Once again, I am posting late. I’ve had this written since Sunday but forgot to schedule it for yesterday, and ho hum, here we are. I had to do it myself. Last year I posted a coconut flour gingerbread cake. It’s a very good cake, although it is almost sponge-like: a trait that, while appealing, isn’t always wanted. This came to my attention after Ariana left a comment on said cake, asking how it could be made less spongy.
In response, I quickly typed up an updated version of the recipe – in fact, there upon the spot – which is what I’m sharing here today. (I acknowledged Ariana’s own suggestions in my response comment as well. Haven’t tried it, though.) What is done differently in this recipe is that the egg whites are beaten: I’m not sure if I have discussed it here before, but I’ve noticed that beating egg whites and including the egg yolks, which are beaten to a ribbon stage (more on that later), in baked goods and desserts that use coconut flour creates a fluffier texture similar to gluten-based ones. Beating the egg yolks provides additional leavening as well as structure to the cake that otherwise would be spongy if made with only egg whites. I first came to discover this when I made the lemon (cup)cake for my first entry into Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free. (Speaking of which, I’ve decided to enter this cake into this month’s GAHIGF. Click here for details.) Needless to say, it is a very desirable result in gluten-free baking.
At times, I feel like a scientist in the kitchen when I am observing, placing importance on preciseness and other times an artist when I’m in a groove, following my intuition and just eyeballing it. Although both are creative flows, there is a distinct mental shift between the two.
Some people have problems with coconut flour in regards to it absorbing moisture like crazy, but like any gluten-free flour, one just has to learn its quirks – what works and what doesn’t work. What I love about coconut flour is that you need so little because of that! That’s its charm. In my experience, coconut flour doesn’t contribute a coconut-y flavour to baked goods, even when I’ve used it just on its own. The flour doesn’t even really smell like coconut either. It’s also a great choice for those following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet but might not tolerate almond flour that well, or don’t like having to rely upon it so heavily in baking.
Due to its slightly (unintentionally) marbled, rustic appearance, I imagine that this cake would be excellent with some dark or semisweet chocolate chunks thrown in. (That’s the artist talking, not the scientist.)