Tag Archives: gluten free

Exceptional Mother’s Day Cakes

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Cake for Exceptional Mother's Day CakesPresident Woodrow Wilson certainly knew what he was doing in 1914 when he finally got congress to designate the second Sunday every May as Mother’s Day.  A special day set aside to honor mothers certainly calls for desserts worthy of that honor.

I have selected six cakes that can be made in part or completely ahead.  As I am not a proponent of naked cakes, each is easy to finish so you won’t be tied up fussing with frosting it.

A quick note about freezing the cake layers.   Freeze them first, then wrap them completely in foil.  This will keep from smooshing the sides or tops of the tender cakes.

I am posting this early to give you a chance to get one of these special Mother’s Days cakes underway to honor your mother, grandmother or yourself. Continue reading

Cocoa Fundamentals Natural vs. Dutched

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Cocoa Fundamentals Natural and DutchedOne of my readers and I got into an interesting conversation about the fundamentals of cocoa. It dawned on me I don’t have a post about the difference between the dutched and non-dutched or natural cocoa.  They can be confusing but understanding them will help.

In a single sentence, the difference between the two is the natural cocoa is acidic and the dutched cocoa isn’t. However, there is more to know than that. Because of the acid content or lack of it, which leavening is used makes all the difference. Continue reading

Gluten Free Turtle Cake with Salted Caramel

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Turtle CakeThis Decadent Gluten Free Turtle Cake was supposed to posted last week.  But I ran into a problem.  Actually six problems.  Six gluten free chocolate cakes later, here is the recipe.

I have a son who was recently diagnosed as celiac.  Although he lives about 300 miles away, I try to think of things for him.  I was determined to make this chocolate cake gluten free.  I had a recipe in mind but I had to ditch the flour.  Easier said than done for sure!  To make it more of a challenge, I didn’t want to use a gluten free flour substitute. In the end, I used cocoa which gives the cake an edge, but a delicious one. Continue reading

Hermit Bars with Lemon Glaze

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Hermit BarsI am a sucker for spiced cookies and these Hermit Bars are one more example.  You need only look at the Honey Diamonds, Pfeffernusse, Triple Ginger Crisps, and Plantation Spice Cookies.

This is one of the most addictive cookies I have ever eaten. The original recipes, which seems to be the norm in books and on the internet made a rather sodden, heavy cookie with no icing. Changing a few of the ingredients made one of the most moist, spicy cookies that last forever in a closed tin. The Lemon Glaze, which is the perfect foil for the spicy cookie and sprinkles are optional but add another dimension to the bars.

The bar on the left is the traditional bar, the one on the right is the updated version which is higher, lighter and more moist.

Difference between two Hermit Bars

Making them even more attractive is the ease with which it is prepared.  This has to be one of the easiest, most rewarding cookies ever.  It can be cut into bars or cut those in half for a smaller cookie. Continue reading

Hot Peppered Pecans

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Hot Peppered PecansIt’s TV time again and the Hot Pepepred Pecans fit the 4 minute segment to a tee.  I originally discovered these Hot Peppered Pecans when the St. Louis Art Museum wrote their cookbook, “Artists in the Kitchen”. Some of the testing was done in my bakery kitchen.

These Hot Peppered Pecans are a standout. Heat Alert –  they are hot!!  So if you don’t favor a lot of heat, tone down all the pepper and the hot pepper sauce. Start with half and go from there.

These pecans make a great holiday or hostess gift. Choose little containers or put them cellophane bags and tie with decorative ribbons. They are also great on a cheese tray, crumbled in a salad or included in any recipe calling for pecans, including sweet ones.  The kick they add to chocolate chip cookies is amazing. As an added bonus they are gluten free. Continue reading