Post #526 Flour Free, I Might Agree With These Three

March 23, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I’m a carb junkie.  I like my carbs.  When I get hungry, I first wonder is there’s any bread, then think of crackers, then think of cookies, or cake (CAKE!), or some other carb.  I seldom think first of fruit or veggies even though there’s a lot of carbs in them.  I’m fortunate that while I’ve gained weight as I’ve gotten older, I haven’t gained weight because of diet.  So carbs don’t have too bad an impact on my waist.    However, there’s a diet trend ongoing for several years now to go gluten free.  I hate gluten free.  There’s only one reason to go gluten free and that’s if you have celiac disease.  If you don’t (and you’ll know if you do), gluten free really doesn’t offer any health benefits because gluten free doesn’t mean carb free.  But I won’t go there cuz once I get started, it’s difficult for me to stop.

However, recently I was asked by my niece for some flourless cake recipes.  At first, I was a touch aggravated thinking she was going the gluten free route.  But when I started reading more, I realized that flourless didn’t necessarily mean gluten free and I got less aggravated and more intrigued.  I found that when cakes are made flourless, something has to take the flour’s place.  Most of the time, that’s done with a couple of different things.  Ground nuts is a common replacement, and cocoa powder is another.  Alternate grains such as oats, rice, and barley can be used as well if they’re ground to a flour consistency.  So, I found a few recipes to share.  I haven’t tested these, but the sources are reputable so I have no concerns for their quality.  One word of caution though.  Follow the recipe to the letter if you want consistent, reliable results.

The Standard:  Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 8 large eggs, cold
  • 1 lb. dark, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
  • optional toppings: powdered sugar and/or berries
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper or waxed paper and grease the sides of the pan. (Be sure to grease the sides really well!) Wrap the outside of the pan with 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil and set it in a large roasting pan, or any pan that’s larger than the springform. Bring a kettle or pot of water to boil.
  2. In a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at high speed until the volume doubles. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter together. You can either do this in a double boiler on the stove (by placing the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl, set over a pan of almost-simmering water, and stirring until melted and smooth). Or you can do this in the microwave (by heating the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth). Then fold about a third of the beaten eggs into the chocolate mixture using a large rubber spatula until only a few streaks of egg are visible. Fold in half of the remaining egg foam, and then the last half of the foam, until the mixture is totally homogenous.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Place the roasting pan on the oven rack and VERY carefully pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cake has risen slightly, the edges are just beginning to set, a thin-glazed crust (like a brownie) has formed on the surface, and an instant-read thermometer inserted halfway into the center reads 140° F, 22-25 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the water bath and set on a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cool. (The cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
  5. About 30 minutes prior to serving, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan, invert the cake onto a sheet of waxed paper, peel off the parchment paper, and reinvert the cake onto a serving platter. If desired, lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar and top with berries. To slice, use a sharp, thin-bladed knife, dipping the knife into a pitcher of hot water and wiping the blade before each cut.

Flourless Orange Cake

  • 2 navel oranges
  •  5 large eggs
  •  1 1/2 cup almond meal
  •  1 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup extra
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1 cup heavy cream

Candied orange slice

  •  1 orange
  •  1 cup sugar
  •  water

1. Put oranges in a saucepan and fill enough water to cover them, bring to the boil then lower heat down and simmer for 2 hours until the oranges are soft. Drain and allow to cool, then cut in half, remove the pips and place them in a food processor, blitz them into puree.

2. Put eggs and sugar in a mixing food of a stand mixer, using a whisk attachment, beat the mixture until well combined and sugar has dissolved. Then switch to a pedal attachment, add orange puree and stir on low speed until combine. Add almond meal and baking powder while continue stirring until the mixture is homogenous.

3. Heat the oven to 375, line a springform tin with baking paper then pour the mixture into the tin, bake in oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centr of the cake and comes out clean. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from tin and rest it on wire rack until it has cool down completely.

4. To make candied orange, cut orange into thin slices about 3mm thickness. Put them in a saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to the boil then drain. Fill the saucepan again with water, bring to boil again. Turn heat down to and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the orange is tender when tested with a fork, the peel should be a little translucent. Add sugar, stir until sugar has dissolved and let it simmer until the sugar syrup has reduced to a few spoonfuls, about 40 to 60 minutes. Use a fork and carefully remove the orange slices to a baking tray lined with baking paper, keep them separate and let them dry for an hour.

5. Pour cream and the extra caster sugar into a mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Once the cake is completely cool, spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake, then top with candied orange slices.

Flourless Vanilla Bean Cake

  • 9 ounces good quality white chocolate cut in chunks
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 5 large eggs, preferably room temperature, beaten with a whisk until well blended
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder for sifting on top
  1. set the oven to 325F
  2. Put the butter and then the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds, and stir again. If it’s not completely melted, put it back in for another 30 seconds, and stir until the chocolate completely melts.
  3. Add the sugar and flour to the chocolate, then the eggs, extract, and vanilla seeds and blend well. The mixture will thicken. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour into a well oiled 9 inch spring-form pan. Bake for about 55-60 minutes, until firm on top and cracks form across the surface. Cool on a rack briefly and then remove the outer ring.
  5. Sift confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder over the top.

Note:  The cake will puff up and then settle back down right about when it’s done. It will be golden brown and shouldn’t be jiggly in the center.

There you have it, three flourless cakes.  I’ve only ever had the chocolate one (big surprise, right?), but I trust the others and they’re good examples of using other types of flour.

 

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