I think Spring is my favourite season. Come summer, when the sun is high and school is out, or come fall when the leaves are alight in beautiful colours, or even come the start of winter when glittering snow starts to fall, I may change my mind. I have a soft spot for each season, and luckily I get to enjoy all of them where I live. But spring? It’s a time for new things. It’s when seeds are planted and beauty ensues. It’s also a time for new beginnings. I figure it’s a good time to tell you about a few things.
This Sunday, on April 10th 2011, I’ll be speaking at the Calgary Celiac Association’s Annual General Meeting :).
But right now? It’s time for the second Gluten-Free Ratio Rally. This month is hosted by Silvana of Silvana’s Kitchen, and we’re giving you quickbreads. (Last month was pancakes, where I made vegan whole grain ones!). A whole bunch of recipes, a whole bunch of outlooks, and a lovely ratio. Ratios are measurements by weight, which allow us to switch out flours and flavours really easily. You can choose from any of the recipes or piece one together of your own. Ratios make things simple and really quite fun! The ratio of this recipe is 2:2:1:1:1 of Flours : Liquid : Fat : Eggs : Sugar. In my case, I used the ratio of 8 ounces : 8 ounces : 4 ounces : 4 ounces : 4 ounces. Add some baking powder, salt, flavourings and add-ins and you’re good to go!
I decided to make a cocoa quickbread. It’s a little different (but I certainly don’t mean that in a bad way!). Cocoa lends depth and little chocolate chips add swirls of sweetness. It’s a touch sweet, but also savoury. Something that won’t give you a toothache from the sugar yet also has sweet tones. I don’t think I’m explaining it too well. My dad said it was a “savoury chocolate cake – the kind of cake I like.” I think of it as an ideal afterschool snack: it’s complex, chocolatey and not overly sweet. From dessert to breakfast, I think it can fit into any category pretty well! Best of all, it’s easy. Especially if you have a scale.
I developed this recipe on the scale, so I unfortunately don’t have volume measurements. I tried to include the volume measurements, but honestly they were much too vague for my liking, with heaping and scant measurements. Not that you have to buy a scale, but I’ve found myself switching over more and more to them. It’s simpler and makes my baking flow better. Best of all, it means less dishes! You can find them fairly inexpensively, too. Whenever I make recipes I’ve written about in the past, I don’t bother with the cup measurements, opting for the mass ones almost without exception.
And plus, it’s spring! Perfect time to try something new, whether it’s one of these quickbreads or testing out a scale. In fact, why not do something big, and go for whatever you’ve been putting off? Monica Bhide wrote this beautiful post about how someday never comes that really pulled on a lightswitch in my head.
1.00 oz / 28 g tapioca starch/flour
1.00 oz / 28 g sweet rice flour
1.00 oz / 28 g millet flour
1.00 oz / 28 g quinoa flour
1.00 oz / 28 g ground flax seed
1.50 oz / 43 g brown rice flour
1.50 oz / 43 g cocoa
4.00 oz / 113 g sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
8.00 oz / 227 g milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature (4.00 oz / 113 g)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled (4.00 oz / 113 g)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2.00 oz / 57 g chocolate chips (mini or regular)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8 by 4 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flax, cocoa, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a medium-sized bowl or a large (4-cup) measuring cup, whisk together milk, eggs, butter and vanilla.
Pour liquids into the dry ingredients. Whisk lightly to bring together. Once all of the flour is incorporated and the batter is uniform, fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from the pan and enjoy!
I love it when the light surprises me. This was taken at five, and the sun didn’t go down for ages after that. Spring is certainly in the air.
I loved this. When you sliced into it, the chocolate chips still were melted. They danced between melted and not in such a way that you didn’t notice them until you felt their smooth sweetness on your tongue.
I saw a beach over spring break. Well, actually I saw many. San Diego is beautiful this time of year. Perhaps I’ll tell you about that trip sometime.
And yes, I wore my boots on the beach. It was a foggy day and the beach we walked on was hard enough that you didn’t sink in. I was mesmerized by the patterns made in the sand. Nature is certainly a beautiful thing.
The tiny blooms caught my breath. Calgary is still covered in snow, slowly turning the snowbanks into rivers as it melts at varying speeds. But there, down in Southern California? It was spring (bordering on summer, in my books!).
These flowers took my breath away. There were so many, and the tree (bush?) was so thick. Small blooms or large, big changes or small, Spring is a time of growth. So go for it, whatever your it may be!