Monday, January 31, 2011

thank goodness for rice flour

Last year I trained a lovely new RN who ate gluten-free.  People would bring food and snacks to our unit, but she often couldn't eat them because they had gluten in them.  For her birthday I was determined to bring only snacks that she could eat so she could consume without abandon, and this cake was definitely the star of the snack tray.  Don't get me wrong- people like rice crackers, veggies, hummus, and Pirate's Booty, but nothing says "birthday" like cake.

Like I mentioned above, it uses rice flour for its chewy texture.  A box of it is less than $2 at the Asian grocery store.  I made the cake for guests this past weekend and they liked the mochi-ness of it.

Thanks to Kirbie for the recipe!  Strawberry mochi cake

  • 16 oz mochiko rice flour (or can substitute for any brand of glutinous rice flour)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, cut into small cubes
1. Cream the butter with sugar.  It helps to melt the butter a little first.
2. Mix in the evaporated milk to the butter/sugar mixture.
3. Mix eggs into the mixture.
4. Mix in the rice flour, baking powder and vanilla.
5. Stir in the strawberries.
6. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 pan.
7. Bake for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees.
8. Let cake completely cool, allowing the mochi to set, before cutting and serving.

I've also made a pumpkin version of this for my sister-in-law's birthday from Week of Menus (one of my favorite food bloggers ever!  Expect to see a lot of links to her recipes):
pumpkin mochi cake

Pumpkin Mochi Cake
Makes one 9x13 pan

1 lb box mochiko (sweet rice flour - equivalent to 3 cups)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) melted
14 oz can of pumpkin puree
12 oz can evaporated milk
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. (I find it easiest to just use cooking spray oil like Pam).

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients: mochiko, brown and white sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder and salt.

In another large bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients: melted butter, pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs and vanilla extract.

Carefully pour wet ingredients over dry mixture and whisk until mixture is uniform and smooth. Pour into greased pan. Bake for 75 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Allow to cool 10 minutes and then serve.

Best eaten the day you make it, if not store it at room temperature loosely covered with foil.  I usually only make it if there are a lot of people around to eat it.

a love story

When my husband and I were dating we talked about our love languages.  What makes us feel loved?  How do we like to express our love to others?  I feel loved when someone does something for me or tells me something nice (Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation).  I tend to express my love for someone with gifts and words of encouragement. (more on that here)

After we got married I found that I had developed a new love language: food.  It sounds like I've been domestically brainwashed but I think it's genetic.  My dad likes to express his love for us by cooking our favorite foods, and his dad used to do the same.  Don't get me wrong- he still hugs us and affirms us verbally, but food is definitely his strongest love language.  He passed that love onto me and now I get to pass it on to others.

My cooking skills have gradually evolved from Betty Crocker cake mix to sticky buns from scratch, but I'm still learning and honing my skills.  Nevertheless, the intent is the same: to show love through food.

The world doesn't need another food blog, so this is less of a food blog and more of a recipe/restaurant archive.  Feel free to comment and ask for recipes and I'll do my best to post them (unless I made up the recipe and can't remember what I did!  Then we'll have to be creative.)   I hope this site helps you express your love to others.