Thursday 4 September 2014

On Holding the Line with GF Condensed Milk Pound Cake and Raffi

GF Condensed Milk Pound Cake (see recipe below)

Yes, we're still on picket duty and this week I brought home-baked GF goodies for my colleagues.  I made GF Condensed Milk Pound Cake and GF Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They both went over really well on the line "wow, these don't taste gf!" and the handful of us that are gf were able to enjoy baked goods too.  Generally what we get on the line is non-gf baked goods and doughnuts from parents, students and even kind-hearted passersby without children (thank you, thank you!) and I try to avoid eating that because I don't want a huge stomach ache while walking about with no washroom close at hand (eek!)  The wonderful thing about these gf recipes is that even non GF people enjoy the goodies because they're so delicious and don't taste gritty or gf (you can't tell the diff) and the flour I use has more fiber in it (bonus! we're gonna be regular!)  My baked goods are more inclusive and healthy (just like we're trying to achieve with public ed).   Here's to hoping the provincial government comes to its senses and offers teachers a fair deal and students a learning environment and resources they well deserve (right now, we're ranked near the bottom in Canada per student funding).
In solidarity with our support staff. You guys rock! 
I really miss being in the classroom teaching English and mentoring my colleagues too. I am quite unhappy about this whole mess our provincial government has put us in with public ed, but you can read all of that on my twitter feed if you care to know what's going on in BC.   You know, when Raffi [recipient of Order of Canada, Order of BC, Fred Rogers Integrity Award] comes out on social media to defend public ed, you've done something seriously wrong CC.

Baking GF goodies can get cumbersome with all the bags of different flours lying around.  When I mix up a batch of my favourite GF blend, I make a triple batch (or more if I can find a container for it all).  However, there's always leftovers of the ingredients to some degree and that is so irksome.
Our beautiful empty school
To compound this "leftover" issue, the flours all have different expiry dates and your gf flour blend will have its own unique best before date (which I believe should be based on the earliest best before date indicated on the package of any of your ingredients.) Some people freeze leftover flours or even freeze the whole batch of their gf flour blend.  The problem I have with that is there's absolutely NO ROOM for flour in my freezer.  All those Costco-sized boxes of ice cream and my almond flour and frozen bananas, berries and other fruit for smoothies takes up all my freezer space.
Our gorgeous field, which I would rather see filled with kids using in their PE classes
I haven't had much success with Bob's Red Mill gf flour blends as I find them gritty.  I like my own personal gf flour blend for baking as the results are fabulous and mouth-feel is excellent.  I have also had success with Cup4Cup but it's exorbitantly priced.  So much $ for such a small bag of gf flour!   My recent fave has been the locally produced Cloud 9 GF flour, which I purchase at my local Costco.
Colleagues' dogs Yumi (Shiba Inu), Maya (Standard Poodle) and Tessa (Chihuahua) holding the line for public ed
I have been putting the Cloud 9 gf flour through its paces at home with my fave recipes; essentially subbing it in for all purpose flour or cake flour.  I generally don't make any adaptations other than to subsitute it for the AP flour in the recipe.  Results are mixed with some applications as there is buckwheat in the Cloud 9 flour.  If you want something pretty to look at, Cloud 9 leaves a greyish cast, so wouldn't be that appealing in a white cake or muffin.  If you can get over the speckled appearance of the flour and the grey cast, the flavour and texture is fine.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF) made with Cloud9
I have had success subsituting Cloud 9 for the following applications:  dusting meats for pan-frying, thickening in sauces (white sauce, Mac 'n Cheese sauce, turkey gravy) and of course baking cakes (chiffon, banana and pound cakes).  I am going to try it in tart and pie shells and think it should be fine.  I have not been too successful with using it in a pizza dough yet and will keep trying to tweak recipes to make it work.  The chocolate chip cookie recipe I used was from Martha Stewart and all I did was sub in the Cloud 9.  It worked out pretty really well but I forgot to add the psyllium husk so it was a bit too crumbly for my liking.  Next time I'll remember.


[ADAPTED from Pichet Ong's Sweet Spot]
Makes one 8 1/2 -x- 4 1/2 inch cake, about 12 servings
  • 1 cup (8 oz/226 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/3 cups (7 oz/200g) Cloud 9 Gluten Free Flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (3 3/4 oz/ 106g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk powder (optional, but I always use it in baked goods to ensure the centre is not doughy and damp when I bake with gf flour. Bonus=it adds fiber)
  • 3/4 cup (8 oz/239g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  2. Generously butter and line the bottom of an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 - inch loaf pan and set aside.  
  3. Mix together the gf flour, psyllium husk and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Put the butter and sugar in a standing mixer and beat until creamy and light scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally.  Mix in vanilla extract and salt.  
  5. Add the condensed milk and mix until well incorporated scraping down the sides of the bowl once.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, ensuring all ingredients are combined uniformly. 
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top with a spatula ensuring the batter is relatively even.  Bake until the top is dark golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes (70-90 min). Cool completely in the loaf pan on a rack, then unmould.  Delicious the next day too!


Unknown said...

I've never tried the Cloud 9 flour before. I wonder if there would be anywhere near me I could pick some up. With what you've been able to make, it sounds like I should find some and try it out. Do you think there would be any at my local Costco?

Cakebrain said...

I live in Vancouver, BC Canada. I found the Cloud9 GF flour in my local Costco. If you do not live in BC, Canada, I doubt you would have the Cloud9 flour at your local Costco.
I think you can order the flour online from the supplier directly.


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