Saturday, August 9, 2014

Carrot Cake Part I - how to convert a recipe to gluten free



I have been hearing a lot of talk about carrot cake lately, and it has made me want some, badly.  All I need is to hear a mention of a food once, and it gets me thinking about it, especially if it is something I havent had in awhile.  Then if another person mentions that food too, well, then I am on a mission to get some.  That is just how strange cravings can be.  So, I could either go out and try and find one at a store that is gluten free, or try to make it myself.  I lean more towards making it myself because anything fresh is going to beat what is in the freezer section.

I remembered the carrot cake I made during culinary school being really good. I was gluten free back then, but still had to go along with the majority of the curiculum and make my cake with regular flour.  I still have all my recipes from school so I decided that was a good place to start. I dug it out along with the picture I took of my creation (because I was just that organized and even then understood the value of capturing everything I made).

I took a look at the recipe and began my notes for conversion. The original recipe called for 3 cups of whole wheat pastry flour.  I created a blend of brown rice, potato, tapioca and sorghum flours to equal 3 cups including a tsp or two of xantham gum (for better binding).  Then I left everything else in the recipe the same. I love how the school's recipe suggests coconut oil or canola, so I used coconut. I thought it would really complement everything else in the recipe.


40 minutes later and I had a beautiful set of carrot cupcakes. I found them to be a little crumbly so I will be making a second round with a few tweaks.  I read recently that sweet rice flour helps to reduce the crumbliness of gluten free baked goods so I am thinking about adding that into my flour mix.  I will post my recipe once I get out the kinks.  This batch is definitely worthy of eating and sharing so I decided I should dress them up a bit. I didnt have any cream cheese in the house (I cant eat cheese either) so I put together a vegan buttercream made of spectrum vegetable shortening, earth balance margarine, powdered sugar and some vanilla. It actually tastes better than it sounds. Cream Cheese would have been perfect, but this frosting looked really nice too.
 

Then, they still needed a little something extra so I shredded some carrot and toasted it in the oven. I also toasted some coconut, added that to my toasted carrots and sprinkled the mixture over the cupcakes. 
Perfect!


3 comments:

Denise Cauvin said...

nice!

Denise Cauvin said...

very nice! i want one, have you tried the coconut flour in any of your recipes Andrea, xo

Andrea said...

Yes Denise, I have worked with Coconut flour. It is much denser and requires A LOT more liquid and eggs. You cannot use it as an equal replacement for other flours. With that said, it is a great flour to work with and I love how muffins come out with it. I have made blueberry muffins with coconut flour that were posted by another blogger. Absolutely delicious.