Panforte Nero, Alfajores, and More - Alice Medrich's Cookbook

Panforte Nero

Panforte Nero


Let’s visit Italy, South America, and France! I’ll discuss four recipes from Alice Medrich’s wonderful cookbook, Flavor Flours. I'll also talk about different types of cocoa powder, flours, and some other delicious whole grain recipes.


  1. Panforte Nero 

  2. Alfajores 6:34

  3. Chocolate Sables 10:35 

        Types of Cocoa Powder 11:05

4. Rich Chocolate Cake  - 16:38

        Teff flour 18:22


If you are a meat eater, here is a suggested breakdown from Bon Appetite of which meat to eat so that you can minimize the environmental impact.

Recipes from
Flavor Flours that I discussed:

-Panforte Nero - Buckwheat (p.184)
-Alfajores - Walnut (My less sweet version with dark chocolate)
-Chocolate Sables -Teff (Here is an adapted olive oil version)
-Queen of the Nile - Teff (I substituted Earth Balance buttery spread and it worked wonderfully)

Some of my whole grain recipes:

  • Lavender Oat Cookies - Vegan (lavender flavor is optional)

  • Vegan Chocolate Sables (coming soon)

  • Crunchy Cranberry Glazed Cookies (inspired by Trader Joe’s “Dunkers”, coming soon) For now, you can use the Oat Cookie recipe above, add some cinnamon, cranberries and a simple drizzle glaze!

Cocoa Powder

3 Types of cocoa powders: regular, dutch-processed (destroys majority of antioxidants), and black cocoa (“ultra" dutch processed).

-Black cocoa is generally used to impart a very dark color - almost black

-I prefer to use natural cocoa powder because it has more nutrients and retains more of the delicate floral notes of the cocoa beans

More about cocoa:

Lavender Oat Cookies

Lavender Oat Cookies

Alice Medrich: Award-Winning Author, Baker, and Chocolate Connoisseur

Alice Medrich interview podcast gluten free flavor flours


I had the amazing opportunity to talk with Alice Medrich. She is well-known in the food world for her expertise with chocolate, French pastry, and baking. In fact, she introduced one of America’s treasured desserts, the chocolate truffle, which, in the 1970’s and 80’s, was virtually unknown. We’ll talk about her journey and what it was like to be part of a food movement that is still influencing us today. And, we’ll also dive into her most recent cookbook, Flavor Flours. It’s a celebration of grains that are gluten free and she teaches us what those grains—or flours in this case—can offer us when married with the impeccable craft of a fantastic baker. Alice Medrich, has won numerous awards for her cookbooks, including James Beard awards and a Julia Child first cookbook award.

Join us next week on The Gluten Free Baking Show to learn more about Alice Medrich’s cookbook!


Here is the recipe for Alice Medrich’s Corn Flour Chiffon Cake

Buttery Crackers, Super-Seeded Crackers, and More

Molasses Cookies


This episode is all about crackers. Learn how to make simple, healthy snacks at home. We’ll cover everything from rich buttery crackers, to crackers packed with seeds, to crackers made with cooked whole grains! All of the recipes are dairy free and there are two vegan and paleo recipes.


Below are the recipes from the episode:

  • Buttery Crackers (Rich & Delicately Crispy - admittedly my favorite)

  • Norwegian Crisp Bread. Yes, it’s also traditional in Sweden and there are variations around Europe, including German Knackebrot. They are super hearty and packed with nutrients. You can adapt it to be paleo or try this paleo alternative, Super Seedy Crackers (I couldn’t help myself with the title..)

  • Quinoa & Corn Crackers (An Oh-so-satisfying crunch!)

Buttery crackers recipe

Portuguese Desserts Adapted From David Leite’s Cookbook

Molasses Cookies


Today we talk about desserts from David Leite’s cookbook, The New Portuguese Table. David Leite is the founder of Leite’s Culinaria, which was the first food blog to win a James Beard Award in 2006 and again in 2007. David Leite was also awarded the Julia Child first book award for his cookbook The New Portuguese Table. These desserts will certainly be a regular part of my baking repertoire and I hope you enjoy them too.


Below are the recipes from the episode:

Gluten-free dairy-free Orange Olive Oil Cake

Gluten-free dairy-free Orange Olive Oil Cake

Interview with Award-Winning Author David Leite

David Leite interview podcast

EPISODES #8 and #9

You can make a convincing case that food defines who we are, and often who we are not. We talk about this and much more with food writer and memoirist David Leite about his most recent book, Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression. He’s the founder of Leite’s Culinaria, which was the first website to win a James Beard Award in 2006 and again in 2007. David Leite was also awarded the Julia Child first book award for his cookbook The New Portuguese Table. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and the Los Angeles Times, among many others.

Join us next week on The Gluten Free Baking Show to learn more about Leite’s recipes!



Adapting Cake Flavors, Buttercream, and More

adapt cake flavors

EPISODES #6 and #7

Today we discuss a simple cake recipe and how it can be adapted to different flavors. We also talk with Vanessa Maltin Weisbrod about her book, The Gloriously Gluten-free Cookbook. We finish the show with frostings and an overview of how to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Italian Meringue Buttercream.



Show Notes:

The cake recipe we discussed was adapted to three different flavors: 

If you’d like to adapt the original recipe, please let me know how it goes by posting a comment below the recipe 🙂 

I would like to thank Vanessa Maltin Weisbrod’s for a wonderful interview about her book, The Gloriously Gluten-free Cookbook. And, in case you didn’t catch the name of the Japanese pastry she mentioned on the show, it’s called Umegae Mochi. 

- The British Baking Show: Prue Leith's Le Gâteau Vert (yes, it’s made with spinach)

- The best citrus zester for savory and sweet dishes

- If your’e interested in purchasing spirulina powder (or psyllium husk powder), I get mine from Starwest Botanicals online. They also have wonderful teas, and things like rose petals and lavender that I use for baking.

- More about the history of dyes.

Holiday Special


In this episode we talk about a few recipes from the cookbook Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays by Jeanne Sauvage
- Lebkuchen Cookies
- Spritz Cookies
- Pfeffernusse Cookies (with black pepper)
- Mandarin Chocolate Cake

We ended with one of my recipes for Whoopee Pies. They also have a dairy free option.
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Whoopee Pies with Cinnamon Nutmeg Buttercream

gluten free dairy free whoopee pie recipe

The whoopee pies are also excellent with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which you can add flavors or spices to. This buttercream can also be refrigerated or frozen. You just want to bring it to room temperature and stir it before using.

Here is a gluten free Lebkuchen recipe you can try. I haven’t tried it so please let me know if you like it!

Here is a fairly authentic German Lebkuchen “Gingerbread Spice” recipe.

When baking, use a measuring scale! Measuring in grams is more exact than measuring in volume. It also saves time, dishes, and most importunity your baked goods.

Classic Apple Pie and Quick Pecan Tart

Apple pie

Episodes #3 & #4 are a series.





I’d like to give a huge thank you to Jan & Lacy, the founders of Happy Campers bread for a wonderful interview.

Happy Campers gluten free bread
  • The Czech Poppyseed Pastry that Jan and Lacy talked about is called Makovnik.

  • Here is the Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe from Plant Positive Running that Jan and Lacy said is delicious!

  • Also, I asked them about bread making tips, so there will be a short blog post with some of their great tips coming soon!


A little more about pie making…

We didn’t talk about this on the show but you can freeze pie crusts, so you can make them ahead. Or you can make enough dough for several pie crusts and freeze a couple of them just to have on hand.

Correction: There was a question regarding runny pie filling. I meant to say that if you have a running filling try adding about a 1/2-1 tablespoon more than what the recipe calls for. (If you only add 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch to begin with you will definitely have a runny pie!) Also, berry filling typically requires more thickening than apple pie since berries have more moisture.

Here is an interesting article about making pie making from Serious Eats:

Overview of pie making tips from King Arthur Flour

How to crimp a pie crust