Sunday, November 18, 2012

Welcome to my new Gluten Free life!

Wow.  Well, things change and people must change to adapt. There is a high probability that my dizziness and disequilibrium issues are caused by vitamin deficiencies which in turn are caused by malabsorption in the intestines due to the intolerance of wheat and gluten.  That sounds really medical doesn't it?  What I don't want you to think is that gluten causes dizziness.  It may have, but in an indirect way.  Removing gluten from my diet only fixes part of the problem.  We still have to deal with the vitamin deficiencies.
So I've been gluten free now for 13 days!  Has it been hard?  No, not really.  Remember, I have been dairy free for several years, so I already read labels, and I already make most of my food from scratch.  I have spent some time thinking through our daily meals and choosing things that we normally eat that don't have gluten at all.  We've had some great kabobs with roasted veggies, stews, Mexican dishes, stir fry with rice.  There seems to be an endless supply of meals that don't involve gluten, and we haven't even delved into the "gluten free" replacements all that much.  (I have tried some breakfast cereal, but don't really like them).  
The hardest part of gluten free in my world is the lack of cake.  
I did buy a gluten free cake mix.  I think it was $12, and it makes one 9 inch round cake.  I'm not sure I'd get more than 9 cupcakes out of that. I haven't tried it yet, it is in my "emergency" supply kit, for those dark desperate days.  What I did find though, is an amazing gluten free dairy free dessert that I had been introduced to many years ago when we lived in Texas.  There was a family there from Australia, and this was a "typical" Australian dessert.  My recipe just happens to involve chocolate!

Chocolate Pavlova (yes, like the drooling dogs....  aptly named)

6 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp corn starch
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 275F
Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with parchment paper

In stand mixer, whip egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar a few tablespoons at a time, until addition is complete, meringue is glossy and peaks are STIFF.
Gently fold in sifted corn starch and cocoa powder, and vinegar, being careful to not deflate the meringue.
Pile onto parchment paper, approx 9 inches in diameter. It will spread when baking to about a 11 or 12 inch cake.

Bake in center of oven for approx 1 hour 10 minutes.  Pavlova should appear crispy and dry on edges, but remain soft and fluffy on the inside.  Turn off oven, and open the oven door slightly.  Cool in oven 30-60 minutes, then remove from parchment (carefully!) and place on serving plate.  Cool completely.

Serve with coconut whipped cream and berries on top.

To make coconut whipped cream, refrigerate can of coconut milk (high fat).  Separate cream from water.  Whip the cream gently with a whisk.  

If pavlova is prepared with cream and berries on top, it needs to be eaten immediately.  If kept separate, cover and refrigerate maximum overnight.  This is not a dessert you should make ahead of time.  It should be served on the day it is made.

Pavlova is now baked.  The oven door is open to let it cool gently.  
served with coconut whipped cream and raspberries

more pictures to come....


  1. Thank you for the well-detailed recipe for your delicious chocolate pavlova. I can't wait to try it!

  2. Therese! Just saw your comment on my blog about my cards. Thank you!! I'm hit or miss on blogging these has been SO busy! I'm salivating over this post of yours! :-) Looks delightfully delicious! Will have to peruse your blog for more recipes. :-)