Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Japanese "Cotton" Cheesecake (gluten-free)

Gluten-free Cheesecake

It’s another Valentine’s Day wedding anniversary (our 29th).

No trips or dining out this year because we both have miserable colds, but there will be a treat to mark the event.

I haven’t made any type of cheesecake in over twenty years, and this recipe caught my attention with its name: “Japanese Cotton Cheesecake”.

It looked to be a more involved recipe than I ordinarily make, and frustrating that it took two hours for the eggs, butter and cream cheese to warm up on the counter.

It was worth it!  The result was light and fluffy, needing no additional embellishment for my taste – but my husband Dan insisted on topping his slice with the wild grape jelly that my Mom made for us last summer.
Cup4Cup Gluten-free Cheesecake

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks from Trang of RunAwayRice

·      Eggs are easier to separate when they are cold. 

·      Keep the paper lining to no more than 4 inches tall. Too much paper will prevent the top of the cake from browning.

·      The water bath is essential for keeping the cake moist.

·      This is one recipe where over-baking is okay.  Depending on your oven it may take up to 1 1/2 hours.

·      If your cake cracks on top, the heat is too high or the cake is too close to the heating element. 

·      The cake will shrink. Leaving it in the oven after it’s done helps to minimize some of the deflating.

·      Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours.  The cold sets the cream cheese and greatly improves the flavor and texture.

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Gluten-free “Cotton” Cheesecake
Adapted from a recipe published on RunAwayRice
Serves 8-10

5 Large Eggs (separated, at room temperature)
1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1/4 Cup White Sugar
8 oz. Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1/2 Cup Redbarn Creamtop Milk
1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
Another 1/4 Cup of Sugar
1 TB Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Gluten-free Flour (I used Cup4Cup)
2 TB Cornstarch

Equipment: 8-inch Springform Pan

Preheat oven to 315f

Line the pan with parchment paper.  Wrap the outside with aluminum foil to make it waterproof.

Add an inch of water to a larger pan and place on the lowest oven rack. 

Beat egg whites until foamy.   Add cream of tartar. 

Gradually add 1/4 cup of sugar and continue until soft peaks form.

In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth.

Beat in butter, ¼ cup sugar and lemon juice. 

Mix in flour and cornstarch. 

Beat in yolks to create a smooth batter.

Gently fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter at a time.

Pour into pan.  Smooth top and tap on the counter to remove any big air bubbles.

Place pan into the water bath and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. 

Check for doneness with a toothpick.  It should come out clean. 

Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes to brown the top.

Turn off oven, open the door slightly and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour.
Cotton Cheesecake 

Remove cake from the pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Serve with fruit, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Cup4Cup Gluten-free Beet Ravioli

Cup4Cup gluten-free Beet Ravioli
My husband Dan and I lived in a white ranch-style house on top of Carter Hill in Highgate when we were first wed.  The kitchen was itty-bitty so the table became crucial counter space.

I cooked meals for a whole week at a time - but after six or seven days of chicken this-that-and-the-other-thing – I had to break up the monotony.

I would stop at the Grand Union after work and buy a bag of frozen ravioli, a loaf of garlic bread, and a jar of whatever marinara was on sale.

Dinner for two. Quick and convenient.

Nowadays, the sauce of choice is Bove’s; the garlic bread is gluten free and so is the ravioli.

Which lead me to this Martha Stewart recipe for fresh beet pasta, which was easy to make wheat-free.

It is critical to drain the ricotta in a cheesecloth-lined strainer.  The filling must not be wet.  If pressed for time, a bit of breadcrumbs or grated Parmesan will remedy that.

I prefer these boiled and pan-fried like pierogi, because the flavor of beets and blue cheese goes together so well.

Beet Ravioli
Gluten-free Beet Ravioli
Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe
Makes 24-30 raviolis


2 Medium Beets, roasted or boiled, skins removed
2 tsp. Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
4 Large Eggs, plus one for painting dough
2-½ Cups of Cup4Cup gluten-free flour, plus more for sprinkling


15 oz. Ricotta, drained
5 oz. Boucher Blue Cheese, crumbled
¼ Cup Chevre (I used Does’ Leap)

Special Equipment: Pasta roller

To a food processor fitted with a blade, add beets and puree.

Add 4 eggs, process. 

Add flour ½ cup at a time and a pinch of salt.  Process until a soft dough forms (about 20 seconds).

Transfer dough to a well-floured surface. Knead until smooth (about 10 minutes).  Wrap tightly in plastic and let rest 1-2 hours (can be refrigerated).

Cut dough into 8 pieces. Work one piece at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered so it does not dry out.

Flatten dough into an oblong shape and roll through the pasta machine settings incrementally (thick to thinner), lightly flouring the sheet each time, and folding it upon itself until it is smooth.

Place dollops of cheese on the lower half of pasta sheet, about 1-½ inches apart.

Lightly paint the edges with beaten egg and fold it over the dumpling to seal.

Gently tamp down to form ravioli.

Cut into squares and crimp edges with a fork. *

Place on a floured sheet pan and let dry. Repeat with remaining dough.

At this point, ravioli may be frozen directly on the pan, and then transferred to a freezer bag.

Gently boil ravioli until they float, plus 2-4 minutes more.  They will lighten in color.
Gluten-Free Ravioli with Blue Cheese
* I used a ravioli stamp.
Same recipe, another shape of ravioli
Many ways of forming ravioli (including by hand) can be found at http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-homemade-ravioli-recipe.html
Pink Cheese Filling
I boiled these ravioli, refrigerated them overnight, and pan-fried them the next day. Pink filling!! Perfect for Valentine's Day...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Cup4Cup Gluten-free Holiday Rolls

Cup4Cup Gluten-free Rolls
Back in the day when I was growing up in Bakersfield, a holiday meant eating more food at one sitting than you normally ate in the two entire days previous.

And then, everyone needed a nap.

And then, we ate again.

It was also the time my Mom broke out the ‘fancy’ roll recipes.

Sure, we had whole pans of “pull-aparts” featuring oatmeal or milk with our meals on a regular basis, but a special occasion merited a 3-part “clover” or split “Parker house” style roll made in a muffin tin.

Sad to say, I haven’t a neat gluten-free version of those down yet – but I do have a pretty good GF roll recipe to share.

Cup4Cup GF Crostini
These are best served hot from the oven.  They reheat well and can be sliced, toasted, and made into crostini or croutons.

Cup4Cup GF Pizza
I even made a springy 12-inch pizza crust that was crispy on the bottom – because there are always Christmas feast leftovers to use as toppings.

Cup4Cup Gluten-free Roll with Redbarn Butter

 Gluten Free Holiday Rolls
Makes 5 rolls or one batard


1 Cup Cup4Cup GF All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Yeast
2 tsp. Local Honey
½ tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Redbarn Buttermilk, room temperature
1 x-Large (farm fresh) Egg

Mix together and let rise 1 -2 hours.

Knead in:
1/4 – ½ Cup GF Flour
1 TB Hemp Seeds
2-4 oz. Willow Hill Farm Butternut or any hard aged cheese, grated
2 TB Redbarn Butter, room temperature

Dough will be soft and pillowy. Use oiled hands and divide into five round rolls or one batard.

Place on a cast-iron skillet or doubled sheet pans and let rise 40 min. to 1 hour.

Set oven to 375f

Bake 35-40 minutes.*

Tip out onto rack to cool.

*Use 400f to bake a pizza with the same timing.