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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Splendid GF LC Bake Mix - Same as using White flour?

Actually - No! Sadly. The Splendid Gluten-Free Bake is a completely different product to all-purpose flour.  It can, however, be used as a lovely substitute for all-purpose flour.  There are going to be some nuances and gotchas, so I'm busy working on trying a few more recipes.

First of all, I'm still very, very excited about this Splendid Gluten-free Bake Mix.  Don't get me wrong as you read further.  It's just that it is all so new for me as well - baking with this new blend of low-carb and gluten-free "flours". 

Donna tried her favorite Betty Crocker streusel coffeecake and discovered it had a nice, neutral taste and a good texture ("Delightful texture", she said.) with this bake mix, kept a good height (although sank a bit as expected), but her cake was much too greasy and did not cook through in the middle even although she said it tested done.  She had some real kind words for me (she is like that but brutally honest as well), but I felt a little deflated all the same.  Waah!  :(  Thing is I have to accept that there will be some gotchas. This bake mix is not all-purpose flour and I'm absolutely new to using it as well.  I have only just begun! (Is there a song like that? lol)  Please keep that in mind.  More and more recipes will show up on this blog to show you how to use this bake mix instead of all-purpose flour quite comfortably.

This morning I made an apple coffeecake that has similar ingredients to Donna's coffeecake.  Her coffeecake recipe looks like this:

2 C. flour (Donna correctly used 2 1/4 cups GF Bake Mix)
1 C. sugar  (not sure what sugar sub Donna uses - the rest of the recipe she used the same exactly as written)
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. butter, softened
1 C. milk
1 egg
Streusel topping

I am of the opinion that at least 2 eggs are required in muffins and coffeecakes - almost always - except for cookie recipes (on account of the coconut flour).  Actually don't quote me on the cookie recipes yet either.  I need to test a few more cookie recipes.  Fact is my chocolate chip cookie recipe could have comfortably used only 3/4 cup butter compared to the 1 cup the recipe originally called for.  So, stay tuned on the cookie recipe front; more testing to come!

Because the Gluten-free bake mix is high in almond flour and naturally high in fat as a result, adding 1/3 cup of butter is over the top!  I would suggest when one sees a muffin or coffeecake recipe with only one egg, increase to 2 eggs and if there is butter (in particular) or oil (most times I've used the same amount of oil as called for without a greasy outcome), reduce substantially (usually by half) - for instance, if it's 1/4 cup butter, use 2 tbsp; if it's 1/3 cup, use 2 1/2 tbsp.  Now since the rule is to start with 1/4 cup less wet/liquid ingredients, start with 3/4 cup LC milk in both Donna's recipe (she needed the full cup which makes sense as she had a greater percentage of bake mix in her recipe, but she only used one egg and in my opinion, the recipes needs 2 eggs) and mine below (See Carolyn's low-carb milk recipe on this blog or use Hood Calorie Countdown Milk, if available in your area).  Process the batter at least one minute; it will thicken up and then decide if you need more milk, but remember you have added an extra egg which is the equivalent of about 1/4 cup milk.  Hope this helps.  It might seem a bit confusing at first, but I will try and iron out the nuances to the point where it is a no brainer for us all.  :)

UPDATE:  Susie from Fluffy Chix Cook blog mentioned something to me in a comment that made me realize that the fat content in ground nut meals versus the blanched almond flour one buys is probably quite a bit higher.  Therefore, if one is using blanched almond flour, one may need a tablespoon or so extra of the butter or oil in a recipe - i.e. you may not need to reduce the fat quite by a half .  Sorry that it sounds so complicated.  It is not really once one gets used to baking with a bake mix that has a few nuances.  It will become second nature in time.

My Apple Coffeecake Recipe:

Cake Batter:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour ( I added 1/4 cup extra GF Bake Mix as per the instructions with the bake mix)
3/4 cup sugar (I used !/4 cup granulated erythritol and 1/2 cup Splenda Granular)
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (I used 1/8 tsp)
1 egg (I used 2 eggs)
3/4 cup milk (I used 1/2 cup - did not need more)
1/4 cup butter (I used 1 tbsp, but could definitely have used 2 tbsp, no problem)
1 tsp vanilla

2 cooking apples, peeled and sliced  (I used 1 1/2 small apples or 1 medium to large equiv.)

1/3 cup sugar (I used 2 tbsp Splenda Granular)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used 1/4 tsp)

Cake Batter: In medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In food processor, process eggs, erythritol, Splenda Granular, milk, butter and vanilla. (note:  I process the sweeteners with the eggs and milk to help dissolve the granular erythritol).

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and process at least one minute until thickened.  Turn out into greased 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish.  Push apples well into batter and fairly close together.

Topping:  In small bowl, combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over top of cake.  Bake in 350 deg. F. oven 30 minutes (original recipes said 50 to 60 minutes - my gas oven runs hot, I suspect, plus this low-carb bake mix bakes a lot faster sometimes).

Nutritional Analysis:  9 servings (good size)
Maintenance-level carbs due to the apples:
156.5 calories; 5.3 g protein; 10.4 g fat; 8.3 g carbs  (7.0 g carbs if one replaces Splenda Granular in the cake batter with liquid sucralose (liquid Splenda) which has no carbs)

I thought I hid the remainder of the coffeecake from my DH.  When I went back to sneak a piece, I found an empty container and a note with a mouse drawing winking at me!  (True story)  Ian says, "It's got cinnamon, it's sweet, it's got apples, it's low-carb and it's gluten-free - it's delicious, what do you expect?!"

The note said: "Sorry it was too dawn nice!!"

A -Goody-Burglar
Code Name (A-Nony-Mouse!)


susiet said...

Looks great Jen! Can't wait to try it. And thanks for the link love! I'm going to be featuring your new GF Mix in a post coming up soon. I hope by next week! Will let you know when I have it done! :)


Jennifer said...

Hey, that's really cool. Thanks, Susie. Your blog is awesome - very professional. You're an amazing cook too.

susiet said...

Thanks Jen! I'm a graphic artist by profession :) so thank you for the compliment. I hope my cooking is even a shadow to your skills. You have mad skills girl!!!

I wish so badly I hadn't tried to use up Kev's mix before making your new GF/LC mix!!! :annoyed: I literally spent all day making a German choc cake mix with his recipe. And I can only conclude that it's my allergy to almonds doing me in! :most annoyed: I think the oil content of self-ground nut meals is just too high to sub 1:1 for almond flour.

So, I'm ordering some blanched hazel nut meal and also some blanched pecan meal to see if it helps come closer to almond meal consistency. By then, Kev's mix (which hasn't worked for me at all!!!! :( ) will be done and I can test yours!

I have the Bob's RM, GF mix ready and waiting!

Thanks again for your hard work and tireless efforts to all the LC and especially the GF folks round the world!!!! :hugs:

Jennifer said...

Ah, no wonder your site is so fabulous! You're very good at what you do! Wow!

Susie, Kevin's bake mix is pretty good if I recall. You have to remember with mine as well, there may be some things you'll need to learn in order to use it most effectively. Perhaps you could email me your German Chocolate Cake recipe and I'll look at it and see what I can suggest before you set to work in the kitchen.

I think you have an excellent point that I had not thought of before this. Donna and I are both grinding our own almond flour. There is more fat in the ground almonds than in commercially-available blanched, almond flour. It is possible others will find they can use more of the butter/oil required in a recipe. It's difficult for me to come by blanched, almond flour. It's very expensive for me to order specialty ingredients from the States down to Central America, especially ones that I use so much of, you know.

susiet said...

Yes, I can certainly understand that about costs! Heck, even in the states I'm stressed by the prices of specialty flours and sugars and they are pretty cheap by other standards!

I used David Lebowitz's recipe from Google for it and it used 2 sticks of buttter. Big mistake! I added an extra 1/4c of flour mixture and used erythritol, stevia and liquid splenda. :sick: Too much butter.

Jennifer said...

Oh my, yes that is too much butter for a delicate bake mix. Flour is so different. Oh that is a shame. Have you seen my Sweetheart Chocolate Cake? That's a good cake. I'm going to try to make it with this GF Bake Mix soon, but don't you be trying it and wasting your ingredients. Let me be the guinea pig. Only trouble is, I can't eat it at all. I'm so allergic to chocolate.