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Gluten Free desserts

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I just found out that I cannot eat anything with gluten in it. However, I LOVE dessert, so what can I make? I hope that this gluten ban will be good on my waistline, but I don't want my tastebuds to suffer too much!

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  1. Have you tried panna cotta? It's really simple to make and you can do so many things with it. This is the one I make most often, but I do a lot of variations with it.


    1. How about a flourless chocolate cake? Epicurious web site has several.

      Creme brule

      chocolate truffles

      I'm getting a craving just thinking of all of these.

      I sure hope I understand gluten-free.

      1. My best friend is gluten free; here are a few suggestions:

        Any kind of flourless torte

        You can make pies with a nut rather than flour crust

        She can eat Steel Cut Oats; if that's the same for you, you can make fruit crisps (use tapioca, corn starch or potato flour for thickening).

        Find a Passover cookbook--all desserts will be flour (and mostly gluten) free.

        Good luck.

        1. Don't worry, you have lots of options to keep your sweet tooth happy!

          - chocolate mousse
          - flourless chocolate cake
          - roasted pears with butterscotch sauce
          - poached pears in port wine
          - lemon curd parfaits
          - fruit crumbles (use oats for the crumble instead of flour)
          - grilled pineapple with caramelized brown sugar
          - any of the custard based desserts: creme caramel, creme brulee, panna cotta, flan, etc.

          And, of course, any of the above with ice cream!

          The list goes on and on! Good luck and happy desserting.

          1. Thanks for sharing the passover cookbook idea... I have a dozen at home somewhere - i guess it wouldn't hurt to take them out now and start perusing them.

            1. I have a good friend with a gluten allergy and dessert is always a challenge. And I love a challenge.

              Last time I made this panna cotta which was excellent.
              Claudia Fleming's Espresso Orange Panna Cotta

              Also creme brulee and lemon brulee

              Cheesecake with no gluten cookie base

              Chocolate Mousse

              Nigella's recipe is very good.

              And of course, homemade ice cream

              For main courses where you need flour I find channa / chickpea flour a good substitute.

              Here are two excellent gluten free blogs:

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mila

                I was just about to paste a link on to glutenfreegirl! That blog rocks!

              2. 1. Get yourself "The Gluten Free Gourmet" by Bette Hagman.
                2. The suggestion to check out Passover recipes is a good one. Lots of sweets made with ground nuts, potato starch and other gf ingredients.

                With over 30 years of experience baking for my dad, my mother has become quite the gourmet gf baker and my dad eats very well.

                Good luck!

                1. I do a thick apple tarte tartin in a baking pan for Passover that uses a matzoh meal crust. I don't think that would be gluten free, but the idea of using a nut crust -- or simply doing the apples alone in a baking pan. With all that butter, sugar and apples, you could serve the apples in a ramekins and nobody would notice the lack of crust.

                  Souffles also are very easy and don't use flour.

                  1. A friend of mine, who is a coeliac (allergic to gluten), served this at our most recent get-together. It was divine! Sourcing almond flour may be tricky (try Whole Foods?), but the rest of the ingredients are those you'd find in your own pantry.

                    LEMON POLENTA SYRUP CAKE

                    175 g/6 oz/ 12 T butter
                    175 g/6 oz/ 12 T caster sugar
                    125 g/4 oz/ 8 T ground almonds
                    50 g/2 oz/ 4 T flaked almonds
                    1⁄2 t vanilla extract
                    2 large eggs
                    finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
                    75 g/3 oz/ 6 T polenta flour (fine cornmeal)
                    1⁄2 t baking powder

                    1. Line a 15 cm/6 in cake tin with parchment paper

                    2. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the ground and flaked almonds, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir well. Mix in the lemon rind and juice, polenta and baking powder. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven, 180 C or 350 F for 25 minutes (may take longer, so test).

                    While the cake is cooking, make the syrup: (I doubled this recipe and drizzled 2/3 of it onto the cake)

                    grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
                    50 g/2 oz/ 4 T caster sugar
                    2 T water

                    Put the lemon rind and juice, caster sugar and water in a saucepan and heat through. Drizzle the syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Serve cake hot or cold with cream/ice cream. Or mango or other fresh tropical fruit.

                    1. Meringues
                      Pudding (thickened with cornstarch and eggs)
                      Peanut butter cookies (with oat flour)
                      Cheesecake (use a nut crust)
                      Baked apples (stuffed with nuts and oats)
                      Fruit "truffles" (soaked dried fruit puréed with cocoa, rolled in nuts)

                      1. There some good mixes available too. Pamela's (no relation!) brownie mix is one of my favorite chocolate fixes. For Thanksgiving dessert I am making the Nameste spice cake mix using pumpkin puree instead of the liquid called for.

                        Nigella's clemintine cake was discussed quite a bit last season (you could do a search) and that is gluten free. It went over well with my friends (all gluten eaters) last new years eve.

                        Good Luck

                        1. I have Celiac and don't suffer for dessert!

                          I usually go for things that don't really rely on flour, like the desserts mentioned above, or things like brownies or such that use a very small amount of flour. Like the dessert below...

                          I recently made Galley Girl's pear tart and modified a bit for GF - and it was great!

                          My variation, I used apples (because hubby wanted the pears for breakfast) and blueberries. I lined the bottom of ramekins with half done dulce de leche, substituted rice flour for the wheat flour and added a touch of xanthan gum. I also reduced the sugar because of the dulce de leche... This recipe is forgiving and was super easy to serve right in the ramekins.

                          From galleygirl:

                          "Laurie's Pear Tart

                          3 or 4 ripe juicey pears....
                          Peel,core and cut into sixths, or eighths

                          1 stick butter
                          3/4 c. sugar
                          1teasoon vanilla..

                          2 eggs, one at a time...

                          1 c. flour
                          1 teasoon baking powder
                          1/2 t. salt...

                          Add to butter mixture.

                          Spray an 8" (important) spring form pan with Pam...Spread the batter in it..Now, in a pinwheel pattern, press the slices of pear, peeled side up, into the batter...Cram in as many as you can; since the batter rises and covers the pears, there's no points given for style here(g)...The more pears, the moister the cake will be.

                          Bake at 350 degrees til a skewer comes out clean, about an hour...If you have any doubts, UNDERBAKE....This is a whole different animal if it dries out...Then it's just a cake; correctly done, you'll love it...It's just one of those recipes that is greater than the sum of it's parts. really. Ask my Dad...;)"

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jsaimd

                            These are great recipes. I look forward to trying some of them.

                            Incidentally, beware of Pam, if you are gluten-free. It's not just oil in a lot of the sprays. Read the label.

                          2. There is a gluten-free and wheat-free Gourmet Desserts book on the market by a place called "SureTalent Books" - author Michael Eberhart - that is so good it even comes with a money-back satisfaction-guarantee, something I've never seen with any other gluten-free books. And, the recipes are wonderful and include all the desserts I really like: chocolate cakes, boston-cream pie, carrot-cake, brownies, cookies, soufle, cream puffs, biscotti, and so much more. I really love this book! The recipes really do live up to the claims of being just like the real thing. It can be found at either:

                            You can view the inside of the book (all but recipes) at Google Books too, and see all the awesome dessert pictures:

                            1. I've made several desserts from http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/ and loved them all but my favorite is her Nirvana Bars...

                              1/2 cup butter or vegan margarine, such as Smart Balance
                              1 1/2 cups chocolate cookies, processed into crumbs*
                              1 cup (heaping) semi-sweet chocolate chips
                              1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
                              1 cup chopped roasted almonds (I used salted because I like a sweet & salt combo
                              )1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

                              Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

                              Place the butter in a 9x13-inch baking pan and set it in the oven until the butter is melted. Tilt the pan to coat the bottom evenly.

                              Sprinkle the cookie crumbs in the buttered pan and toss them to coat; press them into a layer. Pour the condensed milk in the pan. Add a layer of chocolate chips, then a layer of coconut, then almonds. Using the back of a spatula, press the mixture firmly into the pan. [I usually sprinkle a few extra chips on the top, and gently press them in.]

                              Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes, until set.

                              Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

                              Makes 15 to 20 bars. [I usually mix it up and cut some larger, some smaller. And I always cut up a couple of "tiny bites" to wrap and freeze for a small, quick treat - when I crave something sweet, but don't need much].