Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To Brie or not To Brie

From Avery aka Daryl:

Okay, you might think that lately I've been obsessed with Brie. I have been. Probably because my next book is titled TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE. 14 days. Whee!

In the last month, I've shared a Brie Pizza, Brie Salad, and a Brie cookie dessert.

In the past, I've shared a Brie soup and so many other things. I love Brie. It's soft, it's easy, it's so pretty.

But today, because I made the most delicious dessert for New Year's Eve, I have to share this dessert recipe that I found in a magazine...tweaked, of course.

Warning: This is possibly the most intense cooking experience I've ever had. So many steps. So WORTH IT!  And though it appeared as a regular cake recipe, I was able to make it gluten-free. I found the recipe in CULTURE magazine, which many of you know is one of my favorite magazines. The magazine always has such great information about cheese. And gorgeous recipes! This recipe includes mascarpone, which I have used in ice creams and other recipes. It's luscious and adds the richness of cream to anything.

Enjoy! And Say Brie ...makes you smile, doesn't it?  Hint: Don't say fromage. It makes you frown.

Tweaked to be Gluten-free from Culture Magazine


¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus a little to dust pans
2 cups gluten-free flour (I used mixture sweet rice flour and tapioca starch)
1 tablespoon whey powder
½ teaspoon Xanthan gum
1 1/1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup water
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanillin

NOTE: IF YOU WANT REGULAR CAKE, switch out regular flour with the GF flour and don't use Xanthan gum. You can use real vanilla, too. :)

3 cups mascarpone
3/8 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
3 tablespoons grated orange or nectarine zest

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% dark)
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
Candied orange peel, if desired  (see below)



Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two  9-inch round cake pans with wax or parchment paper. Grease pans and dust about 2 teaspoons cocoa powder. Whisk the other cocoa powder, gluten-free flour, whey powder, Xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Combine the buttermilk and water in a small bow.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with a mixer on high until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add in the vanillin. With the mixer on low, add the cocoa mixture alternately with the buttermilk/water mixture. Takes about three portions. Beat until just blended. Do not overbeat.  Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the cake from the pans [I turned them onto wax paper sheets on wire racks] and LET COOL COMPLETELY (about 30 minutes).

Combine the mascarpone, orange juice concentrate, and zest in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Set in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Break the chocolate into small bits and place in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until the sides start to bubble. DO NOT OVER BOIL. Pour the hot cream into the bowl with the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts. [If you need to, insert bowl into microwave at short bursts, no more than 10 seconds at a time, to melt chocolate entirely.] Stir in the butter. Let the ganache cool for 10 minutes before using.

Trim the “domed” top of one cake (set aside for nibbling).  Cut both cakes horizontally in half. Set one bottom of cake on cake plate. Spread 1/3 of the mascarpone filling on one bottom layer of cake. Top with “dome-less” layer of cake. Repeat with filling. Top with other bottom of cake. Top with filling. Put the domed layer on the top. Pour ganache on the cake and guide it with a knife or spoon to spill down the sides.  Garnish with candied orange peel, if desired.

By the way, this upper layer makes the most fabulous "snack"- like a brownie

TO MAKE CANDIED ORANGE PEEL: To make this, peel the skin of an orange (or nectarine) in thin strips, doing your best to avoid the white layer of pith by the fruit (hard to do!!).  Cut the peeled strips into thin slices. Soak them for three minutes in boiled water; drain and rinse.

Heat ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the orange strips and cook 1 minute. Transfer peel to wax paper. Sprinkle with sugar and let dry 30 minutes.  {Truthfully, I’m not sure how to “curl” them.}

Enjoy! You deserved it!

* * * * * * *

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series: 
coming February 2013.

You can pre-order the book HERE. 
Click this link to watch the TRAILER
Click this link to read an EXCERPT.
Click this link to hear a PODCAST

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Also, you probably know by now about my alter ego,
DARYL WOOD GERBER...and her new series
debuts July 2013

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
"She" doesn't say all the same things "Avery" does. Promise.

Say cheese!



  1. Oh my gosh, this is gorgeous. But I really have to write today Avery, so I think I'll just have a piece of yours please....:)

    1. Lucy, I'll pop it right in the email. :)


    2. Ooo can you send me some too? Too bad email doesn't work like that. Oh well, we can dream.
      It sounds positively scrumptious!

    3. Libby, some day in the future, you never know. Email will be like one of those tubes that sends money into the bank. Pneumatic something...??