Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Feeling Sorry for My Gluten-Free Self
A huge “thank you” to everyone out there who responded to my call for help a couple weeks ago when I began this gluten-free adventure that I’m on.
Today, I am sharing with you a specifically “gluten-filled” recipe because, frankly, I’m two weeks into this thing and I’m feeling rather sorry for myself. In the past two weeks, I’ve had to decline my dear friend Jess’s beautifully cheesy baked zita, my mother-in-law’s delicious homemade chicken noodle soup, my mother’s oreo ice-cream cake and 14+ nights of pretzels and cheese (my pre-gluten-free bedtime snack). The list could go on. It actually does go on in my mind, but I’ll have mercy on you.
But in all truthfulness, it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I feel great, lighter really, and more clear-headed. I sleep like a log whereas before I would struggle to fall asleep and then wake up numerous times throughout the night. I don’t get headaches like a used to. And I don’t get the “after-lunch drowsies”. So really, passing up a piece of ice-cream cake feels like a small sacrifice for how much better I’m feeling.
Still, I miss my cake and cookies and bread and cereal (I’ve definitely had my fill of Corn Chex in the past two weeks). Tonight as Shawn and I sat at the table enjoying our “kids are in bed” snack, my desire for the pretzels he was eating was palpable; he felt frightened and rightly so. But then the moment passed and I was no longer a danger to myself or anyone else.
It’ll get easier.
Therefore, I present to you today one of my favorite fall desserts. Just a heads up: the icing for the cake requires a candy-thermometer and if I were you, I wouldn’t overlook this small detail. I tried to make the icing without one a couple weeks ago and I had more of a brown sugar cement than an icing.
Please, make and enjoy this cake…if only for me.
Fresh Apple Cake
2 cups sugar
1 ½ c. vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 c. peeled and chopped apples
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted pan.
In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil at medium speed with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; sift. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until combined. Stir in apples.
Pour into prepared pan; bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon warm Caramel Glaze over cake.
1 ½ c. firmly packed brown sugar
½ c. butter
3 tsp. milk
In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook until temperature reaches 234 degrees on a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally.
When I made this recipe a couple weeks ago, I put the batter into a 9x13 and 8x8 inch pans and it worked perfectly. Of course, if you take this route, you need to shorten the baking time, and keep in mind that the finished product won’t be quite as aesthetically pleasing, but believe me, your taste-buds won’t know the difference.