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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Baking with Unusual Flour

Happy Wednesday everyone! I was trying to decide what to write about tonight, and I realized we have so many glorious types of flour that people are afraid to try! I bring you three delicious recipes that use 3 different types of flour. Explore and enjoy!

Oat flour...
Oat Shortcakes with Sauteed Apples, Cinnamon, and Whipped Cream
Alice Medrich

For the cake:
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) clarified butter or ghee
  • 1 cup (100 grams) oat flour
  • 2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
  • 2 large Honeycrisp or Gala apples, unpeeled, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Special Equipment:
  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment or handheld electric mixer, 9-inch square cake pan, sifter or medium-mesh strainer
Bake the cake:
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper, but leave the sides unlined and ungreased.
  2. Put the clarified butter in a small pot or microwavable container ready to reheat when needed, and have a large bowl ready to pour it into as well. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and 2 tablespoons of the sugar together thoroughly.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine eggs, salt, and remaining granulated sugar; beat on high speed until light-colored and tripled in volume, 4 to 5 minutes. You should see well-defined tracks as the whisk spins; when the whisk is lifted, the mixture should fall in a thick, fluffy rope that dissolves slowly on the surface of the batter.
  4. Just before the egg mixture is ready, heat the clarified butter until very hot and pour it into the reserved large bowl.
  5. Remove the bowl with the egg mixture from the mixer. Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the eggs; fold in with a large rubber spatula until the flour is almost blended into the batter. Repeat with half of the remaining flour, then repeat with the rest of the flour. Scrape about a quarter of the batter into the bowl with the hot clarified butter. Fold until the butter is completely blended into the batter. Scrape the buttery batter over the remaining batter and fold just until blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  6. Bake until the cake is golden brown on top, 30 to 35 minutes. It will have puffed up and then settled level, but it won't have pulled away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean and dry. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely.
  7. When cool, cut around the edge of the cake to release it from the pan, then quickly invert over a cutting board. Cut in a tic-tac-toe grid, creating nine even squares of cake.
Make the topping:
  1. While the cake is baking, make the topping: In a medium bowl, toss sliced apples with lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and 1/4 cup water. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter until melted. Add apple mixture and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until apples have softened but still hold their shape and the sauce has thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in the chilled bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, whip the cream until it holds a soft shape—not too stiff. (The cream can be covered and refrigerated for up to several hours. If liquid separates from the cream, whisk briefly before using.)
Assemble the dessert:
  1. To serve, top each piece of cake with 4 to 5 cooked apple slices and a drizzle of sauce and garnish with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Spelt flour...
Chocolate Espresso Spelt Cake
Gourmet, October 2005

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder plus additional for dusting pan and cake
  • 1 cup boiling-hot water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 lb Medjool dates (12 to 14), pitted and coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Special equipment: a 9-inch springform pan
  • Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter springform pan, then lightly dust with cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
  2. Stir together boiling-hot water, espresso powder, vanilla, and baking soda in a bowl, then add dates, mashing lightly with a fork, and steep until liquid cools to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together spelt flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until just combined. Beat in date mixture (batter will look curdled), then reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  4. Spoon batter into springform pan, smoothing top, and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then remove side of pan and cool cake on rack. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

Cornmeal...Concord Grape Cornmeal Cake
Bon Appetit, November 2012

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly, plus more
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; more for grapes
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 pound Concord or black grapes, stemmed, seeds removed, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x8x2" baking dish. Whisk 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl to combine. Add oil and 2 tablespoons melted butter; whisk to blend. Whisk in flour mixture, then buttermilk. Stir in honey, being careful not to fully incorporate.
  2. Pour batter into prepared dish. Toss half of grapes with a large pinch of flour in a medium bowl until well coated. Scatter over cake batter.
  3. Bake until cake turns light golden brown around the edges and starts to set, 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and scatter remaining grapes over cake. Continue to bake until top is golden brown and cake springs back when pressed, 20-25 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool slightly in pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy baking!

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