Saturday, March 28, 2015

Schar Chocolate Almond Orange Gluten Free Dessert Pizza

Chocolate Almond Orange Dessert Pizza
Schar Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Being both a food blogger and YouTube video producer definitely has its perks.  Alright sometimes it sucks when I’m eating cold food because it took forever to photograph but there are benefits for sure. One such nicety is the fact that it’s not uncommon to receive food samples to review.  Recently I was lucky enough to have Schar send me several boxes of their new and improved pizza crusts and marble cake to try. 

Have you tried Schar’s new gluten free pizza crusts yet?  Since I hadn't tried their old crusts, I didn't have a frame of reference for comparison.   I have to admit that I’m not exactly sure where the differences might lie.

As far as the marble cake goes, it had a very nice flavor and texture but was just slightly on the drier side.  That led me to the thought that the cake would work well as an ingredient in petit fours if I didn't want to bake.  But since I didn't feel like the tedious work of decorating those little one inch cakes so instead I created the orange marmalade cake stacks demonstrated in the YouTube video below. 

They were incredibly good but just a little too sweet for my tastes.  I was also experimenting with several pizzas during this time.  You'll see the results of those experiments at the bottom of this post.  

But while I was dreaming up pizza combinations, I was drawn to the thought that the orange marmalade and ganache I had used in the cake stacks would make an awesome dessert pizza.

And so the Chocolate Almond Orange Dessert Pizza was born.

It was by far better than I could have ever imagined.  

Epic indeed!

Schar Chocolate Almond Orange Gluten Free Dessert Pizza
Prep time: 10 min
Bake time: 12-14 min
Servings:  12

  • 1 Schar gluten free pizza crust
  • 2 tbsp butter, very well softened
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup of orange marmalade, stirred to loosen
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 3 oz heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 1 oz of shaved almonds
Video Tutorial: 

  1. Preheat the oven to to 325°F (or 163°C) and prep a baking sheet with a piece of parchment sprayed with nonstick spray.
  2. Stir together the softened butter, sugar and cinnamon and brush it over the bottom of the crust. (the part that will be directly on the pan)
  3. Turn the crust right side up on the parchment and if there is any cinnamon butter left, brush it over the edges of the crust.
  4. Brush the orange marmalade over the entire top surface and the edges so that there is a very thin layer covering the crust.
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool until the marmalade sets up a little.. (about 10 minutes)
  6. For the almond ganache, combine the chocolate, almond extract and heavy cream in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments stirring after each session until the cream and chocolate are smooth.
  7. Pour the ganache into the center of the pizza and spread to within ¼ inch of the edge.
  8. Scatter the shaved almonds over the top refrigerate until set, slice and serve.   
Consider the photos and short descriptions below just a tease until I have enough time edit a video where I’ll cover all three of these pizzas in greater detail. 

The Shrimp Pizza
After brushing the crust with a small amount of anchovy paste and garlic infused olive oil, this pizza was topped with lemon zest, baby spinach, shrimp, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, crushed red pepper flakes and small amounts of pecorino Romano cheese and mozzarella.

The Pepperoni Green Olive Pizza
Since my daughter wanted nothing to do with the shrimp pizza, this creation is her brainchild.  It’s a classic pepperoni pizza with the addition of some salty green Spanish manzanilla olives.

The Breakfast Pizza
This crust was brushed with the bacon fat that rendered while I fried the bacon.  Next I topped it with baby spinach, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, crispy bacon, eggs and cheddar.  Once the pizza was cooked I sprinkled over a little sriracha sauce and enjoyed what turned out to be my favorite pizza of all the savory varieties I did.  

Both the Schar gluten free marble cake and ready made pizza crusts are great to have on hand.  Like all gluten free products they can be on the pricey side but like their other products, their worth the money.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing

Do you like cauliflower? 

If you answered no, you might want to try this recipe to see if your opinion changes.  When cauliflower is roasted, the natural sugars caramelize and it takes on a complex nutty flavor that can’t be achieved with boiling or steaming.

But beyond just roasting this veggie, we finish off this side dish with a bright lemony drizzle that’s perfect for spring.  I seriously urge you to try this one.  This might just become your new favorite veggie.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 -45 min
Servings: 4-8

  • 1 large head cauliflower (leaves removed & core end trimmed)
  • 3-4 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • salt and pepper

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F or 220°C and spray a foil lined baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Slice the head of cauliflower into 6- 8 wedges and place them onto the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Brush with garlic oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast for 20 minutes on the first side, flip the wedges and roast for 20-25 minutes on the second side while you mix the dressing.
  4. In a small bowl stir together 2 tablespoons of garlic oil with the red pepper flakes, parsley, the juice of the lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When the cauliflower is done place it on a serving plate and drizzle on the lemon dressing and serve.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Little Caesar’s Bacon Wrapped Gluten Free Deep Dish Copycat

Little Caesar’s Bacon Wrapped Deep Dish
Gluten Free Copycat

When I saw the advertisement for Little Caesar’s deep dish, bacon wrapped pizza my initial reaction was … DAMN YOU GLUTEN.  Do I have to miss out on everything that’s new and exciting in the world of fast food?

But after my initial frustration wore off, I thought, I can tackle this.  What other option did I have?  If I was ever going to sink my teeth into a big fluffy slice of pizza with all that bacony goodness, I’d have to climb that mountain myself.  And so I did.

May I present to you my Little Caesar’s bacon wrapped deep dish gluten free copycat. 

And yes. It is that good folks.

Little Caesar’s Bacon Wrapped Gluten Free Deep Dish Copycat
Prep time: 2 hours (including a 90 minute rise time)
Cook time: 30-35 min
Servings: 8 large slices

  • 1 Bobs’s Red Mill gluten free pizza crust mix
  • 8 slices bacon, raw
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 16 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 24-26 slices of pepperoni
  • 1 ½ cups pizza sauce

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (or 218 °C) and line two 6x10 inch pans with parchment overhanging the 2 long sides of the pan and clipped in place with stationary clips then sprayed heavily with nonstick spray.
  2. Lay 4 slices of bacon around the edges of each pan.  Each slice should have the leaner side facing up and the side with more fat should be overlapping the bottom by ½ inch then refrigerate the pans while you make the crust.
  3. Prepare the dough according to the package instructions then instead of letting the dough rise in the bowl like their instructions state, immediately divide the dough in half and press into the pans using plastic wrap to press it into place without having to add any water to your hands or the dough.   Make sure that you work the dough to the edges so that it is on top of the bacon on all the edges. (see video tutorial) 
  4. When both pans are done, to help level out the dough even more, for each pan of dough (covered in plastic) use the other pan to press down firmly to get it pretty level.  (see video tutorial)
  5. Let the dough rise at room temperature covered with plastic wrap for 1 ½ hours to get as much volume as possible with the crust.
  6. Remove the plastic wrap and cover each pizza with ¾ cup of pizza sauce being very careful not to deflate the crust as you apply the sauce then bake for 10 minutes without the other toppings. 
  7. Remove from the oven, top with a little more sauce if the top looks too dry then add about 8 oz of mozzarella to each pizza and divide the crumbled cooked bacon between the pans.  
  8. Bake for an additional 15 minutes before adding the pepperoni.
  9. Add the pepperoni and bake another 5 to 10 minutes depending on how dark you want it. 
  10. Let the pizzas rest in the pan for 5 minutes then lift the pizzas out of the pans using the parchment as handles.  Let them cool for an additional 5 minutes then you can slide the pizza off the parchment onto a baking rack to keep the crust from getting soggy.  Slice and serve.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Who doesn't love jalapeno poppers?  Before I found out I had problems with gluten, I frequently ordered them from any number of neighborhood fast food joints.  Now I don’t have that option.  Even though living in a big city means there’s a take-out place on practically every corner, there’s no one I know making gluten free poppers.

I remember them well with their crisp breaded exterior and all that warm gooey cheese how could I not fall in love.  Of course they can be made with gluten free bread crumbs but it’s a lot of work.  This version is super easy and low carb too.  When you see how well the smoky bacon goes with the gooey cheese and spicy peppers, I don’t think you’ll ever be trying to make breaded poppers yourself again.  I know I won’t.

These are simply out of this world.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25-30 min
Servings: 12

  • 6 large jalapenos
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • 2 oz grated cheddar, jalapeno jack, or habanero cheddar
  • 12 slices of bacon

Video Tutorial: Coming Soon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (or 190 °C) and line a baking sheet with foil then place a baking rack on top.
  2. Mix the cream cheese and cheddar together until you have a well combined mixture.
  3. Slice each of the jalapenos in half lengthwise.  Try to slice right through the stem since it looks nicer in the final presentation to have a piece of the stem attached to as many halves as possible.
  4. Scoop the seeds and internal white ribs from the peppers then stuff each with about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture.  Wrap each pepper with a single slice of bacon slightly stretching  and overlapping the slice as you spiral around the pepper.  Finish with the end of the bacon on the bottom and pressed firmly in place before placing onto the baking rack.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bacon looks as crispy as you want it.
  6. Let them cool on the rack for 5 minutes before transferring onto your serving dish.  

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