The Inspired Plate | Frozen Dessert | June 2013

Welcome to The Inspired Plate's, June edition of our food photography challenge!  This month.. and just in time for the heat of summer, we celebrate with Frozen DessertsI think I can safely say this was a favorite! Everything came together without stress and time constraints, and, I even had my mom's drawer of beautiful serviettes to chose the perfect color napkin to go with the berry colored palette. Thanks Mom!! :)

This is the most simple of desserts! A gluten free tart, strawberry ice cream and fresh berries with a frosty dash of powdered sugar. Pretty and tasty! The gluten free crust is an almond shortbread crust recipe that I have used many times and absolutely LOVE! It makes for a great afternoon tea cookie too. :)

Gluten Free Tart with Strawberry Ice Cream and Fresh Berries

Gluten Free Almond Shortbread Crust
1.5 Quarts Strawberry Ice Cream
2 Pints 2 varieties of Fresh Berries (cleaned and dried)
Powdered Sugar for dusting top
Tart Pan

Gluten Free Almond Shortbread Crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup fine almond flour (meal)
1/3 cup “gluten free” *all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt

For Shortbread Crust

Pre-Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Pulse almond flour with sugar in a food processor, add cornstarch, gluten free flour and salt. Pulse till well combined. Add butter and vanilla, mix just enough for the dough to start gathering together. Lightly butter the bottom of a tart pan or a cheesecake pan and up the sides a quarter of an inch. Press the shortbread mixture on the bottom. Pierce with a fork. Bake the crust in the pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. (till golden)

Have ice cream ready at a soft stage but not melted. When tart shell is cool, fill with ice cream, blending with swirls. Put back in freezer for 20 minutes. When ice cream is firm, take out of freezer and top with fresh fruit and dust with powdered sugar. It's ready and yummy to enjoy at this point! 

I've missed my TIP girls these past few months! I had been so busy that I really haven't been able to participate in the challenges. I'm so glad to be sharing this month and I can't wait to see all the frozen dessert photos! With fourth of July coming up.. I'm sure I'll have plenty ideas for an extravaganza sweet!

Please now visit my friend 
Sabrina Wong, Perth Food Photography! This girl is my favorite gal down under and talented!!!!! Oh my! She is also a med student and still finds time to travel the world and shoot beautiful photography! After visiting her.. make your way through the circle to see the rest of The Inspired Plate!

Gluten Free Banana Applesauce Cake

I still consider myself a "newby" to gluten free baking, but I have come to know my baking style seems to be nutty. Ha!! Meaning.. I love utilizing nut flours more so than rice blends when possible. Have you ever made a pistachio gateau.. I rest my case! :)

I was so pleased with this recipe though. I altered it a bit with the almond flour, addition of 1/4 tsp. of xantham gum and olive oil.. but other than that, it really was a wonderfully moist cake just as is. 

My husband and I just celebrated 26 years of marriage. He took me to our favorite Italian restaurant, Gourmet Italia. The owner, Alessandro Prestifilippo, has a home vineyard where he grows much of the vegetables, fruits, herbs and chickens for his restaurant recipes. And olives for his Olive Oil label! The olive oil was a MUST purchase.. It's a mild aromatic oil using the Arbequina olive from Spain, it's smooth flavored aroma makes for a wonderful addition in salads, soups and this cake. 

Definitely try this recipe!! 

Ciao and Buon Appetito!


Gluten Free Banana Applesauce Cake
adapted from Taste of Home's GF Banana Bread

1- ½ cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
½ cup Almond Flour
¼ tsp. Xanthum Gum (**add this even if your flour already has it)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4-5 medium)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup olive oil (preferably NOT extra virgin)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, xantham gum, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, mashed bananas, sugar, applesauce, olive oil and vanilla.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Transfer to two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray.
Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10
minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. 

Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).