Gluten Free Restaurant Desserts

If you have Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, or even gluten sensitivity then, eating desserts outside of your house can be a bit difficult. Well now, it is not as hard as it used to be because so many chain restaurants now have gluten free dessert options.


Houlihan’s has three homemade, ice cream flavors. They are caramel macchiato, chick-o-stick, and raspberry. Plus, their crème brûlée has a rich vanilla bean custard that has caramelized sugar all over the top.

Outback‘s dessert is called Chocolate Thunder From Down Under. It is an extra generous pecan brownie that is crowned with rich vanilla ice cream and drizzled with their classic warm chocolate sauce. To finish it off, they add chocolate shavings and whipped cream. This is simply a chocolate lover’s dream.

Pizza Fusion has a fresh, delicious homemade brownie. That is not only gluten free, but is vegan as well.

Chili’s has a stupendously sweet ending with their chocolate milkshake. A great choice on a hot summer day.

Photo Courtesy of Simon James Kent

Bertucci’sdessert is called Chocolate Budino. It is a rich, creamy, and bittersweet chocolate mousse that is topped off with a generous helping of whipped cream.

Lastly, Carrabba’s dessert is called John Dole. It is Blue Bell vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and roasted cinnamon, rum pecans.


So,don’t be afraid to have an evening out! Enjoy the sweet treats of your choosing anytime!

Organic Desserts from Amy’s Kitchen

Have you ever tried organic desserts? They are so fresh and tasty! Amy’s Kitchen (which we mentioned in a previous post about gluten free desserts), is a popular company that has amazing organic choices!


  • There’s an apple pie with juicy organic apples and juice concentrate. It is lightly sweetened, baked in a tender butter crust made with organic whole wheat, rice, and tapioca flour. It is sweetened with honey. They do list allergens and this product contains wheat and milk.
  • Next you have a chocolate cake, which is moist, light and, simply, irresistible. Some ingredients include organic wheat flour and cocoa powder. It is sweetened with organic evaporated cane juice. Allergens in this product are wheat.
  • I know we have covered this one before, but it is just so good I had to mention it again: Amy’s gluten free, dairy free chocolate cake. The final result is light, tender, moist, and so delicious that everyone will enjoy it even if they aren’t gluten intolerant. This product has soy milk and a variety of flours such as whole grain brown rice flour, organic unsweetened cocoa powder, tapioca starch, garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour, and fava bean flour.
  • The lemon poppy seed cake has a refreshing delicate lemony flavor obtained by lemon oil and juice. It is enhanced by a sprinkling of poppy seeds throughout that add texture and a unique taste all on their own. This cake does contain milk and wheat.
  • Amy’s Orange Cake is moist, light and delicious with the sweet taste of orange accomplished with juice and oil. It is baked with organic wheat flour and evaporated cane juice.


So, are you ready to have a slice all to yourself? Check out! You can also join their Facebook page.

Photos courtesy of Amy’s Kitchen. Thank you!

Thanksgiving Desserts: New World Pumpkin Spice Cake with Chocolate Glaze

This moist cake combines the fruits, nuts, and spices from the New World that the Spanish conquistadores discovered in 1508. Chocolate was part of this Mesoamerican tableau. Brown sugar and ginger arrived much later, but this cake pays homage to the riches of the original jungles and river valleys.

Makes 1 (9-inch) bundt cake.

Cake Ingredients
2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 scant teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 large eggs
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
11/2 cups cooked pumpkin puree or 1 (15-ounce) can
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 cup cocoa nibs
1 cup pecans, broken into small pieces

Spice_Choc_Cake_010Glaze ingredients
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon light corn
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a standard Bundt cake pan with oil or butter, then dust flour on the greased inside of the pan. Fluted Bundt pans, especially, need a lot of grease for the cake to release.

To make the cake, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and brown sugar with a whisk until light and fluffy. Add the vegetable oil and pumpkin puree and stir until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until it is absorbed. Then add the rest of the flour mixture followed by the vanilla, rum, cocoa nibs, and pecans. Switch to a rubber spatula to stir the mixture until smooth. Use the rubber spatula to scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or bamboo skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs, not batter. Allow the cake to cool in the pan to room temperature before inverting in onto a wire rack.

To make the glaze, combine the chocolate, butter, milk, corn syrup, and salt in a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water over medium heat and stir as the ingredients melt together. Pour the glaze over the cake after the cake has cooled to room temperature. You’ll have extra glaze left over, which you can pour into the center of the cake or save to serve with plated slices.


About: This recipe is courtesy of Susie Norris who just launched her new gift/recipe book Chocolate Bliss: Sensuous Recipes, Spa Treatments, and Other Divine Indulgences in bookstores nationwide.

Chocolate Manufacturers – Guide for Chocoholics – Bittersweet Origins Chocolate

We featured Bittersweet in our Chocolate Manufacturers – Guide for Chocoholics.

About Bittersweet:

The company was founded in 2005 and then in 2007, they started to handcraft their own Bittersweet Origins chocolate bars. The founders were from AskJeeves who decided they wanted to do something completely different.

bittersweet cafe
photo courtesy of Bittersweet Cafe

About the products:

These Bittersweet Origins chocolate bars are created in very small ‘micro-batches’ by the Bittersweet chocolatier, Seneca Klassen.

Seneca takes the 50-pound bags of cacao beans which come from Dominican Republic, Bali or Venezuela and takes the chocolate through the whole process from the bean to the bar – and there are a number of steps. It takes four days to create the chocolate bars. And because Seneca works in such small batches, every bar made at a different time – even from the same plantation, will taste different. Like fine wine. Each is a unique vintage. And the flavor is really amazing – a whole range of tastes from fruity to nutty to spicy to earthy.

Chocolate tasting is a lot of fun and a unique experience. The Bittersweet people are putting together Chocolate Clubs with regular tasting events so folks can develop their palates.

In my tasting experience – you snap the chocolate (the noise tells you how well the crystals lined up), you melt it slightly in your hand and smell it, you take a bite and chew it and then you take another taste and suck it. Quite a process – just like wine-tasting.

Bittersweet has focused on handcrafting their chocolate (both their bars and their wonderful chocolate drinks), and chocolate pastries and that same attention to detail is reflected in the look and ‘vibe’ at the actual stores. The furnishings at each of the three stores are different. In Danville the tables are old farm furniture from Hungary, the paintings on the walls were created by the artist-daughter of one of the founders, the benches are of wood from old barns – you get the idea. And all created by craftspeople, not a factory.

The cafes are comfortable hangouts. You can sample any of the chocolates you want. You can buy a cup of hot chocolate and read all afternoon.

bittersweet cafe
photo courtesy of Bittersweet Cafe

And now, this month, Bittersweet is adding its own roasted coffee to its product line. The company will be roasting beans (again in small batches), and then serving that very fresh coffee in their stores the next day. Yet another micro-batched, bean-oriented product that comes from farms around the world.

Bittersweet likes to suggest that even in tough economic times you can have a ‘whole worldwide adventure in your mouth’ with their chocolates. It’s a whole panoply of different nuanced tastes that originate in Africa and South America.

It is fun that every batch is a little different. The beans all comes from sustainable and organic, pesticide-free farms where the company has a direct relationship with every grower.

And, right now, Seneca is in Hawaii planting thousands of cacao trees for his own plantation.


Bittersweet has three locations – Danville, Rockridge and Fillmore in San Francisco. For more info, please visit or their blog. You can also find them on Twitter: @bittersweetcafe.

Mouthwatering Chocolate Cake Recipe

-> 375ml(1 1/2 cup) sugar
-> 5ml (1tsp) vanilla extract
-> 5 x-lg eggs ,separated
-> 200ml (3/4 cup) cooking oil
-> 200ml (3/4 cup) water
-> 450ml (1 3/4 cup) cake flour
-> 15ml (1 TBLSP) baking powder
-> 60ml (1/4 cup) cocoa
-> 2ml (1/4 tsp) salt

-> 375ml (1 1/2 cup) water
-> 5ml (1tsp) vanilla extract
-> 375ml (1 1/2 cup) sugar
-> 15ml (1 TBLSP) coffee powder

Preheat oven to 190c.
Beat the sugar,vanilla extract and egg yolks together.
Add the oil and water, beating well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into batter.
Turn the batter into a greased 24cm by 34cm oven pan or scoop  into cupcake liners.

Bake for approx. 30 minutes (if you chose to make it into cupcakes bake only for 15-20 minutes).
I used muffin size cupcake liners.
Makes 21 cupcakes.

Heat the ingredients together and pour over the hot cake . Leave it to cool.

Chocolate Ganache

300g callebaut or lindt
250ml double thick fresh cream

Bring the cream to boil, remove from stove and add your chocolate. Mix until all chocolate is melted. Pop into the fridge and stir every 10 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency for piping.
You can add some coffee in your cream when boiling for coffee ganache.

Looking at the ingredients, one is inclined to think that this cake is very sweet, but that is not the case at all.
It can also be served as a dessert.