Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Fondue

Celebrated Valentine’s Day with these sweet little treasures…

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcake stopped with Vanilla and Chocolate Icing

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes.

Click here for the recipe.

Sweets treats for my sweets!

Yummy sweetened with a touch of icing for a casual appearance or for the evening… 

Dairy, Egg,Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes and fresh strawberries with Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Fondue

all ready to be dressed up with Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Fondue!

Dipped in melted chocolate.

Dipping Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes in Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Fondue for Valentine's Day

Mmmmmmm…sweet decadence!

When it comes to chocolate vs. vanilla…Matthew is all about chocolate and Michael loves vanilla…this dessert pleased them both!

Expressing one’s love through food is a common theme…somewhat made difficult when one lives day-to-day with food allergies.

Thankfully, there are yummy adaptions one can experiment with to create the dishes and treats your loved ones with food allergies will appreciate.

Here’s wishing you all enjoyed a lovely evening with the ones you love!

P.S. Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate for the fondue was ordered from Guardian Angel. Click here for a link

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Busy Baking For An Allergy Friendly 2012 Christmas

As much as I am enjoying adapting and baking along with The Toronto Star’s 2012 Cookie Calendar Countdownit is time I started baking and stocking up on some of my family’s most requested allergy friendly baking for Christmas.

Michael has long finished his favourite…Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Men and just the other week, Matthew put in his two cents worth of hinting, “I think it is time for Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies.”…he is right.

Today I will be busy baking up some Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Sugar Cookies for Matthew’s Geography class…each student is to bring in a food representing a part of their culture…a shortbread cookie represents Matthew’s Scottish heritage on my father’s side. (The teacher has requested that all food be peanut/tree nut free…however, due to cross-contamination issues, Matthew does not feel comfortable eating any of the treats his friends will be bringing in for the lunch. He will be bringing his own lunch.)

I will use half the batter to bake the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Sugar Cookie cut outs dipped in chocolate (melted Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)…while the other half will have Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips added to the batter to be baked into Matthew’s favourite cookie…Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Snowballs.

Next on my list of baking…the over ripened bananas. Perfect for everyone’s favourite Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Banana Bundt Cake and Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Banana Bran Muffins . Both will satisfy all the hungry eaters I will have over the Christmas holidays. (Muffins can be frozen and then reheated in the microwave for a quick snack or addition to breakfast.)

I am hosting our family’s Allergy Friendly Christmas Dinner this year…although it is a lot of prep and work…I relish the thought of doing it all in my own kitchen, with my own kitchen supplies, and minus the travelling.

I hope to bake my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Yule Log for our Christmas dessert…if time runs out, I can always pick up a frozen Guardian Angel Chocolate Yule Log at my local Metro which is free of peanut/tree nuts, dairy and eggs.

I hope to post photos along the way…stay tuned!

How are your plans for an allergy free holidays going this season?

2012 Christmas Santa on tree

Merry Christmas!

Happy 14th Birthday Matthew!

Happy 14th Birthday Matthew!

Matthew's 14th birthday

Just love the ‘pizzaz’ of sparklers!

Matthew celebrated with his friends on Friday night…he had a pizza/sleepover party with 3 of his closest friends.

I ordered pizza from Pizza Nova…love their link to Allergy Information under Nutrition. Click here for a link.

Too full on pizza…they enjoyed a slice of my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cake later in the evening.

Tonight’s ‘Birthday Dinner’ is Andy’s famous Chicken Wings …as requested from Matthew…and Fries. Followed by the official rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for the birthday boy with any leftover Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cake!

P.S.  I am off to pick up my BFF, Anne, in Toronto…she flew in from Calgary over the weekend. I am looking forward to spending a few days catching up, doing a little window shopping and just hanging out.

Anne has arrived just in time to celebrate Matthew’s birthday with us all tonight and will have the opportunity to catch one of Michael’s hockey games on Tuesday night…lucky girl!

Update: While in Toronto, Anne and I stopped in at The Cupcake Shoppe. I have always wanted to visit…all their cupcakes are peanut/tree nut free. Click here to view their FAQ’s page.

Matthew is a chocoholic…the Double Chocolate Cupcake was chosen. When the guy serving us heard this was a special birthday cupcake…he added the sugary birthday cake topper.

Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe

Matthew loved the surprise…he enjoyed the cupcake…despite, in his words, “the icing was store bought sweet.”

Matthew's special birthday cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe

Happy 14th  Birthday Matthew!

Happy Hallowe’en…celebrating with Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake and Gingerbread Ghosts, Bats and Cats

Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe'en 2012

This will be the first Hallowe’en that both my boys will not be ‘trick or treating’ in the neighbourhood.

It is a bittersweet moment…on the one hand, I feel relieved that there will not be any peanut/tree nut candies and chocolate bars to worry about passing through our door yet on the other hand, I will miss the anticipation and excitement of the boys getting all dressed up and preparing to head out for a fun filled night of ‘trick or treating’ with their neighbourhood friends.

With both the boys in highschool…the teenage years is my new ‘norm’. My little boys are growing into young men.

Michael, my eldest at 16, has not been ‘trick or treating’ for quite a few years now. He enjoys answering the door and handing out all the candy to kids. This year, both Michael and Matthew will herald the door…I must say, I like to get in on the action too! Seeing the little kids all dressed up is my favourite…especially the neighbourhood kids!

Last year, I put on a Hallowe’en party for the boys’ neighbourhood friends. Click here to view. This year, the boys did not seem as interested.

One is never too old for treats…so I will be surprising my boys with some special Hallowe’en treats.

Hallowe'en treats for the boys

 Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Ghosts, Bats and Cats, black licorice, Yummy Earth candy drops and small packages of Yummy Earth Gummy Bears. 

I adapted this cute Zebra Cake from a Robin Hood Flour advertisement in one of those little booklets of recipes and coupons.

A slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake

I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Vegan Sticks (for soy free use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread), replaced the 2 eggs with 4 tbsp of water and 1 tsp of baking soda, replaced the milk with Natura Enriched Rice Beverage and omitted the almond extract. The original recipe can be found by clicking Robinhood.ca

Kids will really enjoy the preparation of this cake…scooping the vanilla and chocolate batter in to the cake pan is the perfect task for ‘little helpers’.

Scooping the vanilla and chocolate batter in cake pan for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake

I think this is the perfect cake to celebrate Hallowe’ena cake disguised as a zebra!

Enjoying a slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake

Enjoy!

Tip: I baked the cake for 40 minutes…next time, I would bake it a bit longer as the centre of the cake was a little undercooked…Matthew didn’t mind but Michael found it ‘too soft’.

P.S. How do you navigate Hallowe’en with your children’s food allergies? Click here for my chronicles on our journey with Hallowe’en.

P.P.S. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday! Let’s celebrate with Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen

HAPPY THANKSGIVING CANADA

Thanksgiving centerpiece of white pumpkin gourds and roasted squash seeds

This weekend our family celebrated two events…Thanksgiving and my husband’s 46th birthday!

Unfortunately, planning when to celebrate the two posed a bit of a problem…our evenings clashed with the boys’ hockey games. Matthew had a game on Saturday night at 10 pm and Sunday at 6 pm while Michael and Andy have a game tonight at 8 pm.

Our solution, Andy and I headed out Friday night for a romantic birthday dinner and enjoyed our Thanksgiving/family birthday dinner after Matthew’s hockey game on Sunday.

Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks…First and foremost, I am thankful that my boys are healthy, I am thankful that despite their asthma they participate and enjoy many sports including house league hockey, I am thankful that through all the eczema, asthma and multiple food allergies, my boys are surrounded by good friends, are excelling in school, are physically active, work together on a paper route, actively seek volunteer opportunities, and through it all, seem to exhibit a positive attitude towards life. For that I am forever grateful.

I can tell you…this journey has been worth ever second…I am so proud of my boys!

I am also very thankful for all the wonderful support from friends, family and the staff at my boys’ schools. Journey’s like ours need all the guidance, love and understanding one can give! As our journey is an ongoing one…please remember how dear you all are to us!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Our Sunday Thanksgiving Allergy Friendly Dinner was very similar to last year…Dairy Free Roast Turkey, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Stuffing, Dairy Free Gravy, Dairy Free Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free French Stick. Click here to view. Veggies this year consisted of my favourite Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts and the boys favourite, Maple Roasted Carrots.

Our Thanksgiving buffet 2012

We even tried out a new recipe from The Toronto StarMarshmallow Sweet Potatoes. I just replaced the butter with olive oil to make it dairy free. Click here for the recipe.

Dairy Free Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes from The Toronto Star

The boys spent the afternoon with their father at their cousin’s hockey tournament…his team won all their games and the overall tournament! Way to go John!

I spent the afternoon prepping and preparing our Thanksgiving feast! I really wanted to attend Matthew’s 6pm hockey game…so I prepped the veggies so they would be ready to roast when I got home, prepared the stock for the gravy, and whipped up the Dairy Free Garlic Mashed Potatoes….Michael perfected them when we got home.

Michael's Thanksgiving Day plate

It truly was quite the feast…Michael enjoyed this plateful!

For dessert…Michael is truly thankful that my in-laws gave us so many Spartan Apples from an Apple Fest they attended last weekend. 

Spartan apples

My mother-in-law also surprised me with some beautiful apple placemats as seen under the apples above and under the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen below.

Michael could hardly wait for me to bake one of his favourite apple desserts…Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen

Luckily, it is also one of the birthday boy’s favourites too!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen was inspired from one of my all-time favourite desserts as a child. Not quite sure where my mom acquired this recipe but I know I am also very thankful for it. I just make Michael’s favourite Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcake batter, top with sliced local apples, sprinkle with a sweet brown sugar crumble and bake.

Moist vanilla cake topped with a marriage of tart and sweet from the apples and crumble… yummmmmmmmy!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple KuchenCake Base

1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup rice beverage
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 tbsp water

In a large bowl, measure and mix together all the dry ingredients.
In a smaller bowl, measure and mix together all the wet ingredients.
Add wet to dry and stir to combine…do not overmix.
Pour into a 8 by 8 inch glass dish that has been sprayed with canola oil.

Apple and Crumble Topping

 apples, peeled and sliced (I used a mixture of Cortland and Spartan)
1/2 cup demerrera sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the crumble…sometimes it is best to just get in there with your fingers to create a good crumble mixture.
Arrange apple slices over the cake base.
Sprinkle the crumble over the apples.

Dairy, Egg,Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen ready for the ovenBake 350 approximately 50 minutes or until the cake base is completely cooked. (I usually lift up a piece of apple in the middle to take a peek at the cake base. I insert a cake tester to check if cake is done.)
Let cool on cooling rack…best eaten when still warm.

Enjoy!

A slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Kuchen

Tip 1: To double the recipe, double all ingredients except for the baking soda…keep it at 1/2 tsp and add 1/4 cup of applesauce along with the wet ingredients.

Tip 2: Delicious the next day reheated!

Celebrating With Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate and Vanilla Sheet Cakes

Two years ago, my eldest son, Michael was in Grade 8. I was stopping by his school to pick him up for a doctor’s appointment when I bumped into his teacher. It was then that I was made aware of the fact that Michael would be missing out on the cake to celebrate the Grade 8’s Confirmation the night before.

I think at the same time Michael’s teacher spoke the words, it dawned on him…Michael is allergic to dairy, eggs, sesame and peanut/tree nuts…bakery cakes are off-limits.

I asked to see the cake…a Chocolate Sheet Cake. I thought to myself, “I could make that”. The wheels started churning.

As graduation was on the horizon, I enquired as to whether there would be a Graduation Cake. Sure enough, a cake would be ordered, along with a luncheon for the Grade 8’s on Graduation Day.

My head was spinning…I quickly offered to bake the Graduation Cake and started thinking about a plan for the luncheon…Caesar Salad, Lasagna, and Garlic Bread. All three dishes Michael would not be able to eat due to his food allergies.

I created Garlic Bread by toasting my homemade sub buns with olive oil, fresh garlic and salt. The lasagna was made by layering Turkey Spaghetti Meat Sauce and lasagna noodles and baking. As Michael was not fond of salads at this time, I took a pass on recreating a Caesar Salad. I also baked two sheets cakes…Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Chocolate and Vanilla.

I was crazy busy…but it was all worth it! Everything went off without a hitch!

Fast forward 2 years…my second son, Matthew, is currently in Grade 8. Matthew has a peanut/tree nut allergy so bakery cakes are off-limits for him too. Especially since it was a bakery cake that led him to have his first allergic reaction!

This time I made sure to offer to bake the Confirmation Cake early on in the year!

This Wednesday night was Matthew’s Grade 8 Confirmation Night. Thursday was my baking/icing day and today I am delivering the cakes to the school.

Matthew's allergen friendly Confirmation Cakes for school

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Sheet Cake

Dairy Egg Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Sheet Cake

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Sheet Cake

Dairy Egg Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Sheet Cake

The students will enjoy a piece of cake after receiving their Confirmation certificates in a school ceremony.

Update: A couple of lovely students volunteered to take a piece of cake to the principal

A piece of allergy friendly cake for the principal

and the secretary. A big thank you to my lovely hand models! Check out the funky nail polish and bright blue hand gloves! Love it!

A piece of allergy friendly cake for the school secretary

All but two pieces were eaten…although I am sure they will not last long!

As a parent of children with multiple food allergies, as much as I try to stay on top of all the upcoming food related events at the school, I have had my share of ‘mess ups’.

I am thankful for my understanding boys who have never let it show whether or not they are affected by all the food related activities they have attended without something ‘safe’ for them to eat. I like to think all my insistence that activities are never about the food but about the activity itself deflected some of the isolation they may have felt. I can only hope…a mother’s guilt runs deep.

I have learned ongoing communication throughout the school year is key! Keeping the communication open between the school and home has helped me to stay on top of all those food related events…not all, but most.  Volunteering in the classroom, on field trips and writing reminders in my boys’ agendas on any upcoming food related events have all strengthened my relationship with all my boys’ teachers.

Matthew will be graduating this year and off to highschool where Michael is finishing his second year. Communication is still a key factor. Keeping the lines of communication open continues to play a pivotal role in building relationships with the teachers and staff at such a large school.

For the most part, Michael is a trailblazer…we seem to throw people off when they hear of his list of food allergies…dairy, egg, beef, sesame, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nuts, mustard and raspberries. Keeping this in mind, communication once again becomes all the more relevant to creating a safe learning environment for Michael and all those students who follow in his footsteps!

Our journey is a constant learning experience!

Staying positive, getting involved, keeping informed, being non-judgemental, and maintaining an open mind have fared me well on my journey with multiple food allergies, eczema and asthma in the school system.

How do you cope with food allergies in the school system?

P.S. Click here for the recipe for my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Cake recipe and click here for the recipe for my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cake recipe. To bake a 13 by 19 inch sheet cake, double the cake recipes and bake at 325 F for 40 – 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

P.P.S. My last creative endeavour for this Grade 8 class will be their Graduation Surprise! Stay tuned!

Tip: For a gluten-free version I would try using Namaste Perfect Flour Blend to replace the unbleached all-purpose flour.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing

I had so much fun trying out all the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cakes!

Enjoying a piece of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing

They were all winners in my book!

Subtle differences set them apart:

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Bundt Cake with Dairy Free Lemon Icing had the added texture and flavour of crushed pineapple. Michael loves pineapple, however, ‘bits’ of it in his cake were not appreciated. Perhaps they should be pureed!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with ‘Cream Cheese’ Lemon Icing had an extra boost of cinnamon that everyone seemed to love. The ‘Cream Cheese’ Lemon Icing tasted just as I remember Cream Cheese Icing to taste…perfection!

I was stunned that my Matthew loved it…in his words,  “cheese in icing?…disgusting!”

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing had an extra hint of flavour from orange juice both in the cake and in the icing. I personally loved this combo! The boys loved it too…they would just prefer it be made in a cake pan.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing

The original recipe came from my mother’s cake recipe archives…THE LONDON FREE PRESS, Wednesday, April 18, 1984. It was in the Lifestyle Food Section written by Susan Lee. The cake was originally made to be cut into an Easter Bunny Cake…she even had directions on how to cut and assemble the bunny.                                       That would be a fun project! Perhaps next year!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf

1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce
juice and zest of half an orange (save rest for icing)
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the grated carrot, sugar, oil, water, applesauce, orange juice and zest.
Be sure that the oil is well combined with the other ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon.
Stir in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into an oiled and floured loaf pan.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf batter in loaf pan
Bake at 350 F for an hour. Cake is done when the cake tester comes out clean.
Cool in loaf pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes before turning out on cooling rack.

Dairy, Egg,Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf coolingWhen the loaf is completely cooled, it is ready to ice.

For the Dairy Free Orange Icing, I adapted my Dairy Free Vanilla Icing. Click here for recipe. I replaced the vanilla with orange juice and added 3/4-1 tsp of orange zest. I simply spread the icing over the top, sliced and served! Yummy!

Enjoying a slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing

Enjoy!

Tip 1: I cut the recipe in half for this loaf. If you like a thicker cake, I would use the entire recipe (increase baking soda to 2 tsp and double all the other ingredients) and bake in a 9 inch cake pan. Watch the time. The recipe gives 45 minutes for the 9 inch cake pan…I would think it would take the same time as the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake did…more like an hour and 15 minutes. I would start testing the cake around an hour.

Tip 2: For a Dairy and Soy Free Icing, replace the Earth Balance Vegan Sticks with Earth Balance Soy Free Spread.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake

I love Carrot Cake!

A slice of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Dairy Free 'Cream Cheese' Icing

In honour of my birthday on Easter Sunday…I was determined to whip up a new favourite for the family…Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake!

My boys have never tasted Carrot Cake…I think the word ‘carrot’ turned them off!Chocolate and Vanilla were more to their liking!

Now that they are ‘mature teenagers’…lol! I decided it was the perfect time to try my luck with my ‘all-time favourite’.

Carrot Cake has not always been a favourite of mine…the typical presence of walnuts in the cake made it taste ‘funny‘ to me.

I have no memory of my mother making Carrot Cake as a child…however, she assures me she made it…she even has a note written on her recipe stating even my brother, David, liked it! He was always all about chocolate!

A memory I do have involving walnuts is the avoidance of them!

As a child growing up, around Christmas, my mother would fill a basket of nuts and place them by the fireplace with a nutcracker. As kids, my brother and I would love to try to break the nuts open with the nutcracker…not very easy…but a fun challenge!

I believe that would have been my first encounter trying a walnut. I have this memory of my mouth going dry and my tongue feeling ‘funny’…not tingly but more ‘numb like’.

Hard to describe as I have not had a walnut in years!.

It wasn’t until my son, Michael, began describing the feeling in his mouth when he ate something he was allergic to. I put ‘two and two’ together and came to the conclusion that I might have a possible walnut allergy!

Suffice it to say…I tend to overlook Carrot Cake as it tends to be baked with walnuts.

As a special treat for my birthday weekend, I chose to create a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake.

And so, the quest to find the best recipe to adapt began!

Original recipes for Carrot Cakes that I adapted to be allergen friendly

The first Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake recipe I adapted was from The Toronto Star’s Susan Sampson, Cooking 101. I have been hanging on to this recipe for a while now…I was excited to finally put it to the test! Susan Sampson adapted the recipe, Carrot Cake With Ginger Icing (click here) from epicurious.com. (click here)

I further adapted the recipe to make it allergen friendly: I replaced the 2 eggs with 1/2 tsp of baking soda, 2 tbsp of water and 1/4 cup of cinnamon applesauce.

I chose to bake the batter in a small bundt pan rather than a 9 inch cake pan, spread a Lemon Icing for the topping and decorated the cake with grated carrot and Surf Sweets Jelly Beans.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Lemon Icing in a Bundt pan

Verdict: Delish! Both Michael and Matthew were sceptical at first…but easily converted once they had a mouthful! Michael seemed to be pleasantly surprised at the taste and moist texture. “Are there bananas in this?”, he queried, upon discovering a piece of crushed pineapple and then proceeded to pick all the ‘bits’ out.

Note to self: Omit crushed pineapple. Both enjoyed the ‘twist’ of a Lemon Icing. I assured them the icing will taste even better when I get my hands on a container of Tofutti Cream Cheese!

The second, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake to adapt, came from my mother’s cake recipe archives. She retrieved her original clipping of Easter Bunny Cake from the Lifestyle Food Section of The London Free Press, Wednesday, April 18, 1984.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Orange Icing in a loaf pan

This recipe had the lovely addition of orange juice in the cake and in the icing. I baked it in a loaf pan to rave reviews!

The third and final Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake I adapted came from my mom’s sister…my Aunt Frances.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Lemon Icing baked in a round cake pan

As much as we all loved my mother’s recipe…Aunt Frances’ was the clear winner in the ‘taste buds’ of my boys. Perhaps it was that extra teaspoon of cinnamon!                   (The cake above was 1/2 of the following recipe)

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
4 tbsp water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, applesauce, water and grated carrots. Combine well until the oil is incorporated throughout the mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, powder, salt and cinnamon.
Stir the dry ingredients into the bowl of the wet ingredients.
Pour batter into a 9 inch cake pan that has been lined with parchment paper, oiled and floured.
Bake at 350 F for 1 hour and 15 -20 minutes depending on your oven. Check to make sure that a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cake.
Let cool in cake pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before turning cake out to finish cooling.
Once cooled it is ready to ice and decorate.

If you have a soy allergy, a simple Lemon or Orange Icing is the perfect complement to Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake. Click here for my Vanilla Icing recipe. Replace the vanilla with lemon/orange juice and add about 3/4-1 tsp of lemon/orange zest. Taste to adjust to your liking.

Dairy Free ‘Cream Cheese’ Icing

1 227g tub of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Stick
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 cups sifted icing sugar
3/4-1 tsp of lemon zest

In a large bowl, cream the Tofutti and Earth Balance until well blended.
Stir in the lemon juice and slowly start to blend in the icing sugar.

I spread about 3/4 of the Dairy Free ‘Cream Cheese’ Icing over the top of the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake. Sprinkled the edge with grated carrot that I let sit on paper towels to soak up any moisture and decorated with Surf Sweet Jelly Beans.

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Dairy Free 'Cream Cheese' Icing

Yummy!

P.S. I will be posting the adapted version of my mother’s recipe from The London Free Press on Friday.

P.P.S. Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily has another ‘giveaway’. Click here to check out her latest idea!

Our Allergen Friendly Easter Dinner

Easter weekend was particularly festive! It was a double celebration…

my birthday 2012

it was also my birthday!

The day started out with Easter Sunday Mass followed by a quick change for my long run…17 km!

Longest run of my life to date!

The boys had fun diving into their Easter bags that the Allergen Friendly Easter Bunny left for them.

Boys Easter bags 2012

A cupcake container filled with Guardian Angel Solid Chocolate Eggs free of dairy, egg, and peanut/tree nuts (I divided a package of  eggs between them), gum, Yummy Earth candy drops in Pomegranate Pucker…their favourite, a package of Surf Sweets Jelly Beans for Michael and Gummy Bears for Matthew, a can of Sparkling SanPellegrino Limonata or Aranciata (Orange) and to top it off…a Maple Sugar Easter Bunny!

Boys allergen friendly candy for Easter 2012

The Easter Bunny even had them hunting for an extra special ‘Easter Treat’ for the boys to share.

Guardian Angel Tasting Box of Chocolates of the boys special Easter Treat

A box of Guardian Angel Chocolates Tasting Box free of dairy, eggs and peanut/tree nuts.

Caramel and Honey…yummy!

Guardian Angel Caramel and Honey chocolate

A truly decadent treat the boys have never indulged in due to their food allergies. Chocolate Ganache is their favourite so far…still Maple Jelly, Salt Flower Caramel and Coffee left to sample.

All my favourites were at hand for our Allergy Friendly Easter Dinner:

To start, we noshed on Spicy Edamame Dip from Trisha Yearwood’s cookbook, Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood:Stories & Recipes To Share With Family & Friends. I love this dip with raw veggies such as sugar snap peas, carrots and peppers, where as, Michael loves the dip with Rosemary crackers by La Panzanella.

Allergy friendly appetizers of fresh veggies and Spicy Edamame Dip with rosemary crackers

Taking a break to toast my birthday with a glass of Prosecco!

Toasting my birthday with a glass of Prosecco

I roasted a Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary for the boys.

Roasted Chicken with Lemon, garlic and thyme

While Andy barbecued a New Zealand Mediterranean Seasoned Boneless Leg of Lamb.

Barbecued Seasoned New Zealand Boneless Leg of Lamb

Yummy!

Our main dishes were accompanied with Roasted Asparagus and Roasted Mini Potatoes with fresh thyme…

Roasted asparagus and mini potatoes

and of coarse…freshly baked homemade French Stick.

Dessert was my favourite cake…Carrot Cake…now…Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Tofutti Cream Cheese Icing decorated with grated carrot and Surf Sweets Jelly Beans.

Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake

I was afraid that after a week of trying three adaptions of Carrot Cake…we would all be Carrot Caked out! Thank goodness for hungry neighbours!

Before we indulged in Carrot Cake…the boys had fun outside with the sparklers!

Boys outside with sparklers

My Aunt Frances’ adapted Carrot Cake was the winner!

A slice of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake

Yummy!

Happy Easter!

P.S. I will be posting my Aunt Frances’ adapted Carrot Cake recipe on Wednesday.

Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘Sour Cream’ Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

My all-time favourite childhood cake has to be Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cake

I have always been a fan of a really moist, dense, simple, white cake such as Pound Cake or as my English Grandmother would make…Madeira Cake.

My mother’s Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake took it to the next level for me…the addition of chocolate!

Of all the desserts my mother could make…this one ‘took the cake!’ Both my brother and I would request this cake when we visited during our University days.

It quickly became Matthew’s favourite cake! I would make it for parties and let him sample a piece…unfortunately, Michael was unable to try it due to his dairy and egg allergies. This limited my desire to make the cake…I haven’t made it in years.

Matthew is always begging me to adapt this recipe so that we all might enjoy this classic childhood favourite of his and mine, yet again. Now that allergen free products are on the market, I am able to resurrect this ‘diva’ of a cake!

I present to you my adapted recipe….Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘Sour Cream’ Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake in all it’s glory!

Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘Sour Cream’ Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cake

1/2 cup Earth Balance at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 container of a 340g tub of Tofutti Sour Supreme.
1 /12 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Grease a 8 1/2 inch Bundt pan with Earth Balance and dust with flour.
In a large bowl, cream Earth Balance.
Add sugar and cream until very smooth. Very important to cream the Earth Balance and sugar together well, until lightened.
Add vanilla and water and stir until well combined.
In another bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.
Stir the dry into the creamed mixture until combined.
Add in the Enjoy Life chocolate chips and stir.

adding enjoy life chocolate chips to the batter

The mixture is quite thick so dollop the batter, carefully, into the greased and floured bundt pan. Smooth the top.

batter in bundt pan with the top smoothenedBake at 350F for one hour.
Cool in pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes.

cake cooling in bundt pan on cooling rackRelease from pan and let cool.

cake released from pan and cooling on cooling rackWhen cool enough, simply dust with icing sugar, slice and serve. (Michael went a little crazy with the icing sugar on his piece!)

dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip cake dusted with icing sugar, sliced and served on a plate

Enjoy!

enjoying a slice of dairy,egg,soy and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip cake

P.S. Michael had a friend over and we all enjoyed a piece or two while still warm…though, not warm enough to melt the icing sugar on top.

Oh my…moist, dense, chocolatey… yummy! Just how I remember it!

Tip: Michael has discovered warming his piece up in the microwave to give it that just baked taste!

Question: Have you adapted a childhood favourite to suit food allergies?