Jules Shepard Gluten-Free Cooking Demo

Tonight I attended a Gluten-Free Cooking demo class by Jules Shepard.  It was sponsored and organized by the State College Celiac Support Group.  The turnout was pretty good; I think there were like 30 people at the event, many familiar faces as well as many new faces.  One woman made the trip in from Pittsburgh for the demo!

Jules did a great job and showed how easy it can be to make great tasting gluten free foods.  Jules brought already made items (day before) and also showed how to make each of these items live during the demo.  This was great because we could sample each item a day after it was made… as many celiacs know, most baked goods don’t taste that great the day after you make them.  Her items were all very delicious that she had made he day before.

Jules Shepard Demonstration

Jules Shepard Demonstration

So you are probably asking yourself, what did she prepare / demo?  Well she demonstrated how to make bread in a bread machine, pierogies, graham (like)  crackers, and finally a two-layer birthday cake.  All of which were very good.  The graham crackers were the best gluten-free ones I had ever had, light and crisp!

It was also nice to hear her talk about how you could vary the recipes to get different results… like how to make ravioli using almost the same recipe as the pierogies(for the dough).  I also enjoyed hearing about bread machines and makes me want to bust mine out of the closet again to start making breads.

At the end of the evening, she had a raffle and the group attendees could win one of three items: cake batter, graham cracker dough, or pierogi dough.  I won the cake batter, so I will be making that tomorrow night!  I also bought one her books: Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating.  I definitely enjoyed the demonstration and encourage those of you that are near one of Jules’ demonstration locations to attend!

Thanks to Natures Pantry for providing water and the space for the demonstration.  Thanks to Karen from the State College Celiac Support Group for initiating and organizing this event.


Allergy Free White Cake

I am trying to make a cake for my good friend’s daughter.  She has many food allergies, including wheat, eggs, and dairy.  I tried one recipe a couple weeks back and wasn’t pleased with the texture of the end product, it had great flavor, but it was very dense.  I just had to find a better recipe.

I have been reading about whacky cake recipes online and how they were popular during the depression when people didn’t have extra cash for things like milk and eggs.  I actually remember these cakes from my days in grade school.  The whacky cake recipes produced cakes that were great tasting and very moist.  Now, if I could just  fine one catering to a gluten free diet, I would be set.  After several nights looking, I finally found one, Kathy P’s Wacky Cake recipe.

Tonight I tried out Kathy P’s Wacky Cake recipe and was very pleased with the results!  The cake was very moist and wasn’t dense.  The cake was still heavier than a traditional cake, but that’s to be expected when cooking gluten free.  I also managed to get a tiny taste when I trimmed down the crown of the cake for stacking it.  The taste was also yummy, score!

I also bought some Cherrybrook Kitchen Vanilla Frosting (completely allergy free).  I guess I can’t have it all… the  frosting was extremely thick and almost like glue.  At one point, I thought it was going to rip the top off the cake when I pulled my knife across it.  On a plus side, it had good flavor, but working with the frosting was a nightmare compared to normal frostings.  I think I am going to need to try and make a frosting from scratch so I can get the right consistency.

The important part is that I finally found the cake recipe I am going to use.  Thanks Kathy Przywara, your recipe is going to make a little girl very happy for her 3rd birthday!