Best Choco-Chip Cookie!!

I was flipping the channels to see anything interested on TV, you know other than Food Network and HGTV… Oddly enough, on PBS, the America’s Test Kitchen was doing the “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie” show. Almost all chefs say “My recipe is the best.” but then this is the America’s Test Kitchen, they must have done many tests to find out the “BEST” Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. This one recipe got my attention that I decided to write down the recipe while watching the show. I have to say every step of this recipe has a good scientific reason to invent the “BEST” Chocolate Chip Cookie. After the show, I was not 100% sure on the recipe I wrote down, so I went to America’s Test Kitchen website to see if I can find this specific recipe for me to double check… Well, America’s Test Kitchen website does not offer recipes for free… You have to subscribe with the fee… (booo!)

Anyways, but this won’t stop me from baking the “BEST” Chocolate Chip Cookies! I was not 100% sure but I thought I wrote down enough information from watching the show on the back of local grocery sale fryer :) , I decided to bake cookies immediately. Let’s see if this “scientifically proven” recipe really the “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie”?!?!?!?

Ingredients:
1. 14 Tbs Unsalted Butter (Organic)
2. ½ Cup Sugar (Organic/Non-Processed)
3. ¾ Cup Dark Brown Sugar (Organic)
4. 2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
5. 1 Whole Large Egg (Organic)
6. 1 Large Egg York (Organic)
7. 8 ¾ Ounce All Purpose Flour (Organic)
8. ½ tsp Baking Powder (Aluminum Free)
9. 1 ¼ Cup Bitter Sweet Choco Chip (Ghiladelli 60% Cacao)

Process:
1. Put 10 Tsp Butter to the skillet, melt and brown the butter. (Carmel color)

Browing Butter

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Remove from the heat and add remaining 4 Tsp butter to the skillet and melt them completely.

Adding remaining 4 TSP Butter

Adding remaining 4 TSP Butter

Melted Butter

Melted Butter

3. Add ½ Cup Sugar and ¾ Cup Dark Brown Sugar to the melted butter mixture and mix well.

Adding Sugar and Brown Sugar

4. Add 1 whole egg and 1 egg York to the butter & sugar mixture and mix well till looks glossy.

Add Whole Egg

Adding Egg York

5. Add Pure Vanilla Extract to the Wet Mixture (Butter & Sugar & Egg) and mix well.

Adding Vanilla Extrac

6. Add Dry Ingredients (Flour and Baking Powder) to the Wet Mixture (Butter & Sugar & Egg) and mix well.

Adding Dry Ingredients to the Wet Mixture

Wet & Dry together

7. Add Choco Chip to the dough mixture and mix well.

Choco Chip Mixed into the dough

America’s Test Kitchen did some survey that they came to the conclusion of “Ghiladelli Bitter Sweet Chocolate Chip” is the best for this recipe.

Good Bitter Sweet Chocolate Chip

8. Bake 375 degree for 11 to 15 minutes.

The Final Product: THE BEST CHOCO CHIP COOKIE!!

Best Choco Chip Cookie

America’s Test Kitchen was right. I think this was the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie I have ever baked. The process of browning butter added the nutty and carmel flavor to the cookie and the bitter sweet chocolate chip added the sharp chocolate flavor to balance out the nutty rich sweet cookie. I’ll try with Semi Sweet Chocolate Chip next to experiment the other flavor combination.

Happy Baking & Happy Holiday!
Mrs. H

Lemon Mint Cake – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Sugar Free

Hi there!

We are growing lots of herbs in our garden. And guess which herb is already spreading?
Yes, it is MINT. Mint really grows like weed but I don’t mind them cuz I love the smell of mint in our garden. Also Mint gives so much flavor to dressing, marinate, drinks, and dessert!

When I was looking at our weedy mints this morning, I wanted to use them to bake a cake today. I surfed through the recipe sites and landed to Giada de Laurentiis Lemon Mint Cake! It had great rating and looked pretty easy.

But of course, I have to modify the recipe cuz I am working really hard to cut Wheat based flour as much as possible. Also we are trying to cut sugar in our diet. Instead, we use more honey and agave nectar and we love it.

So, I read through the recipe and reviews (Reviews often give me good ideas of ingredients substitution), and modified the recipe to fit our diet!

Here is my version of Lemon Mint Cake GF/DF/SF!

Lemon Mint Cake Slice - GF/DF/SF

Lemon Mint Cake – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Sugar Free

Ingredients

Vegetable Oil for greasing
Almond Flour for dusting
Parchment Paper for line the pan

For Cake:
3 Eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 cup Agave nectar
1/4 cup Vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped Mint
2 tablespoons Lemon juice (One Lemon / One Meyer Lemon)
1 tablespoon Lemon zest (One Lemon / One Meyer Lemon)
1 cup Almond Flour

For Syrup:
1/3 cup Agave nectar
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Lemon juice (One Lemon / One Meyer Lemon)
1 tablespoon Lemon zest (One Lemon / One Meyer Lemon)
1 tablespoon Orange Liquor

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil and Almond flour 9-inch round cake pan.
I recommend you to put the parchment paper on the bottom & side of round cake pan.

For the cake:
1. In a medium size bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the Egg Whites till stiff peaks.

2. In a separate large bowl, beat the Vegetable oil, Agave nectar and Egg Yolks. Add the chopped Mint, Lemon juice and Lemon zest. Add the Almond flour and mix until combined.

3. Slowly add 1/3 of the Egg White mixture into #2 mixture. With a rubber spatula, fold in another 1/3 of the Egg White mixture and repeat one more time.

4. Pour #3 mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool at least 10 minutes before moving to the platter.

For the syrup:

1. In a small saucepan, combine Agave nectar, Water, Lemon juice, and Lemon zest over medium heat about 5 minutes.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and add Orange Liquor. Let the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes.

Lemon Mint Cake - GF/DF/SF

When you serve the slice of cake, you drizzle this decadent syrup :)

This is light, fresh, and perfect Summer cake!

Enjoy!!!
Mrs. H

Lemon Cranberry Scone – Gluten Free / Dairy Free / Sugar Free

I am not Gluten Free, Dairy Free or Sugar Free. But I noticed recently that I grew up eating lots of rice and a little bit wheat. I thought as if my body won’t break down wheat so well because I am Japanese? In my culture (Japanese), rice is one of major carbohydrates and some people still eat rice every single meal everyday even though our younger generation is exposed to many wheat products.

I remember growing up eating sweet or salty rice cracker, sweet or salty rice pancake, and sweet beans! Of course, I ate chocolate, cookies and cakes, but not as much as I eat now.

I think I can be innovative with western sweets recipe! West meets East or East meets West! I have been baking with Rice Flour a lot lately. And the final products came out pretty good so far. I like the texture of Rice Flour baked sweets. It is somehow very soft and fluffy inside and crunch outside! I love it!

My belief of Gluten Free baking is to avoid using Xanthan Gum. Some Gluten Free baking recipes require Xanthan Gum but I totally ignore it. I read recently that Xanthan Gum is usually made with corn and used as thickening agent. If I need thickening agent, I just add extra egg or something. I am a bit skeptical about product starts from “X” :)

Anyways, today I challenged myself baking SCONE. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Sugar Free Scone! I tweaked the amount of Agave Syrup and Milk. Just make sure your dough won’t get too soggy! This is very yummy ya’ll! Here we go!

Rice Flour Lemon Cranberry Scone – GF/DF/SF

Lemon Cranberry Scone - Gluten Free Dairy Free Sugar Free

Ingredients:

• White Rice Flour 150 g
• Brown Rice Flour 100 g
• Baking Powder 10 g
• Salt 1/4 teaspoon
• Agave Nectar 4 tablespoon
• Milk / Coconut Milk 140 – 150 ml (1/2 cup to 3/4 cup American Measuring Cup)
• Coconut Oil Solid 6 teaspoon
• Lemon Zest 1 Lemon
• Dried Cranberry 1/4 cup
• Coconut Sugar (option to sprinkle on top of scones)

Process:

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2. Mix together the White Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Salt, Lemon Zest and Baking Powder.

3. To the Flour mixture bowl, put Agave Nectar and 6 teaspoon of Coconut Oil Solid and cut them in the Flour mixture till the mixture looks like peas.

4. Slowly pour a half of Milk / Coconut Milk to the Flour & Coconut Oil mixture. Use folk to mix all ingredients together. Do not over mix. Keep pouring the rest of Milk / Coconut Milk until the Flour & Coconut Oil mixture has enough moisture to form dough.

5. Put the dough on the work surface with some White Rice Flour, do not knead but pad it down to make about 18 cm scone disk. Cut the scone disk to 8 pieces.

6. Line 8 scones (mini scone) on the baking sheet.

Before the oven


7. Put the remaining Milk / Coconut Milk on top of each scone and sprinkle with Coconut Sugar. Just FYI, this step is TOTALLY Optional.

8. Bake at 425F for 25 minutes.

Enjoy~!
Mrs. H

Gluten Free Almond Flour Brownie

My inner monster made me bake Gluten Free Brownie tonight. I could use Coconut Oil to bake this Brownie completely Gluten Free and Dairy Free but I used Butter for this recipe… so this is not Dairy Free. (PS. I not GF or DF.)

I have a go to Gluten Free Brownie recipe by using a can Black Beans. But I wanted to use nuts flour. And I always have Almond Flour in my pantry, I decided to make Almond Flour Brownie. You can use Sugar for this recipe but I used Agave. This brownie is moist, nutty, and YUMMY! Here is the recipe!

Almond Flour Brownie - Gluten Free


Almond Flour Brownies

Ingredients:
• 3/4 cup Almond Flour
• 1/4 teaspoon Salt
• 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
• 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
• 1/2 cup Sugar OR 1/4 cup Agave Syrup
• 3 large Eggs
• 1 teaspoon Vanilla
• 1 teaspoon instant Espresso Coffee Powder
• 1/2 cup Butter OR 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
• 3/4 cup Chocolate Chips
• 1/4 cup chopped Walnuts

Process:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together the Almond Flour, Salt, Cocoa Powder, and Baking Powder and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, melt together a scant 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips with the Butter.

4. While the Chocolate is melting, beat together the Eggs, Sugar OR Agave Syrup, Vanilla and Espresso Coffee Powder.

5. Slowly pour the melted Chocolate and Butter into the Egg/Sugar or Agave mixture while whisking until fully combined. ***Mixed them slowly so that you won’t made chocolate scramble egg***

6. Pour the Chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.

7. Pour the batter in the greased 8 x 8 pan. (I used canola oil)

Before Baking - GF Almond Flour Brownie

8. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips and 1/4 cup chopped Walnuts, and gently press it into the batter.

9. Bake for 30 minutes and check to see a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. If it’s not done yet, cover the edge of brownie with a piece of foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes.
Like this:

GF Brownie Edge Covered by Foil

10. Let these cool completely before you cut them and serve!

Perfection! - GF Almond Flour Brownie

Try this recipe! Enjoy!!

Mrs. H

Almond Cake with Lemon Agave Syrup – Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cake!

I wanted to eat cake. Any cake. But during 4HB diet, we cannot eat cake because of sugar and flours (grains).

I was looking for a cake recipe with minims damage that I would do to my body. And I found this recipe called Orange Almond Cake, which does not use any leveling agents, no flour, and no oil (except on the cake pan)

So I modified this recipe to my way, and also sized down so that I won’t feel bad if I ate the whole cake by myself… (Well, if I eat the whole cake by myself, I should feel bad…)

Here is the recipe! (Oh yeah, this is metric measurement…, for 9 to 10 inch spring foam pan, just double the ingredients!)

Almond Cake with Lemon Agave Syrup

Almond Cake with Lemon Agave Syrup
Ingredients:

Cake:
Almond Flour – 100g
Egg – 3 Large (separated with yolks and whites)
Coconut Sugar – 50g (Any other sugar substitution)
Lemon Zest – 2 Lemons (Used Myer Lemons)
Vanilla Extract – 1 Teaspoon

Syrup:
Agave Nectar – 2 Tablespoon
Lemon Juice – 2 Lemons (Used Myer Lemons)
Orange Liqueur – 1 Tablespoon

Process:
1. 18cm Spring foam pan (7 inches), lined parchment paper on the bottom and side. Oil the bottom and side just in case the case may stick.
2. Put Egg Yolks to the bowl, and mixed with Coconut Sugar. Mix them well.
3. Added Almond Flour, Lemon Zest, and Vanilla Extract to the Egg Yolks and Coconut Sugar mixture and mix very well. (It will become very stiff batter) And set this mixture a side.
4. With Egg Whites, make Meringue with stiff peak.
5. Put ¼ of Meringue to Egg Yolks mixture and mix well. And add slowly another ¼ of Meringue to the mixture and start folding the mixture. Repeat 2 more times in ¼ of Meringue to incorporate to Egg Yolk mixture.
6. Pour the mixed batter to the prepared spring foam pan. Base in 350F for 25 minutes.
7. Make Syrup while the cake is baking.
8. Squeeze Lemon Juice to the small sauce pan, add Agave Nectar and Orange Liqueur. Boil them for 2 minutes and let it cool.
9. After the cake is baked, let it cool about 5 minutes and pour the syrup on top of the cake. Pour about 2 to 3 Tablespoon of Syrup.
10. Eat the cake!

You can serve the cake with Whipped Cream, Chocolate Sauce, or whatever you desire.

The reason why I used Coconut Sugar and Agave Nectar to this recipe, it is because these two sugar substitution won’t spike your insulin level :)

This cake is so airy, light, moist, lemony, and sweet! Because I make this cake in 18cm pan, the cake itself is pretty small and a 1/8 slice is like 3 bites for me. But it definitely calmed down my craving for the cake!!!

So I call it, SUCCESS!

Enjoy~!
Mrs. H