in a bowl first...maybe). But, I discovered that it makes a good ingredient as well. I made a mousse using the chocolate flavor tofu for a base. I froze the remainder and came up with a great ice cream substitute. I used this to make ice cream sandwiches with gluten free cookies, I call them "Flying Soysers". The Nasoya website has an eggless, gluten free brownie recipe using the Silken Style Creations. Click on this link for the recipe.
In the waning days of summer, this is a fun project to make, and enjoy with the kids. They can personalize their ice cream sandwiches by choosing different flavor cookies and garnishes, such as sprinkles, mini-chocolate chips, coconut and finely chopped nuts (if not allergic).
1 package Nasoya Dark Chocolate Silken Style Creations
2 dozen gluten free cookies (store bought or homemade)
sprinkles or mini chocolate chips, optional
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat Rich's Whip until stiff peaks form. Add Nasoya Dark Chocolate Silken Style Creations and continue to beat until well combined. Mixture will be a light chocolate color*.
Place half of cookies on a flat surface. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate mixture into center of cookies. Cover with remaining cookies and press down until filling reaches edges of cookies. The "soysers" may now be rolled in sprinkles or mini-chocolate chips, if desired.
Wrap each "soyser" in plastic wrap, and freeze 3 hours to overnight, until filling has the consistency of ice cream. Serve straight from the freezer.
Yield: 1 dozen
*At this point it may be used as a mousse or placed in a freezer safe container and frozen for 3 hours to overnight, until it has the consistency of ice cream.