I refuse to think of this as a failure.
My first attempt at baking gluten-free from scratch was…inedible. BUT, educational! I was using a combo of amaranth flour and arrowroot powder, neither of which I’d used before. The concept of putting these two flours together came from a wheatless, stevia muffin recipe I have.
Instead of using the muffin recipe though, I used a recipe for a Chocolate Mayonaisse Cake. For those not familiar with a Chocolate Mayo Cake, the idea is that the mayo substitutes for the butter and the egg, and gives you a moist cake. I had chosen the recipe because many sites about alternate flour mentioned dryness being an issue.
I also added a tsp of xanthan gum to the recipe as a gluten stand-in. As the photo illustrates, all for nought.. ~~sigh~~
What went wrong?
Amaranth flour feels a lot like cornmeal…very gravelly. As you can see from this photo, not all the little, white amaranth seeds get ground up in the flour – some are still whole:
I’ve heard amaranth baking described as “pleasantly crunchy”, but if these cupcakes are an indication….it’s like having little stones, or course sand in your cake! This, I believe, was a major source of the lost leavening. Watching them in the oven, they did rise. They fell immediately, though. I think the flour was too much like gravel and just let all the air escape.
Yes, there was also arrowroot powder in there (which clings to EVERYTHING! Even the outside of the measuring cup came out of the bag with powdr caked on the outside of it), but the ratio leaned heavily toward the amaranth.
The cupcake were also very greasy and oily. Even with their little paper cupcake cups on, they left an oily footprint on the counter when I set them down. Again, I think the amaranth was too course to absorb the fats.
On the up side, even though they fell they were not hockey pucks! The texture was still fluffy and cake-like.
Next experiment will be a switch to softer flour – rice, maybe chickpea, and a recipe that uses egg to advantage for leavening. Maybe a chiffon cake.