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Monday, September 27, 2010

Gluten Free Gala - September 2010

My friend and I hosted a gluten free event this weekend at my house and we had quite a turnout. Our guests were kind enough to rate a review our recipes, and it was a lot of fun. It's a great way to test recipes on people and get some ideas for improvement. We made sure to invite a lot of people with "normal" diets without restrictions as they tend to be more critical of gluten free fare. The more critical the better! Bring it on, foodies ;)

I thought you may be interested in how the reviews went. I'm not altering the recipes as they exist on the site now, but it's good for people to know what to expect. It was amazing to see the array of opinions. One item received comments of too sweet, too salty, or too moist depending on who was leaving the comment.

Lemon Cake (recipe to be posted)

Lessons Learned: The frosting could use some work. Most people thought the cake was fabulous and had a good balance of flavor. Honey was recommended in the icing to help cut some of the sweetness, and I think it requires more zest.

"The Best. Fluffy."
"6 out of 10 - Actually a little too moist. Icing is great, cake needs more lemon flavor -- maybe lime to accent"
"7 out of 10. Cake texture is moist but not too chewy. Frosting is too sugary for me."
"The cake part is AMAZING. The frosting is a bit sweet for me, but compliments the cake nicely."
"10 out of 10! WOW! Yum! Perfect!"

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Lessons Learned: These cookies actually come together as they cool and are crumbly fresh out of the oven. They taste great raw according to my husband, and are great warm and melt-y, but after a bit in the refrigerator, they have a texture closer to what people normally expect. The coconut oil in them firms up in the fridge as the oil has a low melting point.

"5 out of 10 - Very tasty. Almost too soft for me. I missed a bit of crunch."
"Moist, excellent sweet/salty combo. Oats are yummy!"
"8 out of 10. Very good. Tastes like a good cookie. No need to add any qualities."
"Very soft. Very sweet. Wondering how it would be the next day."
"Awesome! Love the tastes and the texture."
"7 out of 10. Awesome flavor! A little too crumbly, but otherwise great balance in texture (could feel the oats)."
"8 out of 10. Great flavor, perfect chocolate chip concentration. Too soft for milk though -- any crisper?"
"8 out of 10. Great flavor, falls apart easily, could be a little more crispy."

Tumbprint Cookies

Lessons Learned: I am not going to mess with this recipe! It received varying reviews - people either liked them or loved them. I will look for more filling options as chocolate was requested a couple times. For those of you who don't like the graininess of turbinado sugar, I would recommend running through a blender briefly. I personally like the crunch it provides, but you'll see that opinions varied.

"5 out of 10. Salty. Good cookie consistency, raspberry jam is delicious but I need more."
"8 out of 10. Flaky, moist, buttery, very nice, fresh raspberry flavor."
"Amazingly Good!"
"Textures are good. You need to make a fudge one. Needs more "buttery" taste, but I liked it."
"Smelt buttery. Very good."
"7 out of 10. Delicious. Possibly slightly salty?"
"Awesome texture! Could eat every one of these on the plate!"
"6 out of 10. A touch grainy."

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Lessons Learned: This really isn't a proper snickerdoodle. It has a very sponge cake like texture. The flavors need to be enhanced a bit, but it's a good base and may lend well to other applications. Next time I am roasting a fresh pumpkin - which is what I always do for my pies. I wasn't thinking of the BPA's. Yuck.

"7 out of 10. More like a muffin top texture, but tasty."
"Very light, nice pumpkin flavor."
"Very sugary, in a good way. Fluffy! Little heavy on brown rice taste."
"Beautiful flavor. Love the texture, but maybe put into a bar shape. More cake-like than cookie."
"6 out of 10. VERY moist; almost too moist for a cookie (to me). Mellow pumpkin flavor."
"5 out of 10. Needs more pumpkin and crisper."

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Maple Frosting and Raspberry Filling

Lessons Learned: Well, I left these in the oven a little too long because the day before I had botched the recipe a bit and added too much oil, resulting in some really gooey cake. I didn't want to serve that cake, but it was brought out and people really enjoyed it. The cupcakes I did serve were a bit dry from oven time. I decided to pipe some extra raspberry filling from the thumbprint cookies into the center, and that went over really well (well, with almost everyone). Definitely use a broad tip though because the seeds will quickly clog the piping bag up. The alternative is to run the berries through the Vitamix prior to cooking to pulverize the seeds -- which I will try next time.

"6 out of 10. Frosting good, cake tasty overall, but again - a hint of a flavor that just didn't seem to belong."
"7 out of 10. GREAT chocolate flavor. More raspberry jam -- could be a little moister."
"6 out of 10. Really deep flavor. Maybe cake is a little too dry, but holds together well. Could use more raspberry."
"Good texture, good frosting. I hate raspberry goop."
"Good. Less fluffy than lemon. Nice frosting and Raspberry Filling."
"Last time these were a 10. I'm not sure what changed, but possibly too much zucchini? It was a bit bitter this time."
"Wonderful chocolately richness. The raspberry is perfect - the tart is great!"
"6.5 out of 10. Good, chocolaty - a tad grainy in texture."

Apple Muffins

Lessons Learned: Well, everyone has to have one dud, and I was a bit disappointed in how these came out. These were the last items to come out of the oven and I was busy getting the house ready. They were undercooked and I didn't take the time to get the spices quite right. One reviewer hit the nail on the head - since they did not bake long enough and I didn't spend a little more time on spices, some of the flour flavor came though and struck people as a bit odd.

"6 out of 10. OK. A little doughy."
"Nice apple falvor. A little heavy (dense) for me."
"9 out of 10. Delicious - even better fresh out of the oven."
"5 out of 10. Dense. Big chucks of apples. Too big. Funny aftertaste and leaves residue on fingers."
"4 out of 10. A bit doughy, needs more apple but spices are good."
"Gooey. I love apples. Sorghum or some flavor aftertaste."

1 comment:

  1. Loved everything! Even the apple muffin. :-) It's hard to think constructively when it's all good.

    Chris is still working on his plate and I had a few nibbles. In between veggies.