Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine Goodies

Valentine's Day is a favorite in our home and for good reason!  It just so happens to be my daughter's birthday!  This year she turned 16.  Wow I feel old typing that! So instead of my husband and I doing the romantic fancy dinner, chocolates, and flowers routine we have a big family dinner.  I cook my daughter's favorite foods and a make a delicious cake.  I will save the dinner entree for a later post and just discuss the good stuff here.  Dessert!  I was perusing the blog world for ideas when I came across a recipe for a sweetheart cake roll on Eat, Live, Run. It looks so gorgeous and honestly what about chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache doesn't sound delicious?  I wasn't sure how well it would work gluten free since it is being rolled up and gluten free treats are known for being crumbly and not staying together.  I decided to go out on a limb and take a chance.  I am so glad I did.  I followed the cake directions exactly and used Gluten Free Pantry's All Purpose Flour mix.  For the frosting I decided to make my own cream cheese frosting as I think buttercream is a tad too sweet in rich desserts.  Plus I could eat my weight in cream cheese icing happily. 
Not the prettiest picture due to the wax paper but I promise it tasted fantastic.  You 100% could not tell it was gluten free.  My family kept asking if I was positive I was able to eat it!  Always a sign of successful gluten free baking! :)

After the success of the roll-up cake I decided to tackle another project I had been interested in forever.  Cake pops!  I was going to use the Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix that I thought I had...but it turned out I didn't have one.  Now I remember using it to make cupcakes on my birthday.  Ooops!  No fear...I just made a cake mix out of what I had on hand.  Worked out well because I didn't really need a 13x9 pan worth of cake.  Here is my mix for an easy cake.

Easy Vanilla Cake Mix

1/2 stick of butter softened
3/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of Pamela's Gluten Free Baking Mix
1 Egg
1/2 cup milk

*This makes an 8 in. cake.  Double to make a two layer cake or a sheet cake. 

Mix butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and egg.  Stir in baking mix alternating with milk.  Mix well.  Pour into pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Longer for a bigger cake. 

To make the cake balls I added a touch of pink food coloring.  I crumbled this cake and mixed it with homemade cream cheese icing also tinted pink.  I rolled the cake into balls and inserted the lollypop sticks.  Froze the cake balls for about 30 minutes and then dipped in melted semisweet chocolate.  Roll in sprinkles and place in the fridge to harden.  I made some with sticks and some without.  A few I rolled in pink candy melts because I ran out of chocolate.  These were so good and so easy to make.  I think I will be looking for excuses to make these in the future.  They are ridiculously delicious. 

Just in case you have never made cream cheese icing here is a quick recipe.  It's the easiest thing in the world and tastes 100 times better than store bought.

1 block of Neufchatel or full fat cream cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup of powdered sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)
2 TB milk
1 tsp of vanilla or other flavoring
1 drop of food coloring if desired

Mix all ingredients with an hand mixer until smooth and spreadable.  Add more sugar and milk if you need it sweeter or it's too thick or thin.  Easy as that! 

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