Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
There are a few things that have eluded me in my quest for healthier baking. Using Gluten Free and Paleo baking ingredients can cause a chemical dilemma when trying to achieve the same texture and taste as a ‘normal flour’. We eat with our emotions as much as our mouths and our memories of how a particular food tastes, feels and looks influences how we will enjoy a dish. That’s always been my aim; to create desserts and treats that look and (most importantly) taste like what you remember and expect.
There are some foods that I have struggled to recreate with the success that I require in order to share a recipe with you. Scones, Dumplings and Pancakes have been my nemesis for many years. Arrowroot made them too heavy, Nut Meal made them too coarse and Coconut Flour was too fine. Trust me; there have been many, many failed experiments, but I think I have now found the answer!
I recently received a pack of Otto’s Cassava Flour from Pantry Innovations and was intrigued. Cassava Flour is made from the same root vegetable as Arrowroot/Tapioca (the Cassava), however Arrowroot has been bleached and then the starch extracted. Alternatively, Otto’s Cassava Flour is a whole food; the entire root, minus the peel. It has the same texture as regular flour and even looks the same. The manufacturers of Otto’s Cassava Flour claim that it can be used 1:1 in place of normal flours in most baking recipes without (or limited) recipe adaptations. This I had to try!!!
First up was Cassava Flour Pancakes: perfect, fluffy and texturally right pancakes served with raspberry sauce.
Next Pizza Bases: thin and crispy without any sogginess.
Then two more lots of Pancakes…
Lastly: Sponge Cakes that were light and just like Grandmas used to make.
And then with the tiny amount I had left I made some more pancakes because nothing beats pancakes for breakfast!
I found when baking with Cassava Flour it was a little bit ‘thirsty’ and required the addition of a small extra amount of liquid compared to a standard wheat flour recipe. It did cook up just like a normal wheat flour and was simple and uncomplicated to work with.
How does it compare to other non-traditional flours? At first glance a packet seems to be on the more expensive side but it works out to be roughly the same as Almond Meal. It has a more neutral flavour and texture than the coarseness of most nut meals and is far easier to use than Coconut Flour. It is quite different in cooked texture than its ‘sister flour’ Tapioca (which tends to thicken and be quite heavy) and is much better suited to traditional baking.
And the Cassava Flour Pancakes? Gone quicker than I could cook them. That’s always the best indication! Otto’s Cassava Flour can be purchased exclusively in Australia from Pantry Innovations or in the USA from Ottos Naturals.
NB: I did receive a complimentary bag of Otto’s Cassava Flour from Pantry Innovations to test and create, and I am so thankful that I did! These Cassava Flour Pancakes are the best!
- 1 Cup Cassava Flour (do not substitute other flours as it will not work)
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar (or other granulated sugar)
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/4 Cups Milk (of choice)- have extra on hand if you prefer your pancakes thinner
- 2 Tablespoon Oil (of choice; melted if coconut oil)
- 1 Egg
- Chocolate Chips, Berries
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together in a seperate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet nad whisk/stor until just combined (do not over mix).
- Allow the pancake batter to rest for 5-30 minutes (depending on how hungry you are).
- Heat a fry pan over medium heat and grease well (if using add in's gently stir them in now).
- Take 1/4 Cup of pancake batter and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake. Flip the pancake and cook until the other side is cooked.
- The batter should make approximately 8 pancakes.
- Serve with raspberry sauce, maple syrup, honey, fruit or icecream.