A couple of weekends ago I attended a potluck dinner at Kurtwood Farms in honor of Amanda Hesser’s and Merrill Stubbs’s new crowd-sourced community cookbook, The Food 52 Cookbook. If you don’t already know about it, Food 52 is an online community that Hesser and Stubbs started with the express purpose of finding recipes from home cooks around the country. For each topic, they would hold a contest in which folks would vote for their favorite recipe of those submitted. And the winning recipes went into the book.
What I really like about the book is its diversity. It contains recipes for all sorts of dishes and drinks. And it’s fun to read–I enjoy reading the header notes and the paragraphs about each cook that contributed a recipe. This book has something for everyone. Some of the recipes are for dishes and drinks that are familiar and easy to make, while others are more unusual and contain ingredients or methods that are a bit off the beaten track. This means that the books appeals to all sorts of home cooks–from experienced to newbie.
I arrived at the farm in time to say hi to Amanda and Merrill before they went to the grocery store. As it turns out, the evening got off to a somewhat rocky start–even though the ticket asked folks to bring a dish to share for a potluck dinner (the price of the ticket was exactly the price of the cookbook that each person got), most of the attendees didn’t bring anything. And the folks who did bring something (like me) brought things out of which a full meal could not be made–desserts and appetizers. So Amanda and Merrill, being the can-do gals that they are, rushed out to the grocery store and brought back eggs, bacon, and bread to make and share with the crowd.
When they got back with the food, I offered to help, so Amanda, Merrill, and I stood at the stove, whipping up eggs, baking the bacon, and toasting the bread, while other attendees helped get the food to the farmhouse table. We then used the other food–brought by the generous souls who actually brought a potluck dish–to supplement the meal. It was fabulous. And delicious. And very fun. I brought an adapted-to-gluten-free version of the Chocolate Bundt Cake, originally by Kelsey from The Naptime Chef, from the Food 52 site. This recipe is also in the book. It turned out wonderfully–quite moist–and I came home with just a couple of pieces that I was able to save for dAhub and Girlfriend. It ended up being an incredibly fun and convivial evening.
We had so much fun that it was a bit late by the time Amanda and Merrill finally got up to say a few words about their book. They were gracious and humble, which touched my heart. These two women truly inspire me. At the end of the evening, after everyone had left, I stayed and chatted a bit with them and with Kurt (owner of Kurtwood Farms and author of the lovely book, Growing a Farmer) about book tours. I am a bit nervous about the craziness-factor of book tours (a different city every few days–eek!) and am trying to plan well for my own book tour next fall (yay!). And Merrill is 8 months pregnant–double eek! I have so much admiration for her that she is doing all of this while growing a human being. As I left, Amanda and Merrill generously gave me an extra signed cookbook for helping out in the kitchen. It was the perfect end to a magical evening. Also, I found out later that a calf was born on the farm during the dinner–wow! She is named Amanda.
As I thought about what to do with the extra cookbook, I decided that I wanted to pass on my good fortune and give the book to one of you. Just leave a comment on this post by midnight this Friday, November 18th, and I will randomly choose a winner on Saturday, November 19th. There is no requirement for what to put in the comment, but if you feel like it and have ideas, please pass along any tips you might think would be useful for me as I think about how to promote my book and plan my book tour for next fall. (again, no requirements on this–just been thinking about it).
NOTE: This giveaway is only valid for folks in the United States. Apologies to my dear readers in other countries.
UPDATE: The winner of the giveaway, chosen by the Random Number Generator, is Alice! I have contacted her to let her know.
Chocolate Bundt Cake, Gluten-Free
-Adapted from Food52.com
Note: This recipe uses my flour mix.
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in a cool, dark place, or in fridge for long-term storage). 1 cup of this mix equals 140g. Use this mix cup-for-cup or gram-for-gram in all of your recipes:
1 1/4 cups (170 g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 cups (205 g) white rice flour
1 cup (120 g) tapioca flour
1 cup (165 g) sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour, or under the brand name, Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
1 3/4 cups/245 g Jeanne’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour mix
3/4 cup/ 60 g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups/4oo g granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup/120 ml neutral-tasting oil (I like brown rice oil, but another veggie oil is also fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk/240 ml (or 1 cup milk mixed together with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar)
1 cup/240 ml freshly brewed coffee (decaf can be used), cooled a bit
Melted butter for pan
Tapioca flour for pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4
Brush a 9-10 cup Bundt pan with melted butter and dust with tapioca flour.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
In a small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup, combine coffee and buttermilk. I might look like the milk is chunky–that’s OK.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place sugar and eggs. Beat at medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Drizzle in oil and beat on medium-high for one minute more. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
Alternately add flour mixture and coffee in small amounts, starting and ending with the flour. Beat on low just to combine. Make sure all of the flour has been scraped from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake at 350 degrees F until tester comes out fairly clean–about 50 minutes-1 hour.
Let sit in pan for 5 minutes and then carefully release onto wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with powdered sugar (if desired) and serve. This is also nice with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream on the side.