gluten-free can be challenging because many things that could
otherwise be purchased pre-made or partially pre-made on a
gluten diet must be made from scratch on a gluten-free diet.
A great way to minimize the workload is to make the dessert
days ahead and refrigerate or freeze it. We have experimented
with freezing many desserts with great success, even elaborate
Even if youre not entertaining, freezing
desserts is a great way to pull a fantastic dessert, out
of your hat at the last moment.
The best make ahead desserts that freeze
well are cakes with cream type fillings. This typical style
of cake used in these desserts is a genoise cake or a light
sponge cake. These types of cakes take a bit of work to make
and assemble, but once completed, they freeze beautifully.
To store such a cake, once it is frozen, wrap it well in plastic
wrap. To serve, let the cake sit out for at least 30 minutes
before serving. To make the preparation even easier, make
the cake over two days, freezing in between steps.
The following five incredible desserts are
some of our favorites and are desserts that always receive
a Wow from those who devour them. They do take
a bit of time, but are all well worth the effort and can be
either refrigerated or frozen days ahead.
Ingredients1/3 cup gf flour
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons raspberry liqueur
One 10-12 ounce package frozen raspberries,
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons raspberry liqueur
For chocolate glaze:
1 cup whipping cream
8 ounces semisweet gf chocolate, chopped
20 fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Set an oven rack in center
of oven. Butter a 10"x15"x1" jellyroll pan and line bottom
with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together flour,
corn starch and cocoa. In work-bowl of an electric mixer,
add eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Place bowl over a pan
of simmering water and whisk until mixture reaches 100 degrees
F.Transfer bowl to electric mixer and beat with whip attachment
on high until mixture is cool and has increased in volume,
about 3-4 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer and sift in dry
ingredients in 3 increments, folding in each with a rubber
spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread so top is
even. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and if necessary,
loosen sides with a knife. Invert cake onto a rack. When cool,
carefully cut cake in half horizontally so that you have two
layers, each about 1/2" thick. This may seem impossible, but
with a serrated knife and patience, it is not that difficult.
The cake is very light, almost sponge-like and can handle
Wrap cakes in plastic until you are ready to assemble.
Add water and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil
Let cool and add raspberry liqueur.
Place raspberries in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Let reduce slightly. Pour raspberries into a food processor
and puree. Press pureed raspberries into a strainer to remove
seeds. Set aside. Place egg whites and sugar in work-bowl
of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water
and whisk until egg whites are hot and sugar dissolves. Attach
work-bowl to electric mixer, and using a whisk attachment
beat until mixture has cooled. Change attachment to a paddle
and gradually beat in butter. When mixture is smooth, beat
in strained raspberries and liqueur.
Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat
and add chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth,
then strain and let cool.
Place one cake layers on a piece of cardboard or wooden
cutting board. With a pastry brush, brush top of cake layer
with syrup. Spread with three-quarters of the filling and
then top with 2nd cake layer. Moisten again with syrup and
spread with remaining filling; chill to set. When chilled,
spread cooled glaze on top of cake and chill again to re-set.
Using a sharp knife dipped in hot water, slice cake into 2"
squares. Be sure that knife is dipped in hot water and dried
between each slicing. Place a fresh raspberry on each square
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and
1/4 cup air-dried light brown sugar (see
Preheat oven to 275º F. In a medium bowl, whisk the
egg yolks with half of the granulated sugar. In a small saucepan,
warm the heavy cream with the vanilla-bean scrapings and the
remaining granulated sugar until the cream is steaming. Gradually
whisk the hot cream into the egg-yolk mixture until blended.
Strain the custard and pour it into four 5-ounce ramekins
or shallow gratin dishes. Set the ramekins in a small baking
dish and add enough hot tap water to the dish to reach halfway
up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 1 hour and 15
minutes, or until the custards are just set. Let the custards
cool in the water bath for 10 minutes, then remove from the
baking dish and allow them to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate
for at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat the broiler. Sift
a thin even layer of the air-dried brown sugar over each of
the custards. Broil one ramekin at a time as close as possible
to the heat source until the brown sugar melts, forming a
caramelized crust on top of the custard. Serve immediately.
To air-dry brown sugar, sift
it onto a plate and leave it out, uncovered, for 1 day. Alternatively,
if the weather is humid, the sifted brown sugar can also be
dried in the oven. Set the temperature at 250ºF and put
the sugar in the oven for 20 minutes.
6 ounces gf bittersweet chocolate, coarsely
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons coffee
1 teaspoon gf vanilla flavoring
3 large egg yolks
3 Tablespoons coffee
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 ounce gf semisweet or gf bittersweet
chocolate, grated for garnish
Heat 1 inch water in a large skillet over low heat until
bubbles form along the bottom; adjust the heat to maintain
the water at this temperature. Combine 6 ounces of gf chocolate,
unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons coffee or water, and gf vanilla
in a large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl in the water bath
and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the water
and set aside. Whisk egg yolks, 3 tablespoons coffee, and
3 tablespoons sugar together thoroughly in a heatproof bowl.
Set the bowl in the water bath and, whisking constantly, heat
the mixture until thick and puffy, like marshmallow sauce.
Remove from the water bath and whisk thoroughly into the melted
chocolate. Let cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl,
beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream
of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in
1/4 cup sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until the
peaks are stiff. Using a large rubber spatula, stir one-quarter
of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it,
then gently fold in the remaining whites. In another bowl,
beat 1/2 cup cold heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks
form. Gently but thoroughly fold the cream into the chocolate
mixture. Turn mousse 6- to 8-ounce individual cups. Refrigerate
for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve with fresh whipped
cream. If you wish, sprinkle with 1 ounce grated gf chocolate.
3 sticks butter, sliced
24 ounces semisweet gf chocolate
2-1/4 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon gf vanilla
3/4 cup gf flour
3 cups walnuts, roasted & chopped
Powdered sugar as needed
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bring a large pan of water
to boil and reduce heat to low. Place butter in a large bowl.
Put the bowl over the hot water but do not allow it to touch
the water. Add the chocolate chips to the butter. Heat the
chocolate until it begins to look glossy. Work the mixture
with a rubber spatula. Remove the bowl from the hot water
when the mixture is about half-way melted. Continue to work
the chocolate while off the heat until smooth and glossy.
In the large bowl, beat the eggs at high speed until slightly
thickened. Gradually add the sugar to the eggs and beat until
mixture is pale and thick, about 5 minutes. On medium speed,
add the cooled chocolate and vanilla to the eggs. Reduce mixture
speed to low and gradually add flour by spoonfuls. Blend briefly
and stir in the nuts. Pour the batter into a buttered jelly
roll pan and distribute it evenly using a rubber spatula.
Place pan on the middle rack of oven. Reduce heat to 375ºF.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (for a soft to firm texture) or
until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.
Watch the brownies carefully towards the end of baking time
to avoid burning edges. Place the baking sheet over a wire
rack to cool brownies. Sprinkle them generously with powdered
sugar. Cut and serve. Or, when cool, you may cover the brownies
with plastic wrap and freeze them.
3 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate,
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Lightly butter 6 ramekins and dust with granulated sugar.
Tap ramekins upside down to discard excess sugar; set aside.
Melt chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler over a
pan of simmering water. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and
whisk in egg yolks one at a time. Add 1/3 of the powdered
sugar and whisk until mixture is smooth. In a separate bowl,
beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed
until they are beginning to hold soft peaks. Increase speed
to high and add remaining powdered sugar. Beat until glossy
and stiff peaks form. Add about 1/4 of the egg whites to chocolate
mixture, whisking until blended. Add remaining egg whites,
folding just until blended. Pour mixture into ramekins. The
batter should almost come to tops of ramekins. Place ramekins
in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove ramekins and cover
each with plastic wrap. Place back in refrigerator for up
to 24 hours. If you want to keep them for longer than 24 hours,
To bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove plastic wrap and place ramekins on a baking sheet.
Bake for 18 minutes. The souffles with rise and may sink slightly
in the middle. Remove from oven and top with fresh berries
or whipping cream. The souffles may be a little moist in the
center, this is not under-done.
To bake after freezing: Preheat oven to
400 degrees F. Remove from freezer and let sit for 20 minutes.
Follow the same baking instructions as above.
These desserts will impress even the most
sophisticated gluten tolerant guest and prove to your family
that gluten-free is delicious!