Celebrations - in Gluten Free Style

I love to bake. I love to bake with my girls. I love making birthday cakes for everyone in my family. I love muffins so much that I stock piled homemade muffins in my freezer before the arrival of my second child so I could nosh on them, literally, day and night while I was nursing at all hours of the day. A banana spice muffin and a cappuccino for breakfast is my ideal.

For this very reason, I avoided eating gluten free for years.

I truly saw immediate health benefits in eating gluten free. So, for the most part, I stopped baking. Why bother if it was not going to taste as good as my old favorites? Well, thank the gluten free fad and worldwide phenomenon for bringing to market some fantastic choices. Whether you bake or buy, there are several great options.

Do you have something to celebrate? Is there are birthday coming up or did you survive a trying day? Well, here are ways to celebrate.

Marks & Spencers

Here in Den Haag, Marks & Spencers offers several varieties of gluten free cakes - chocolate, coffee & walnut, carrot cake, and lemon sponge. The lemon sponge is my favorite! The others are great too, of course. For the first time in memory, my daughter had a store bought birthday cake from Marks & Spencers. That is how much I love their cake. I knew I could not do better.

Marks and Spencers Gluten Free Lemon Sponge Cake  -image courtesy of MarksandSpencers.co.uk.

Marks and Spencers Gluten Free Lemon Sponge Cake  -image courtesy of MarksandSpencers.co.uk.

Baking

In my house, celebrations and baking means chocolate. The richer the better. With Dutch and Belgian chocolate literally at our doorstop, the bar is pretty high (no pun intended).

Image courtesy of Pexel.com

Image courtesy of Pexel.com

 

Chocolate Brownies

For my first attempt at gluten free baking, I went to a Dutch blog. I figured a Dutch blog would use the ingredients I could easily buy here in The Netherlands. Wow! Did MissGlutenvrij.nl deliver. I could not get my daughters and husband to stop eating these chocolate brownies.  

Chocolate Cake

Last Saturday, I asked my four year old what she wanted to do today. I expected she'd respond by saying she wanted to going out to eat for lunch or play outside. "Let's make a chocolate cake, mama!"

A quick Pinterest search for a gluten free chocolate cake came up with this recipe from MyHeartBeets.com. I used regular butter and dark chocolate so it was not strictly dairy free. We also opted to bake cupcakes instead of one large cake. That works better in my tiny Dutch oven, for some reason. Delicious!! No one, but me knew they were gluten free.

Pie

What is next on the list to try? Chocolate Pudding Pie! And who better to try it with than Danielle Walker at Against All Grain. She really knows her stuff. 

Cookies

The last frontier - chocolate chip cookies. This one spooks me. I don't want it to taste like sand. The recipe at My Gluten Free Kitchen looks promising. The recipe is gluten free, but not dairy free. She really seems to have put some work into this. She had me when she wrote that, growing up, she loved Mrs. Field's Cookies. 

For gluten and dairy free chocolate chip cookies, I am going to try the recipe at Texanerin.com. Marks and Spencers sells a dairy free chocolate bar that I will break up into pieces to use as chocolate chips. 

Turn on the oven! Get ready to celebrate!