Easy gluten-free desserts

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Eliminating gluten from your diet doesn’t mean sacrificing your sweet tooth! Personal Chef Bill Collins from ChefBill.com shared some tasty gluten-free desserts.

Raspberry Sauce
Makes approximately 1 ½ cups

1 12 oz bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons Amaretto or rum (optional)

1. Put all of the ingredients into a blender, or food processor, and process until smooth. Adjust the flavor to your liking. Add more sugar or Amaretto, if desired.
2. With a spatula, press the sauce through a strainer, to get remove the seeds. Serve chilled, or at room temperature.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

6 oz (1 ¼ cups) almonds, blanched or unblanched
6 oz semisweet chocolate pieces
6 oz (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
9″ spring form pan

Place oven rack 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the oven, and preheat to 375º.
1. Butter or spray a 9″ spring form pan, and line the bottom with wax paper. Butter or spray the wax paper, too. Optional: cover the buttered wax paper with a dusting of flour or very fine bread crumbs. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, grind the nuts to a very fine powder. They should resemble corn meal. Set the nuts aside.
3. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
4. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar, at medium-high speed, for two minutes. Add the yolks one at a time, until they’re all incorporated. Lower the mixer’s speed to low, and add the chocolate, only until it’s just mixed in.
5. Add the almonds, also only to mix.
6. In a larger, separate clean bowl, add the egg whites and salt. With clean and dry beaters, Beat the whites until they hold a definite shape, but don’t let them get stiff or dry. Stir (by hand) a large spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture. Then, in three additions, fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture.
7. Spoon the cake batter into the pan, and gently spin the pan to level the top of the batter.
8. Bake for 20 minutes at 375º. Reduce the oven temperature to 350º, and bake for an additional 50 minutes, When done, the cake should be soft and moist in the center.
9. (This is important, though no-one knows why):Wet and slightly wring out a folded towel, and place it on a smooth surface. Take the finished cake from the oven, and place it directly on the wet towel. Let it stand for 20 minutes. Then release and remove the sides of the pan. Do the “two cooling rack/flip and remove pan bottom and paper” thing. The cake will be 1 3/4″ high. The cake will be fragile, so be careful when moving it around.
Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies
Makes approximately 40-50 cookies

2 1/2 cups walnut halves
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350°, and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper
1. Finely chop the walnuts on a cutting board, or carefully pulse-chop them in a food processor. The nuts should be chopped small, but not reduced to dust. Transfer to a separate large sheet pan, and toast until fragrant and a bit darker in color, about 7-9 minutes. Check the nuts every two minutes, and shake the pan, to make sure they don’t burn. They can burn very quickly. Let them cool to room temperature.
2. Sift the sugar, cocoa and salt into a bowl to remove any lumps and clumping. Whisk together to combine, and set aside until the walnuts have cooled.
3. Stir in the walnuts. Add the egg whites and vanilla; combine with a wooden spoon until the batter is just moistened. Do not overbeat the batter, or it will stiffen.
4. Drop batter by the teaspoonful, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Bake cookies until tops are lightly cracked and glossy, about 15 minutes.
6. Remove cookies from baking sheet immediately, and place on cooling racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

NOTES: Unless you have a convection oven, you’ll have to bake these cookies one tray at a time. Also, make sure you use the parchment paper, as the cookies will stick to the pan if you don’t.

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