I've been experimenting with xylitol and cassava flour to make our desserts sugar-free and gluten-free, and I'm happy to report that, for the most part, they've succeeded!
My mom discovered cassava flour, and I decided to experiment with it because it's a light, refined texture and is supposed to work as an almost one-for-one substitute for all-purpose white flour. It has also been reported to absorb more moisture than all-purpose flour, so some sources recommend reducing the amount slightly (my guess for the reason that it absorbs more liquid is because it is even finer than regular flour).
|The two ingredients that have made healthy desserts possible!|
Both available from Amazon.com
I based my cake on the recipe from the Great British Bake Off How to Bake cookbook, and I referenced a marzipan recipe online (because, as usual, the recipe for the cake expects you to be able to find marzipan pre-made in the store – unfortunately, I live in the U.S.).
I didn't have to change much in either recipe. But be sure to read the rest of the post to see what I did change, so you can avoid my mistakes...
- Cream together using a wooden spoon:
- 100g unsalted butter
- 90g xylitol
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 90g cassava flour
- 1 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
- 50g almond flour
- few drops of vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coffee granules (I used instant coffee) mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
- 25g chopped walnuts
- 100g powdered xylitol, sifted
- 40g softened butter
- 1/2 teaspoon coffee granules in 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
|The two different batters divided by the parchment paper.|
|Flavoring for the vanilla batter.|
|Flavoring for coffee walnut batter.|
|My rather flat cakes...|
So I made a little graphic for future recipes that call for self-raising (also called self-rising) flour:
Even with the non-rising disaster, it still tasted good! And I was able to construct it so that it didn't look as if it had been sat on. The instructions have you cut each flavor in half, then stack them to look like a chessboard. So to compensate for the lack of height, I cut mine into thirds! It was still on the small side, but it at least resembled the traditional square shape.
The marzipan recipe I used is:
- 2 1/2 oz./5 tablespoons blanched and ground almonds (almond flour would work, too, it just wouldn't look as smooth)
- 3 1/2 oz./7 tablespoons powdered xylitol (to get it to the fine consistency just pop it in a Ninja blender or food processor and pulse it a few times in 5 second bursts)
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Sift the almonds and xylitol together.
- Add the water and extract, mix with your hands until it comes together. (You may need to add a little water.)
- Roll it into a log shape, wrap in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for about 1 hour.
- Roll out the marzipan between two sheets of parchment paper.
- To wrap around the cake, remove one piece of the parchment paper from the rolled out marzipan, then take the other and roll up the cake (making sure to press the marzipan well onto the cake before carefully removing the parchment paper).
© Anna Morton 2017