The Mad Scientist of Flours and Strawberry Cakeby caroline
Yesterday was a perfect day for experimenting.
As you will notice, The G-Spot is getting a face-lift in order to make your reading experience a bit more pleasurable. Throughout the next few days, you will find lots of changes happening here, so excuse the doctor’s mess (that would be me!) while she works.
The road to voodoo magic also led me to the kitchen yesterday, where I was able to start playing around with the VitaMix my oh-so-kind mother let me borrow. The reason I am so hung up on the VitaMix is not only because it is fabulous, but because it comes with a wet and a dry container for blending. That dry container is equipped to break the hull of tough grains to make flours and other completely neat-o food items. I never thought I could be this excited about flour, but this blender rocks!
The experimentation started off with my decision to come up with a new G-Spot Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend. Once I decided what my concoction would include, I decided to have a go at making two of the flours I would be including in the blend: Almond and brown rice flours.
It was magic I tell ya! Magic!
The almond flour was a little bit tricky because you have to stop it at just the right time in the grinding process in order to avoid making nut butter! (Which is oh-so-yummy too, but not what I was aiming for.) But the brown rice flour was unbelievable to watch. You literally just put brown rice into the blender and — voila! Flour!
I ground mine super fine because one of the things I don’t like about store bought brown rice flour is that it can often be a bit grainy. Ahhhhh, it was so cool!
I will post up these flour recipes for ya a little later in case you have the ability to make them at home. In the mean time, here is the new G-Spot Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend I came up with:
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 3/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp xanthan gum
Whisk ’em together to blend well and you have yourself a GF Baking Flour Blend!
After I made the flours, I decided it was as good a time as ever to get started on my pantry/13,000 flours organization. I bought these jars and labels the other day (yes, I’m nerdy cool like that), in an effort to make everything in my pantry look oh-so-pretty. The brown rice flour is my made-at-home mixture and the cornstarch is from the store.
Let the organizing begin!
And, of course, after all of that, I had to come up with a recipe. But who would have known it might possibly be one of the best gluten-free recipes I have ever made?!
I call these muffin cakes because they’re a bit like a muffin, little like a cake. And, hey, they are perfect for our V-Spot Valentine’s series, right? I made mine in these colorful ramekins, but a 12-cup muffin pan does the job just fine.
Get a load of these babies — really, the fun just doesn’t stop.
- Oil for muffin pan (safflower or canola oils are preferable)
- 2 cups G-Spot Gluten-Free Baking Flour Blend
- 1 1/2 tsps baking soda
- 2 egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 1 Tbsp safflower oil
- 1/8 cup organic agave nectar
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 cup organic, fat-free vanilla yogurt
- 1 banana, pureed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- 4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup organic agave nectar
- Honey, drizzled on top (as desired)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and prepare muffin pan by lightly brushing with oil. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a bowl until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine egg whites and whole egg; fluff with fork or whisk. Mix in safflower oil, agave, honey and yogurt. In a blender or food processor, puree banana with vanilla, then add banana puree to other wet ingredients. Stir well. Next, add chopped strawberries to wet ingredients and fold in. Pour wet ingredients on top of flour mixture. Combine well, using a hand mixer on low speed or a spoon to mix by hand. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes. While muffins are baking, combine cream cheese, confectioners sugar and agave in a small bowl until well blended. Allow muffins to cool completely before spreading evenly with frosting. Drizzle lightly with honey, as desired.
Note: This is a gluten-free recipe. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)
Now, I don’t often pat myself on the back with my recipes — I usually wait to see what other people’s reactions are first, so I know I get an honest opinion. But I couldn’t help but “Oooo!” and “Oh-my-gosh-this-is-so-good” while Dan and I sampled these cakes last night. The cream cheese frosting gives it just the right amount of sweetness, while not overwhelming the light and airy cake. And the strawberries and banana keep it moist and soft — so delish!
Today calls for more experimenting and organizing, and an early Valentine’s dinner for Dan and me. (Because we can, so, hey, why not?!)