Tag Archives: gluten free

Amaretti Cookies

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

Amaretti Cookie photoI haven’t found anything to date made with almond extract that I don’t love. These Amaretti cookies which are Italy’s version of a macaroon are a perfect example. Crunchy, gluten free and low in fat, these are the perfect accompaniment to lightly sweetened or macerated fresh fruit or ice cream.

While these can be found in Italian grocery stores, it can be difficult to find them in state side grocery stores. But Amaretti cookies are so easy to make you don’t have to search them out anymore.

There are several ways to make them. I prefer to use almond paste rather than ground almond. No matter how much the almonds are pulverized  in the processor, they will never be as smooth as almond paste with its distinctive bitter almond flavoring. Do not use marzipan. While almond paste is an ingredient in marzipan, it is not pure almond paste.  My store carries an eight ounce package which is perfect for this recipe. Continue reading

Meringue Shells

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

Finished 4One of the easiest and most versatile dessert shell is the Meringue Shell. Only three ingredients, egg whites, sugar and an acid along with  a bit of time in a low oven transforms these simple components into feather light, melt in your mouth containers for almost anything you want to put in them.

From Schaum Tortes of Vienna filled with a lightened lemon curd to ice cream balls, and the national dessert of New Zealand and Australia, Pavolova, these Meringue Shells make the perfect do ahead dessert. I remember well when I was young my mother making Schaum Torte on special occasions. She would make a large nine or ten inch shell and fill it with the most delicious lemon filling. I was always first in line for a piece. Well, one year my uncle came to our house to help transfer the mountain of food my mother made including the Schaum Torte, croissant and other treats to our grandmothers where we al ate. As he stepped off the curb, he slipped and while he remained upright, alas, the lemon filled treat fell from his hands into the curb. I don’t think he ever got over it. I’m sure my mother didn’t. I know for sure I didn’t.

There are many types of meringue from the soft pillows that cover a lemon meringue pie to buttercreams based on various meringues to crisp cookies or shells. The type of meringue depends upon the amount of sugar used. For a crisp meringue a two to one proportion of egg whites to sugar is used. For these crisp shells a base formula of 1 egg white to 1/4 cup (50 grams or 1 2/3 ounces) of sugar is used. An acid such as 1/2 teaspon cream of tarter or 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar helps stabalize the meringue. Continue reading

Flourless Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

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

Finished photoThe original recipe for these really chewy, rich flourless chocolate cookies comes from King Arthur Flour but of course I had to put in my 2 cents worth. This gluten free, almost fat free cookie goes together quickly with a whisk and a bowl or a hand mixer and bakes up in minutes. While it is good by itself, it is better if you sandwich them together with raspberry jam and sprinkle them with powdered sugar. These Flourless Chocolate Raspberry Cookies are amazingly fudgy and moist and have quickly become a favorite. Continue reading

Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake – Gluten Free and Great!

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

Finished sliceThis Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake is not only gluten free but perfect for Passover.  I can’t even begin to guess how many of these Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cakes we made at the bakery.  I do remember having to glaze and cut 69 at one point for a banquet – 1104 pieces.  I thought they would never end.  I was never so sick of chocolate in my life!

I remember when the flourless chocolate cakes took everyone by storm.  They were everywhere.  The problem was most of them were dry, dry, dry and not worth the trouble.  Just because something is flourless doesn’t make it good!  However, this Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake is ultra smooth and has a deep, intense chocolate taste without being bitter or overwhelming. Continue reading

Marjolaine – A Classic Flourless Pastry

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

Finished Photo (1 of 1)Ahhh, Marjolaine (pronounced  mar zjoh lenn).  Fernand Point, was a French restaurateur and is considered to be the father of modern French cuisine according to Wikipedia and other sources.  At his three Michilin star restaurant, La Pyramide, he trained many of Frances most influential chefs including Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel, Louis Outhier, Georges Perrier and Jean and Pierre, the Brothers Troisgros.

One of his signature dishes was the Marjolaine and it seems it took him years to perfect.  A combination of nutted meringues, pastry cream, and a hint of chocolate.  As with any classic, there are a number of variations some of which include cake layers and German Buttercream.  I used a lightened version of pastry cream and a sour cream ganache instead of making creme fraiche.  While the original recipe added the almond praline to one of the pastry creams, I used it to finish off the top where it adds a pleasant crunch and doesn’t get lost. Continue reading