I spent most of this week at home recovering from a sudden sore throat which kept me home from work following the funeral. But at the end of that I managed to recover…ish, and decided to test out a recipe from a new cookbook I found last weekend. This one was a bit of surprise find. A cookbook I hadn’t heard about or seen in that particular bookstore before. It’s called Good Without Gluten, and it’s quite a beautiful little cookbook. It has quite a large amount of gluten and lactose free recipes, all with beautiful photos attached, and it’s own flour blend isn’t too complicated to whip up either. I often ignore cookbook prescribed flour blends because of how difficult and expensive the various components are to get. However, their gluten-free flour blend is 320g rice flour, combined with 240g cornflour, 100g almond meal and 2 tsp xantham gum. Simple! Although I would leave out the xantham gum, as in recent cooking experiments of mine I have found that so long as the recipe has at least a few eggs in it, I get no crumbliness. Xantham gum is often used for binding, as a lot of people seem to have a crumbliness problem when it comes to gluten free baking. However, I made these cupcakes without xantham gum and I didn’t miss it.
A lot of these recipes in this book stood out to me. It was the reason I decided to get this book. It has a straightforward approach to gluten-free cooking and doesn’t waste a lot of time talking it up. Instead it gets right into the actual cooking! But as I was still a bit worn out from being ill during the week I stuck to one of the quickest and simplest I could find for this Fiesta Friday. It was a recipe for gluten free chocolate muffins. Yum! The recipe called for their flour blend, but I decided to test whether I could replace it gram for gram with a flour blend I had on hand. As a rule of thumb, when replacing flours, I go gram for gram. It’s unfortunate but there are a lot of recipes out there that tend not to list the weight of their ingredients, so those require further experimentation. However, this book is not like that at all. So I did replace the flour, but I then found the batter too thin. I checked their flour blend again and realised that it also contained almond meal, which the flour I was using did not. So all I did was whisk in a few extra tablespoons of almond meal and bingo!
Next time I would even consider adding even more cocoa powder to up the chocolate taste, but believe me, it wasn’t lacking. I also stirred the chocolate chips through the cupcakes rather than put them on top, and that turned out to be a delicious choice as well. I have also now whipped up a batch of their flour blend, as their are a lot of recipes in this cookbook that I want to do, and I get the feeling that using their blend would work better. But not all of their recipes require that blend, some even use combinations of ground pistachios with almond meal, or rice flour and hazelnut meal. A lot of the recipes also call for either soy or rice milk, but I substituted in lactose free milk and that worked out fine for me as well. So, all in all it was a positive first experience, and mum’s colleagues have even given these cupcakes the verdict of YUM.
UPDATE: I thought I was on the mend for a little while there, but I’m down for the count again. I do have a doctor’s appointment and will get this sorted out, but it might mean I’m late next FF…
Adapted from Good Without Gluten’s
Makes: Up to 12 muffins, Prep: 15 mins, Cook: 15-18mins
- 150g gluten-free flour mix (see above, or replace with your own blend. You may need to experiment like I did.)
- 30g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp bi-carb soda (I used baking powder, and next time might even try adding half a tsp more.)
- 150g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 80ml canola oil (I used regular vegetable oil)
- 200ml soy milk (or rice milk. But I used lactose free milk)
- 50g dark chocolate chips (Make sure they’re dairy free/lactose free at least)
- Pre-heat oven to 200C and line a cupcake tin with patty pans. You’re not going to want to make little cupcakes here. You want a standard cupcake tin, trust me.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and toss through the chocolate chips.
- In another bowl combine the eggs, canola oil and milk, and then pour it into the dry mix. Mix well until you have a smooth batter with no lumps.
- Pour the batter into the patty pans, filling them three quarters and a little more, full.
- Pop them in the oven for 15-18 mins, or until a skewer inserted into their centres comes out clean.