The Gluten Free Ratio Rally – popovers!

It’s sunny out.  It’s remarkable how different that makes me feels vs a cloudy, snowy day in January.  I needed a day such as this to type up this post.  I had it all typed up on Monday, with the perfect amount of quirkiness to text ratio and whammo! I guess I hadn’t refreshed my open post page before starting, didn’t copy it before hitting save and lost it all.  Sunshine clears the funk away and makes it all better.  It also makes me aware of what a bad housekeeper I am.  Who has time to dust, vacuum and to cook? I certainly like making time for cooking.  I am lucky if I can remember to water the plants before they die.  The only thing bad about sunshine in my house is that it points out the need to vacuum again.

I decided to join the gluten free ratio rally in the hopes of getting more creative in the kitchen and challenging myself, especially with baking.  Baking in winter is so nice and cozy.  It’s like winter’s soulmate.  So is a wood stove, but I don’t have one of those anymore.  This month’s challenge is easily made in a regular oven, no need for a wood stove and it’s popovers on the baking list.  This month’s host is Mrs. R of Honey from Flinty Rocks.  The Gluten Free Ratio Rally is a group of gluten free bloggers using Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio method of weighing ingredients to create a gluten free equivalent from baked goods to sauces and everything in-between. I used his ratio app on my iPhone.

The popover ratio is 2 parts liquid to 1 part egg to 1 part flour.  I decided to go popover crazy and try 2 batches in the same day following his ratio.

Batch 1

3.5 oz oat flour; .5 oz tapioca flour; 4 oz of eggs and 8 oz of milk; chives and black pepper; butter

My eggs are a bit smaller than what was called for as my chickens just recently started laying (eggs get bigger over time) so 2 eggs made for 3.5 oz, so I added an extra yolk to make 4 oz.  This, quite possibly was a mistake to do.  The milk was organic whole milk from Sheltler’s Dairy – a fabulous local dairy.

please ignore my dirty glass door

These tasted pretty good but were a bit heavy.  Probably because of the oat flour and the extra yolk.  They did pop up pretty marvelously in the oven and I wouldn’t say they fell once out,  they were not airy all over, just in a few places, like where the butter was.  I added about 1 tsp of butter per the Michael Ruhlman Ratio directions and next time would opt for 2 tsp.  I loved the chives in these.  Batch 1 was baked at the same time as part of Batch 2.

Which brings us to Batch 2

3.5 oz fine white rice flour; .5 oz corn starch; 4 oz of eggs (2 eggs plus 1 yolk again); 8 oz of whole milk, toasted onion and aleppo chiles; butter

These were fairly inedible.  The inside was like a flavorless egg pancake, heavy and dense.  About 1/3 of this batter was baked with batch 1.

During round one of baking, I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on three of the muffin tins of both batches.  The Parmesan did not work.  See the comments dense and heavy line above, add the words more dense and heavy and that about approximates it,  with a cheesy flavor. Which is good, but not in this case.  I decided to call them popunders.

So, I decided with my remaining batch of rice flour batter to add a tablespoon or so of millet flour to give the popover something to rise against in the tin.  I also filled the tins half full vs the 2/3’s full that I filled round 1.  These worked much better and were more airy as can be seen in the picture at the beginning of the post.

the popunders

So with my popovers fresh out of the oven, I raced around the house in search of our nice Nikon camera.  No where to be found.  I texted my hubby who lives in Ann Arbor (a possible 2 year temporary thing – jobs, you know) and indeed he took it down with him after his last visit.  Alas, that left me with my 3 year old iphone camera for photo taking.  I did the best I could.  I dislike all those blogs with awful off putting photos with bad lighting and color tones, yet must present you with one this week.

A final note about popovers.  They mean it when they say these should be eaten while warm.  Do not under any circumstances attempt to eat a cold one.  I do plan to make these again, but will tweak the recipe first.  However they must wait until I have a crowd to eat them as 2 dozen popovers is about 22 too many!  I probably wouldn’t have tried making popovers for a while if it hadn’t been for the gluten free ratio rally, so it’s working already.

Check out all of the rally popovers:

Brooke | B & the boy! – Chocolate & Sweet Potato Popovers –

Charissa | Zest Bakery – Lemon Vanilla Popovers with Minnesota Raspberries –

Claire | My Gluten free home – Chai Popovers –

Erin Swing | The Sensitive Epicure – Popovers –

gretchen  |  kumquat – strawberry cream cheese popovers –

Heather | Discovering the Extraordinary – Basic Popovers –

Jenn | Jenn Cuisine – Chocolate Popovers –

Jonathan  |  The Canary Files – Cinnamon & Star Anise Popovers –

Mary Fran | FrannyCakes – Gluten-Free Honey Coconut Popovers  –

Morri  |  Meals With Morri – Little Bitty Popover Bites –

Rachel/The Crispy Cook – Corny Popovers –

TR | No One Likes Crumbley Cookies – Sweet Cherry Popovers –

i’m out

it’s time for a little change, well perhaps a lot of change

Greetings from NW Michigan!  I finally made it back to the farm and ironically have more time on my hands to cook and blog.  Aside from the move, I also switched jobs, got married and lived in our house while it was being completely remodeled, all in the same two months.  No wonder it seems like I have free time now.

I live on the cherry apple potato farm I grew up on and now have 16 chickens.  I have a small view of Lake Michigan from the North windows of my house and can see the light house between South Manitou Island ( which is a national park) and the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes (which is a national lake shore)when I drive over the hill to go or return from anywhere.  Yep, I’m pretty happy!

Here’s a pic our our new backyard after the first snow :

And a wedding day photo or two:


i’m out

Butter Rum Cake with Butter Rum Glaze, gluten free of course

I want to be upfront.  I am not really a baker, I love to cook.  Therefore, when I can, I take a little help from a mix for things like brownies and cakes.  I really only make one cake a year and it is this one.  It is so rich and decadent that no other cake compares and since I am a pretty picky cake eater, I am happy to stick to this one and make it once a year.  That said, I have been trying to make some decadent cupcakes to add to my repertoire.  Like Bailey’s with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting.  Or lemon curd cupcakes. But those are a different post aren’t they?

Did I mention yet that it has butter and rum? And that is it decadent?  Cause it does and it is.

I happen to have 1/3 of this cake sitting in my fridge right now.  So, I could take a photo of it and post it for you.  But you know what cake in a loaf pan looks like right?  It looks like dense yellow cake in a loaf pan.  Sorta like pound cake.  This one has at least a combined pound of butter and rum.  I think it weighs 3 pounds when finished.  You will regret it if you don’t share this cake, or your hips will anyway.  It is super easy (did I mention a box cake mix) and super fast.  I must also confess, since you probably haven’t read the ingredient list yet, that it also uses a box of non instant vanilla pudding mix.  Yep.  There, I said it.

I did let the cake I just made brown a little bit extra, by mistake since we seem to have no real idea how hot our oven is cooking these days.  The answer is, hotter than I thought.  So therefore, the picture would give you a false sense of brownness.  No picture this time.  But it tastes great.  The extra brownness can be interpreted as caramelization once it combines with more butter and rum.  And that is not a bad thing.  I didn’t burn it, but it is browner than I desired.

The first time I tried this cake was 7 or 8 years ago during a superbowl party,  back when I had nary a thought about gluten.  I asked for the recipe and still have the original recipe written on a small blue stickynote with all of my conversions, adaptations and changes scratched on to it.  It is a two sided 2″ square of sticky note.  If a recipe can fit on a sticky note, then anyone can make it.

I used the Betty Crocker mix this time, any gluten free yellow cake mix seems to do.  I make most everything from scratch but when it comes to baked goods, as I said before, I take a little help now and then.

Butter Rum Cake with Butter Rum Glaze –  gluten free
1 box GF yellow cake mix
1 package non instant vanilla pudding mix (I have never tried making it without it, but it would probably work)
3-4 eggs depending on size.  I used 3 with the Betty Crocker mix and normally use 4 with other mixes, but it seemed pretty loose with just 3
1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter – I like salted to counteract the sweetness
1/2 cup rum (I use Mt. Gay but any rum will do, well maybe not Meyers spiced rum)
1/2 cup milk (or water or maybe more rum?)
1 tsp vanilla or a splash
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 cup dried unsweeted coconut (optional)
Mix above ingredients except for nuts and pour into a greased and floured loaf pan or bundt pan (it fills a loaf pan perfectly but would be much prettier in a bundt).  Sprinkle the chopped pecans into the pan before pouring the batter in.  My BF doesn’t like nuts so I typically use 1/2 dried unsweetened coconut and it gives it great flavor and texture.  I think both together would be fab.  This is a pretty loose batter, not stiff at all. 

Bake at 325 F until brown and set.  This will take 50-60 min.  It is a heavy cake so toothpicks don’t always come out super clean.  If it is browning too fast just cover it with aluminum foil loosely to slow it down.

Butter rum glaze (butter rum bath might be a better description)
1 stick of butter (i used salted as the glaze is sweet)
I cup sugar
1 cup rum
splash of vanilla
Melt all 4 ingredients together and simmer a couple of minutes, stirring as you go.

Let cake cool for a few minutes and the poke it full of holes with a knife and slowly pour the glaze over the cake (stress on slowly or the glaze flies everywhere on the counter), move the sides of the cake away from the pan walls with a knife or spatula if needed to let the glaze work in.  Let the cake sit at least 30 min to adsorb the glaze and then either serve from the loaf pan or invert onto a plate.  This cake gets even better after a couple of days of sitting and soaking.
I haven’t tried it with chocolate cake mix, but how could that not be great too?

i’m out

Ahhh it’s fall

Things are slowing down and speeding up here at Ranch Ebyhagen. The garden is winding down, the chickens are gone but the CSA’s were going strong until 2 weeks ago and now we have CSA withdrawal.  We have been planning our new business and making test batches of cider.  The tomatoes are all canned and the pig is in the freezer.

Cooking with our CSA veggies has been great and we managed to use most everything, which was a challenge since one of us doesn’t eat eggplant or zucchini.

We have had fully grown laying hens since May, but finally had to farm them out up North when Sassy started a new screaming habit, all day long.  Since we have neighbors on three sides of us 40-75 feet away, that wasn’t going to work.  They are happily living in the former goat shed up at the Bardenhagen Berries farm in Lake Leelanau.

As usual we have been working towards sourcing out as much local food as possible, trying to support Michigan growers, producers and businesses.  Now everyone is catching on!  We are all doing our part to help feed the local economy.

It’s nice and chilly outside, our Indian Summer is coming to an end.  But we have a cord of wood and a fire burning in the woodstove.  The winter’s first knitting project is underway and now it’s time to plan this week’s menu.

A hot cup of tea was just handed to me, so, back to the warm fire I go.

i’m out