Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Cake with a Crust

Lets talk coconut flour for a moment. Many people opt for coconut flour because they are on a certain restrictive diet that prevents them from ingesting gluten. Fortunately, there is such a wide range of substitutions available, and easily attainable, it is getting easier and much more enjoyable for those of you seeking just such a change. But there is a downside of using any wheat substitution in desserts, and baking in particular. Dryness, reduced structural integrity and other substantive faults. That is why when using any gluten-free flours, you shouldn't use a complete replacement in many recipes, especially baked goods......until now!

I wanted to create a recipe, again, that used gluten-free flour in a cake but not diminish any negative aspects of a complete substitution, yet added SOMETHING to the overall taste. And I succeeded. Not only succeeded, but excelled. This cake would not be the same if I had used any other type of gluten-free flour because you can actually taste the coconut flavor in this flour. What is coconut flour?


Simply put, it is the last remnants of the coconut meat after the milk has been extracted from it. This is dried and ground to a fine powder that has almost supernatural absorption powers. Honestly, this stuff will soak in almost twice the amount of liquid than any other flour. There are pros and cons to this. The pro portion is that coconut flour makes a superb coating for fish or chicken when grilled or fried. The downside of using this flour is that many professional chefs and bakers double the amount of liquid in any given recipe it is used in, especially eggs. And the addition of extra eggs doesn't sit very well with many people, including yours truly.

I have found although, for example, if a cake recipe uses 2 eggs and any wheat flour, by substituting a 1/2-cup coconut flour, you don't need to add that extra egg. Use 1/4 cup buttermilk instead. This works out perfectly without adding even more cholesterol to your diet.

I have only given you the tip of the iceberg with regards to coconut flour. I highly suggest you take a peak here and find out more about this super versatile and ultra tasty flour. By the way, while you are there, take a looksy at their dried fruits and nuts. I placed my order this morning for some candied and dried goodies and I think once you spy the chocolate, you will be ordering to from nuts.com, New England's best and most informative website that indulges, yet cares. A perfect combination that defines us Yankees. Am I being compensated for this post? No! Am I touting yet another great New England company? Oh yeah! And by the way, all the links I have added are completely safe. Just a great way to say hi to a neighbor.

It's Just That Simple!™



Italian-Yankee Corn Cake
(And it's gluten-free!*)

This perfectly sweetened cake creates its own type of crust around the edges that crisp up as it cools, transforming it into a toss between a cake and a pie actually. It is recommended to slice it into segments before refrigerating, otherwise the caramelized crust will be next to impossible to cut. Classical Italian Corn Cake uses almond extract, but vanilla works equally as well if desired.

Nonstick cooking spray
Crisp Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons coconut flour 1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups small dice apple
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries


Grease a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Mix topping ingredients together until thoroughly combined; set aside. In a bowl, combine diced apple, orange juice and cinnamon; set aside. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. In a medium-sized bowl, blend cornmeal, coconut flour, sugar and baking powder until well blended. Stir in the milk, eggs, lemon juice and melted butter. It should be mixed just enough to wet all ingredients, leaving it somewhat lumpy. Fold in the raisins and transfer to prepared pan, leveling out the top. Evenly divide apple mixture, juice and all, on top of batter. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over the apples and bake 36-38 minutes, or until the center of the cake is firm. Immediately remove from oven to cool slightly before serving hot, or cover and refrigerate to serve cold.

* But as I say with all gluten-free recipes and products, always ALAYS check the label.



justlittleolme said...

I love this blog. I never heard about you till this morning. Love it, love it, love it.

Anonymous said...

Not only is this recipe awesome, I am going to try this coconut flour. Thanks for the tip

kingcreole said...

I just made this for the second time, and each time it came out perfect. Love the dark crust if forms on bottom. TY again