Monday, February 5, 2018

Ode to Samoas...


Make new friends, but keep the old, some are silver and the others gold.  That's how the famous Girl Scout song goes. It's been sung in a circle by myself and countless other girls over the years at Brownie and Girl Scout meetings. When I saw a Facebook friend post that once again it's Girl Scout Cookie season my mind wandered to my favorite varieties--Thin Mints and Samoas (recently renamed Caramel deLites). But for those of us who need to eat gluten, dairy or egg free, old favorites can be new enemies to our systems.  I was very happy to see that the Girl Scouts of America recognized this fact, and have added both gluten free and vegan choices to their repertoire. Leave it the Girl Scouts to remember the virtue of inclusiveness!

For those of you who can't find a Girl Scout to place your yearly order, try my "Ode To Samoas" cake, which will give you a taste of the old favorite within the parameters of a gluten free and allergen free diet. The recipe below is given with both vegan and non-vegan options.

This Bundt cake is very versatile and can be served with  a dusting of confectioners sugar instead of the suggested topping below. I left caramel sauce as "optional", even though it's an integral part of the Samoa cookie, because non-dairy caramel sauce can be hard to find.

Ode To Samoas Bundt Cake
2 cups granulated sugar or raw cane sugar (such as Florida Crystals)
2 cups all purpose gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs or 1-6 ounce container non-dairy yogurt (such as So Delicious vanilla or plain coconut milk yogurt)
1 cup non-dairy milk (i.e. rice, soy, almond or hemp)
1/2 cup canola or melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup hot coffee
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar)
2 teaspoons canola or coconut oil, or solid shortening
1/2 cup coconut flakes (toasted)*
1/4 cup caramel sauce (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a classic non-stick Bundt pan (10-12 cup size) with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first 5 ingredients. Add eggs, milk,  oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the hot coffee and beat on low until blended. Pour into prepared baking pan. Smooth top with a spatula.
Bake in pre-heated oven, on middle rack for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack.
To assemble: 
Place chocolate and 2 teaspoons oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is melted. If it is not completely melted, return to microwave for 15 second increments, stirring after each one.
Place serving plate over cooled cake and flip over. Remove Bundt pan. With a teaspoon, drizzle melted chocolate all over cake. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. Allow chocolate to set, about 20 minutes. Drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired.
Yield: 10-12 servings
*To toast coconut flakes: Spread out in a thin layer on a non-stick baking pan or parchment covered baking pan.  Bake at 350F degrees for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. Watch carefully, as coconut can go from a lovely golden toast color to burnt in a few seconds. Cool before using. May be stored up to two weeks in an airtight container.