Gluten Free Spiced Applesauce Loaf

Don’t wait for apple season to make this delicious, Spiced Applesauce Loaf!  It’s perfect for coffee breaks, brunches, and snacks.  It would be lovely to take along when visiting a friend or neighbor.  So easy to prepare, and everyone will love it, kids and adults alike.

First, check out the ingredient list.  You probably have most of these items right in your pantry!  Then, in addition to being gluten free I also give you some options to lower the sugar and sodium, as I know many of you have these additional restrictions.

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Dry Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:

 Preparation:

Whisk together all of the dry ingredients.  Combine the wet ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend together just until moistened.

Line an 8″ loaf pan with parchment and scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake for 1 hour at 350°.  When it’s done, the loaf will have risen almost to the rim of the pan and the top will crack.  If you’re not sure it’s done, check with a toothpick in the center of the loaf.

Cool in the pan for 1/2 hour, then grasp both sides of the parchment and lift the loaf onto a cooling rack.

Carefully remove the parchment and continue cooling to room temperature.  Try to resist cutting into it right away, to minimize crumbling.

You could dust the top with confectioners sugar, or drizzle with a simple icing.  Honestly though, this cake is so moist and delicious it really needs no other adornment.  Slice with a serrated knife and arrange on a serving dish.

Look at that nice moist crumb!  You’ll have to take it from me, it tastes great!

Notes ♪♫ I have always loved quick breads.  This is an old recipe of mine that I converted to gluten free.  It worked beautifully with King Arthur gluten free all-purpose flour.  Note that this flour does not contain Xanthan gum, and I did not add any.  I have not tried the recipe with other gluten free flour brands, but please be aware that if you do the results may vary.

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Flourless Dark Chocolate Torte

Oh my!  Just look at this beautiful heart shaped chocolate torte.  It is a decadent dessert, worthy of a 5-star restaurant.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day, or any romantic celebration.  I still can’t believe I made it at home!

So many desserts are off limits for those of us with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.  If your valentine is gluten free, he or she will swoon when you bring this beautiful torte to the table, knowing they can safely indulge.

You may be surprised to know that this cake is completely gluten free.  And a ganache is not that difficult to make.  I know, I was surprised too!

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Using toasted, ground almonds (not almond flour) is the secret to the amazing flavor and texture of this dessert.  Yes, it takes a little extra time and effort, but so worth it!

Years ago, I bought a set of heart shaped pans, just for this recipe! It was exactly what I needed to make a petite sized cake for two.  Unfortunately, that set from Wilton is no longer available but here’s something similar that you can get on Amazon.

The recipe has just enough batter to make 3 layers using a 6″ pan.

Ingredients:

  • 8.5 oz. good quality, gluten free dark chocolate wafers or bars, divided
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, ground fine in a food processor
  • 1-1/2 tsp. white rice flour
  • 2-1/4 tsp. gluten free cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup half and half or cream
  • 2 tsp. rum
  • cooking spray

 Preparation:

Melt 4 oz. dark chocolate with 6 tbsp. butter in a double boiler, whisking until smooth.  Set aside to cool before adding to the eggs (you don’t want to cook them).  Next beat together the eggs, sugars and extract.  With the mixer running, gradually add the cooled chocolate mixture, ground almonds, rice flour and cocoa and beat until well combined.  Pour into 3 pans (each pan is 6″) that have been misted with cooking spray.  I set my pans on a baking sheet to make it easier to transfer them to the oven.

Bake 15-17 minutes at 350º.  Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer the layers to a rack.

When the layers have cooled to room temperature, make the ganache.

Place 4-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (if using bars break into small pieces) in a medium bowl with the rum.  Heat the half and half (or cream) in a small saucepan, stirring frequently.  As soon as it comes to a boil, pour over the chocolate and whisk, whisk, whisk, until it is perfectly smooth.  Allow the ganache to cool 5 minutes.

Now arrange the first layer of the torte on a serving dish.  Pour a little of the ganache in the center and spread it outward to the edges with an offset spatula.  Top with the next layer of torte and do the same.

Next place the top layer and pour the rest of the ganache over it, letting it drizzle evenly over the sides.  Let the torte stand at room temperature for 2 hours or until the ganache is completely set.

Friends, this cake is sinfully rich!  Look at it, can you spy the ground almonds?  We had a thin slice each and it was so delicious and filling.  I am so pleased with how it came out.

Notes: ♪♫ A recipe is only as good as its ingredients, and that is why it is worth going out of your way to find quality dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate should be gluten free but as always, carefully check your labels and when possible, choose ingredients that are processed in a dedicated gluten free facility.

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