Gluten-free Chiffon & Freelancing Collide!

My obsession with adapting my love of baking with my newly discovered wheat intolerance (from Fructose Malabsorption) has met my burgeoning writing career! I have embarked on the first of a series of articles on Fructose Malabsorption! YAY!

I love it when passions meet!

THE CAKE:
My latest foray into wheatless baking was trying to adapt a recipe for Chocolate Chiffon Cake. What is distinctive about a chiffon is that it uses a lot of eggs, usually 5 to 7. They are separated and the yolks are mixed with the flour, and the white are beaten to a stiff meringue with the sugar, then the two components are folded together into a batter. This kind of cake uses the air in the meringue as the leavening, and the egg structure holds the air inside. I was hoping this type of cake would be better suited to a gluten-free flour blend (better than my last attempt – see my prior entry).

Also, many gluten-free bakers has spoken about problems with wheat-free breads and cakes not cooking in the middle. Chiffon cakes are traditionally baked in a tube pan, so I hoped that would also work in my favour.

As you can see, it didn’t fall – though the cracking indicates to me that it needed a lower oven.
wheatless choc chiffon cake in the pan

I had obeyed the directions in the recipe for a 350F oven (yes I have an oven thermometre), but changing the flour must have an impact.

Here is the finished, frosted cake:
wheatless choc chiffon cake, frosted
wheatless choc chiffon cake - slice

The texture is alright – a little too rubbery/tough, but not bad. As a matter of course, I had added xanthan gum to the wheatless flour blend and I don’t think it was necessary. Xanthan gum is meant to replace the gluten structure and help hold the air in the cake, but I should’ve realized it wasn’t necessary with all those eggs. Next time I’ll omit it.

The batter was not well blended as you can see. I didn’t have any Cream of Tartar – which is standard in most chiffon cakes – so I had to google a recipe without it. The recipe I used instructed melting the chocolate in a saucepan WITH a half cup of hot water! By the time the choc was melted the water had evaporated. As a result, by the time the choc was mixed with the yolks and the flour is was very dry and crumbly. I didn’t know if that was normal for this recipe or if the water wasn’t supposed to have gone…I ended up putting a little more water in to make the mixturee lighter, but trying to fold into the meringue was virtually impossible, even after lightening the mixture with a few heaping spoons of meringue.
The flours I used were rice flour, chickpea flour and tapioca starch/flour. The chickpea flour gave it that “stringbean” smell that chickpea flour seems to give everything. Gotta switch it for a different flour.

All in all, the cake was okay – the frosting saves it – but next time I will use potato starch/flour instead of chickpea, and use a familiar Cream of Tarter recipe that I know will blend well….and turn down the oven to 325F.

THE FROSTING:
As I have FructMal, sucrose (table sugar/brown sugar/icing or confectioner’s sugar) must only be used in moderation. The more I can switch to dextrose (glucose) or even stevia, the better. The problem is, dextrose is only about a third as sweet as sugar – but almost the same calories.

This frosting is PERFECT for dextrose as the texture and chocolatiness is great, it’s very easy to make, but – to my palate anyway – sickeningly sweet when made as directed with confectioner’s (icing) sugar.
I substituted half the required sugar for dextrose and it was still much too sweet – so next time I’m making it entirely with dextrose and it will taste rich insead of sweet. I got this recipe from Yahoo Answers, so I am posting it here under it’s original name, though modified with dextrose:
Please note: measurements are in American Cups.

Kahala’s Fluffy Chocolate Frosting – Dextrose Redux

1/2c softened butter
2/3c cocoa powder
3 1/2c dextrose
1/3 + c whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Mix butter, cocoa & sugar in medium bowl. Slowly add milk and vanilla. Add extra milk by the tablespoonful as need (while still beating) to attain desired texture. *Be conservative! It doesn’t take much milk to radically change the texture of this frosting,

This recipe makes a lot of frosting. I frosted my chiffon cake and only used about half. You could frost quite a large cake, even between layers with this recipe.

Well, now I’m off to write and pick up cream of tartar (and sorghum flour for my flatbread baking!).

🙂
AVT

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2 responses to “Gluten-free Chiffon & Freelancing Collide!

  1. I was wondering if you have tried combining Splenda and dextrose because Splenda has the sweetness and dextrose has the volume?

  2. Hi Lindsey!

    I’m afraid I tried baking with Splenda awhile back and it gave my entire family horrible constipation. Yuk.
    Now that I know it’s links to insecticide, I’ve decided to avoid it altogether.

    On a similar note though, I’ve been thinnking about baking with stevia (which is just the ground leaves of the stevia plant – like tea). It’s hard to find a brand without that subtle licorice aftertaste though.

    Do you have any experience with stevia?

    🙂
    AVT
    ………..by the way, how did you find my journal, if I may ask? My journal’s quite new, so I’m trying to figure out how people can find me.

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