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Friday, August 5, 2011

Important Update for Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix

August 6, 2011:  Can a girl change her mind?  After some reflection, I decided since I only have a handful of recipes tested with 1/2 tsp xanthan gum in the bake mix, I'm going to return to 3/4 tsp xanthan gum for now.  I might play with less again at some point, but for those of you who are curious, I'm working on a cookbook due out in November, and my hands are full with that at the moment.  The bake mix instructions remain the same with the difference being that more liquid ingredients will be required with 3/4 tsp xanthan gum in the bake mix.

August 5, 2011:  This is an important update:  I made some blueberry muffins last night and again this morning with the new and improved Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix and noted a few things (my conclusions changed again).  Using 1/2 tsp xanthan gum vs 3/4 tsp makes it necessary to change the instructions for the bake mix.  In conclusion I think when substituting the bake mix in your own recipes, start with an extra egg and withhold at least half the liquid/wet requirements.  If you end up with a batter that is too stiff, add more of the liquid and if it is too sloppy add a little bit more bake mix.  It turns out with less xanthan gum, liquid requirements in a recipe will be less.   I do like the additional egg in most cases because it keeps the baking moist (the extra egg is probably needed due to the coconut flour which soaks up moisture like crazy) and seems to provide a better texture.  Remember xanthan gum is a thickener so it was making the batters much thicker than they otherwise would have been.  Now with only 1/2 tsp, that thickening power is substantially reduced.  You're welcome to keep the original 3/4 tsp xanthan gum in the bake mix.  I prefer to reduce the xanthan gum in the bake mix as some people are reactive to it (especially in the beginning as one gets used to it - and it takes time) and besides that it tends to cut the sweetening power of sweeteners a tad.  So, less xanthan gum, less likelihood of reactivity, less sweetener required and fewer carbs in the baked product.  All round a good thing but time will tell if I return to 3/4 tsp xanthan gum in the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix.  I don't have a huge amount of time to spend on baking these days but over time it will become clearer to me.  Meantime if you stick to my recipes at least you know they will turn out fine.  When you experiment on your own - you're on your own with the guidelines I have given.  Some baking experience will be very helpful so that you know what the different batters should be like.

This is my conclusion and I hope to confirm my findings as I continue to learn about the little nuances of my Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix.  Baking can be such an adventure!  It's very rarely predictable; especially when one is trying to reinvent the wheel kind of thing - let's face it - sugar free is one thing, low-carb is another, now add gluten-free to the mix and it can get quite complicated at times.  I'm trying to take "complicated" out of things though.  So as I learn new things, I'll post and keep you updated.  Thanks for your patience.


For the new instructions - GO HERE
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