Ahh, things have been a little crazy over here!
Brice and I had a wonderful getaway to the Oregon Coast for a few days. We stayed at a really great B&B near Florence called the SeaQuest Inn. The innkeepers, Stephanie and Sherwood were wonderful, fun and prepared amazing breakfasts each day. My favorite of course was the sweet rather than savory option – baked French Toast with Kahlua whipped cream and candied bacon.
We had an awesome time hiking, sleeping in, reading, and watching the rainy, drizzly weather. It was a much-needed relaxing four days.
But then sadly, all vacations have to come to an end. Playing catch up after a few days off is always difficult. My “other” job as an accountant has been insanely busy (don’t worry, I’ll spare you the details 🙂 ). And I’m gearing up for an awesome foodie weekend of Feast Portland tomorrow night and attending the IFBC blogger conference this coming weekend.
I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of great bloggers, learning some new tips and also getting suggestions on how people juggle blogging and working full-time! Thoughts welcome and encouraged!
Anyways! I wanted to share about last week’s great gluten-free baking class led by Kyra Bussanich, owner of Kyra’s Bake Shop in Lake Oswego.
Now, obviously based off my carb-obsessions, I am not gluten-free but I do have a lot of friends who are and I always have wanted to learn to bake for them so they aren’t left out of the baked goodies.
Plus being the Food Network junkie that I am, when I heard that Kyra has won Cupcake Wars TWICE I really wanted to check her stuff out, regardless of the lack of gluten. (You can read about her Cupcake Wars experiences on her website here.)
Kyra was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder a few years ago which led her to cut out gluten from her diet. Realizing that not eating gluten should not mean not eating cake, she used her pastry skills gained from years of baking at home and from attending the Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program to experiment with several different gluten alternatives.
The results are light, fluffy cakes, not hard rocks that you might think of. You truly would not eat these and think “man, where is the wheat flour?”
The Mocha Truffle Fudge Brownies were particularly delicious. Insanely rich brownie base topped with an espresso chocolate icing. To make them extra fudgey, and gluten-free of course, they were made with potato starch and tapioca starch, balanced by a good heaping of cocoa powder.
Probably due to her four trips to Cupcake Wars, Kyra plays with a lot of unexpected flavors in her baking. In our demo, she made a take on the Cupcake Champions Finale episode treats – Prosecco cake with habanero peach filling (made by another local foodie Kelly’s Jelly) and marscapone whipped cream spiced with cayenne pepper, coriander and cumin of all things. The kick from the jelly and the spices were well balanced by the rich marscapone. The cake was moist and fluffy. It was a fun twist on your everyday cupcake.
Kyra also just came out with her own cookbook, Sweet Cravings. It has incredibly beautiful pictures, extremely helpful comments on how to use gluten-free ingredients, and has great recipes like Lemon-Glazed Madeleines, Hazelnut Pear Tart with Goat Cheese Whipped Cream, and of course lots of cupcake recipes too.
If you want a break from baking yourself, head over to her bake shop in downtown Lake Oswego.
Kyra’s Bake Shop
Hours: Mon – Fri 7am-5pm; Sat 7am-4pm; Closed Sundays
Thanks to the Portland Culinary Alliance for putting on yet another fantastic event, Whole Foods Bridgeport for hosting and providing a great space, and of course thanks to Kyra for a fun, informative class!