Friday, April 20, 2012

Baking Grain Free: recipes and ratings... Part 1

All right I have had this in draft for so long with the pictures as well as another one so I have decided to break it up into a few posts as I got overwhelmed with the amount I wanted to share at once and so kept putting it off.
So for the first instalment ~

I would like to share our family's experiences with the grain free baking (ie, cakes, cookies and other 'baked goods.' I will be doing a cooking version as well) that we have done over the first 5  weeks or so.

First off let me get this off my chest......
I have decided that I really am not an almond flour or coconut flour baking person.
For myself I just can't get past the texture of the almond and coconut flour in my baked goods. The taste is also a fair bit more dominant and for me well, chocolate cake seems to be a thing of the past, as I can't do chocolate cake grain free. There is still one recipe I am going to try that does not have the flour so perhaps there is hope yet.(in fact the cupcakes at the bottom I can do and another large cake that I will share in my next post)

In regards to the children though they seem to have taken (mostly) to the new baking we are doing, not that we have done a lot anyway.

The baking below is everything  that we have baked in the first 6 weeks of morning tea and sweets.
Since then we have tried other recipes as well and I will follow up in a Part 2 for them.

We are still searching for that perfect bread recipe, as the item the children miss (some more than others) is bread!!
Bread Recipe~
3 1/2 cups almond flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 cup yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Mix together in food processor, bake at 350 F (180 C) for about 45 minutes.
2. Test to see when it's done.
 The bread was  left a little too long in the oven (it has taken us a little while to adjust to the new cooking times etc with our wood oven) but it was fine. Still  it was not bread as were were looking for it.
This was good with butter and jam but would not support a sandwich for lunch. The jam we use is St Dalfour  fruit spreads
These cupcakes were quite good and the little ones liked them a lot, in fact most of us did
Recipe from here (we did not alter it at all)

Ingredients ~
1 ½  cups almond meal
¼ cup  cocoa powder
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup  light olive  oil
60 ml milk (¼ cup) your choice of dairy, almond or soy
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 160 C – fan forced. 180 C no fan. Combine almond meal, cocoa powder and baking powder.
Add the eggs, oil, milk and honey then mix well to form a smooth batter.
Spoon into 12 small individual cupcake tins.
Bake for 25 minutes until puffed and cooked through.
These cupcakes were only liked by a few of our little ones.
The older kids didn't like them at all, quite tasteless apparently. Obviously I did not even try these ones. Interesting as these looked the most appetising!
They were from here, but seriously I don't know what it was that we did not like about them
Irish Soda Bread: from  Elana's Pantry- Yes the kids liked it. It was a bit dry  and much smaller than we are used to  but still very good
Still it was eaten by everyone and a little butter  and jam always adds to the flavours

Irish Soda Bread (we altered slightly from the original)
 2 ¾ cups almond flour
 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ cup raisins
2 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
pinch of caraway seeds

In a large bowl combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and raisins
In a smaller bowl combine eggs, agave and apple cider vinegar
Mix wet ingredients into dry
Place on a greased cookie tray and form dough into a large, flat circle 
Using a serrated knife, score the top of dough  
Sprinkle top of bread with caraway seeds
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, then turn off oven and leave bread in for 10 more minutes
Cool bread for ½ hour then slice and serve with butter and jam
Paleo  Banana Bread: we have had this one twice in the original 6 weeks. Once again from Elana's Pantry (recipe here) once again a slight variation by us.

Paleo Banana Bread
3 bananas (about 1 ½ cups) mashed
 3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup coconut oil
 2 cups almond flour
1/2teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Place bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil in a food processor
Pulse ingredients together
Pulse in almond flour, salt and baking soda
Scoop batter into a greased  loaf pan
 Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes
Remove from oven and allow to cool
 Orange Coconut cake from the back of an packet in fact I couldn't find it to even copy it here it was extremely.......YUKKY. The kids called it 'granny cake,' memories  from too many church functions.
Chocolate Chip Cookies ( Elana's Pantry again, and once again we made alterations)

2 ½ cups almond flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup light olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup honey
1 cup dark chocolate chips

 Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
Stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
Mix wet ingredients into dry
 Form small balls and press onto a greased baking tray
 Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes
Cool and serve
Finished Choc Chip Cookies, yes they were left a little too long in the oven  (but this is real life) however we love these and have made them even after our initial 6 week period.
Apricot Power Bars
1 cup dried apricots
2 cups almonds or pecans (we used a mixture of both)
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips of your choice, or none whatsoever

Place apricots and pecans in a  food processor and pulse until the texture of coarse gravel
Pulse in eggs, salt and vanilla, until mixture forms a ball
 Remove mixture from food processor and work in chocolate chips
Place mixture in a greased  square baking dish Bake for 25 minutes at 350°
Cool and serve
No Grain Honey Bread:  from here
This was the first 'bread' recipe we tried and were quick to establish that 'bread' does not mean bread but usually has a cake like consistancy.
6 – eggs
5 – tablespoons butter, melted
6 – tablespoons coconut milk or whole milk
6 – tablespoons honey
1/2 – teaspoon sea salt
1 – teaspoon vanilla
1/2 – cup sifted coconut flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill  brand)
1/2 teaspoon, no aluminum baking powder
5 drops stevia

Whisk together eggs, butter, coconut milk, honey, sea salt, vanilla, and stevia.    
Mix coconut flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and then sprinkle this dry mixture in with the wet ingredients a bit at a time.    
Once everything is mixed, keep whisking until the batter is very smooth with no lumps.  
 Pour into a glass loaf pan and bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until loaf starts to slightly brown on top.

Makes 1 medium loaf, 12 muffins, or 24 mini muffins
Chocolate Cake with Honey Ricotta Cream:  from here
For the Chocolate Cake:
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup powdered coconut palm sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • For the Honeyed Ricotta:
  • 3 cups low-fat ricotta
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/4 cup grated carob or refined sugar-free chocolate
    Make the Chocolate Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch springform pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and powdered coconut palm sugar until pale and creamy.
  3. Sift together the almond flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg whites to medium peaks.
  5. Stir 1/4 of the whipped egg whites directly into the egg yolk mixture. Fold the remaining egg whites into the yolks in two to three additions.
  6. Fold the almond mixture into the egg mixture in three additions.
  7. Transfer the batter into the prepared springform pan.
  8. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until the center of the cake is set and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Run an offset spatula around the edges of the cake. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

Make the Honeyed Ricotta:

  1. Combine the ricotta, honey, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Assemble the Cake:
  4. Use a sharp, serrated knife to slice a paper thin layer off the top of the cake. This will let the moisture from the ricotta soak into the cake.
  5. Cut the cake in half, being careful to keep the layers even.
  6. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on the bottom layer of the cake.
  7. Place the top layer on top of the ricotta. Spread the remaining ricotta on top of the cake.
  8. Top with grated carob or refined sugar-free chocolate.
  9. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  10. Bring to room temperature before serving

Apple Crisp Muffins- these are a great non chocolate alternative that we have all liked the recipe is from here

2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
3 large eggs
1/3 cup honey (we prefer clover honey, as it's mild flavor makes it a perfect choice baking)
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Apple Crisp Topping: ( we actually at least double the topping recipe for ours  )
½ cup finely diced apple
¼ cup of finely chopped crispy nuts, (we use almonds mainly)
 1 tbsp coconut sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
 Line a muffin tin with 10 baking cups.
 In a small bowl, mix almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, coconut oil and vanilla until well blended.
 Add dry ingredients to wet and whisk until well combined. In another small bowl, mix together the apple crisp topping.
Add one spoonful of batter to prepared muffins cups.
Lift muffin pan with both hands and evenly tap bottom of the pan on the counter to flatten batter.
 Then add a spoonful of the apple crisp mixture.
Top with another spoonful of batter, tap pan to flatten batter.
Top with remaining apple crisp mixture.
Bake 25-28 minutes, until muffins are slightly brown and an inserted knife comes out clean.
 Allow to cool in muffin pan.
These are THE best cupcakes we have tried so far and the frosting is lovely although a little buttery so I would add less butter next time.

We got the original recipe  from Gluten Free cupcakes but you can also find it at her website-  Elana's Pantry, however we adjusted it for our taste

Chocolate Cupcakes:
¼ cup coconut flour
 ¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
¼ cup light olive oil
½ cup honey

In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, cacao powder, salt and baking soda
In a large bowl, blend together eggs, oil and honey
Blend dry ingredients into wet thoroughly
Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and scoop a scant ¼ cup into each
 Bake at 375° for 20-22 minutes
Cool and cover with vegan buttercream chocolate frosting Serve Makes 10 cupcakes

So there you have it, some of the recipes we  have tried and our families responses to them.

Stay tuned for the next lot of recipes and ratings according to our family!!

Blessings to you and your homes,


Tina Marie said...

You have tried out so many recipes, already. Thanks for posting, I will have come back and try some out. We have just a few mainstays as I am tired of trying out new things that either don't work out or taste awful. Did you get a chance to try out our bread recipe? That is the only bread that we make. It is baked daily here.

God bless and thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Hi Gae,
Have you been to Grain free living?
She is Australian and has some bread recipes that don't involve coconut or almond flours. We quite like her bun recipe.


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