By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 20, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Welcome to Healthy Living Week at! The resolutions are made, now the real work begins. But we're here to help get you – and keep you – on track with stories about medicine, diet, exercise, spiritual and emotional health, and more. Healthy Living Week is brought to you by Pairdd: easy gluten-free cooking at your fingertips.

"Gluten free diets are on the rise with new sensitivities and desires for healthier lifestyles," says Missy Harkey, pastry chef at Blue’s Egg.

But just because gluten is a no-no – whether by intolerance or by choice – doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy sumptuous and satisfying desserts at local restaurants or in your own home.

We asked a trio of local pastry chefs for recipes for some of their gluten-free post-dinner goodies, and here’s what they plated up...

Missy Harkey
Blue’s Egg

"Gluten free diets are on the rise with new sensitive and desires for healthier lifestyles," says Harkey.

"Bête Noire, or in English ‘Black Beast,’ is a truly decadent and luxurious dessert. It’s a bit like a truffle and one only needs a little to satisfy any sweet tooth. I have tinkered with this recipe to get something I believe to be any chocolate lovers dream. After finishing I only realized that it was gluten free! What a happy coincidence!"

Bête Noire
(Makes 60 small triangles)

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 5 extra-large eggs (room temperature)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Ganache topping
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a half sheet tray (18x13x1") by spraying liberally with cooking spray and lining with parchment. Set aside.

In a large pot mix together the water and sugar and heat on medium until sugar is dissolved. Add the chocolates and butter. Heat until the mixture is smooth and everything is completely melted. Make sure to stir often so the chocolate doesn’t burn.

Once everything is melted take off of heat. Add in the eggs and sour cream and mix until everything is absorbed by the chocolate. This is best done with a whisk.

Pour chocolate mix into your prepared sheet tray. Be careful as this is a very thin batter and it will splash. The mix will almost completely fill up the pan so be very careful again when bringing it to the oven. Steady hands! Bake for 40-45 minutes or until it is no longer giggly. There will be some cracks on the surface, don’t worry those will get covered with the ganache.

While baking mix all the ingredients for the ganache in a bowl and heat over a double boiler until smooth. Set this aside.

When the truffle is finished baking remove from the oven and pour the ganache on top. Allow to cool completely. This process can be sped up by either putting it in the fridge or the freezer.

Once the ganache is hardened, you can cut it. Run a hot knife around the edge of the pan. This should allow the dessert to be popped out and placed on a cutting board. Make sure to take off the parchment before making any further cuts. Make two cuts on the vertically and four horizontally. This should give you 15 squares. Then proceed to cut each square into four triangles.

Gluten Free Orange Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies

"I like the bake case at Blue’s Egg to be constantly changing so I try to make new cookies monthly," says Harkey. "After numerous requests for gluten-free treats I finally gave it. Gluten Free Orange Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies were the result. Unlike a lot of gluten-free items where the texture is a dead giveaway these are moist and cakey. So good no one will be able to tell the difference."

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract (if desired)
  • Zest from one orange
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Vanilla bean buttercream filling:

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add in egg, extract(s) and zest. Mix well and make sure to scrape the bowl to incorporate everything.

Alternate mixing in the dry ingredients with the heavy cream. Make sure to only mix as needed and don’t over mix! Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.

Drop rounded tablespoons (or if you have a #40 scoop use that) on your prepared tray about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The whoopie pies will be done when they spring back when gently touched by a finger. Take out to cool completely.

In a bowl with a whisk attachment mix together confectioners’ sugar, butter and the seeds from the vanilla bean on low speed. Gradually increase the speed when all the sugar is mixed in. Whip on high for 2 minutes. Your filling should be light and fluffy with tiny black specks from the vanilla. Either spread or pipe a generous amount on the flat side of one whoopie pie. Take a second one to top and create a sandwich.

Kurt Fogle
SURG Restaurant Group


"I designed the dreamsicle around two of my favorite desserts from childhood," says Fogle. "The orange popsicle filled with vanilla ice cream – you know the one that ruined regular orange popsicles for everyone – and the drink made of orange soda and vanilla custard.

"It was never designed to be a gluten free dessert, but as time went on more and more people were asking for gluten free options and we were lucky to have this one standing by. You can find it at Umami Moto."

To create the dreamsicle, make each part following the recipes below and use the image above for guidance on plating the dessert.

Orange cremeux
(Yields 24)

  • 300 grams orange concentrate, 80 grams water
  • 200 grams sucrose
  • 760 grams whole eggs
  • 380 grams butter, melted
  • 2.5 grams orange extract
  • 12 grams gelatin
  • 10 grams vanilla paste

Carefully measure out all ingredients before you begin.

First, place orange concentrate, first scaling of water, and eggs into a large pot. Mix to combine.

Place melted butter, vanilla and orange extract into a large measuring cup or bowl.

Sprinkle powdered gelatin into second scaling of water and allow it to bloom for 10 minutes; this prepares the gelatin for being incorporated into the cremeux.

Meanwhile, whisk sucrose into egg mixture; Cook until the mixture reaches 60°C on a candy thermometer, then add gelatin mixture. Continue to cook to until the mixture reaches 83°C degrees.

Once the mixture has reached temperature, hand blend (use an immersion blender or whisk) and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Pour it into a large heat-proof glass measuring cup and whisk to combine. Then pour into small cups or ramekins and refrigerate until set.

Vanilla anglaise
(Yields two quarts)

  • 500 grams whole milk
  • 500 grams heavy cream
  • 100 grams sucrose
  • 200 grams egg yolks
  • 10 grams vanilla paste

Bring milk and cream to a boil, temper into yolks, sucrose and vanilla. Pour mixture back into pot and cook to 83 degrees. Pass through chinois and cool in an ice bath.

Vanilla whipped cream
(Yields two quarts)

  • 925 grams heavy cream
  • 100 grams confectioner’s sugar
  • 10 grams vanilla paste

Combine all ingredients in stand mixer bowl and whip on medium speed until medium stiff peaks are achieved.

Pop Rocks royaltine
(Yields four pints)

  • 454 grams Pop Rocks
  • 400 grams white chocolate

Temper the white chocolate, pour in Pop Rocks and stir to coat evenly. Roll between two sheets of parchment.

Jennifer Carlson
The Pfister Hotel/Mason Street Grill

Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries
(Serves 12-16 people)

"The angel food cake recipe is a classic, healthy recipe that is transformed for everyone – including gluten-free – to enjoy," says Carlson. "By substituting the all-purpose flour with gluten-free A.P. flour, it makes the cake easier to digest for people with celiac allergies. Adding the fresh fruit brightens up the cake and also makes a yummy sauce for the cake to absorb."

  • 1 cup gluten-free cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (from about 12 large eggs)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Assorted fresh berries, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper to fit the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan. Fit the paper into the bottom of the pan and set aside. Important: do not grease pan!

Place two large sheets of waxed paper over a work surface.

Working over one large piece of waxed paper, sift the cake flour together with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Sift the mixture 4 more times, working back and forth between the two sheets of waxed paper. Set aside. Sift the remaining cup of granulated sugar onto another sheet of waxed paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Add the salt, cream of tartar, lemon juice, water, vanilla, and almond extracts and increase the speed to medium-high, beating until the whites are nearly stiff. Lower the speed to medium-low and beat in the one cup of sifted sugar, two tablespoons at a time, until the mixture forms stiff peaks yet is not dry.

Remove the bowl from the electric mixer and sift about 1/4 of the flour mixture onto the top of the beaten egg whites. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold together. Repeat this motion three more times with the remaining flour mixture, each time folding very gently together. Gently transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and run a knife through the mixture to eliminate any large air bubbles. Smooth the top, if necessary.

Bake the cake until the top is lightly golden and the cake springs back when touched lightly, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan onto its legs (alternately, if the tube pan has no legs, simply hang the pan upside down over the neck of a sturdy bottle) and let sit until completely cooled.

When ready to serve, run the tip of a knife around the inner and outer edges of the cake pan to loosen it from the sides. Unmold the cake and set aside. Slice the cake and serve with fresh berries.

Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème
(Yields five 6-ounce ramekins)

"This is a simple, but complex in flavors, dessert that can be prepared days ahead," Carlson says. "The rich, satiny texture is similar to crème brulee, just without the added sugar crunch. I sometimes pair this with candied orange peels or just some sweetened crème fraiche."

  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 8 ounces chocolate coins
  • 8 yolks
  • 1 tablespoon orange compound (or 2 tablespoons orange zest)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a small pot, heat up milk, heavy cream, and sugar until scalding. In a separate bowl, place chocolate into it. In another bowl, have yolks ready.

Temper hot cream into yolks. Add hot cream/yolk mixture into bowl with chocolate.

Whisk until combined. Add orange compound/ zest and whisk until combined. Strain mixture before use. Place strained mixture into ramekins and cook in a water bath for about 45 minutes or until center is firm not jiggly. Cool overnight before serving.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.