My fellow gluten-free blogger friends *cough* Iris *cough* Brittany *cough* have discovered a great way to get me going is to give me a food challenge. They both egged me on to create a raw cake and after several attempts and shifts in plans, I came up with my Raw Peppermint Mocha Truffle Cake. This came from a conversation on Facebook where I admitted I haven’t had cake in over a year. So, my raw truffle cake was my first cake in a very long time. Then, at the Gluten and Allergy-Free Expo, I had ALL manner of gluten-free cakes, doughnuts, etc. In fact, by the end of the first day, I didn’t want to even want samples. I was already on sugar overload. Yes, not everyone is refined sugar-free. And while I allow myself a treat now and then, this went well beyond a treat. It was a downright binge. Vomiting not included.
Iris put out a challenge at the beginning of the month for a Gluten-free Cake. Of course I had to answer the call. I started thinking back on the gluten-free haupia cake I wanted to try to make for Chaz’s birthday. Which given I haven’t made a gf cake in a long time, was a good thing I chose to put that idea aside.
Now’s the time to revisit.
I wanted something grain-free, egg-free, and dairy-free.
I’m using coconut flour since haupia is traditionally a white cake with haupia, a coconut pudding/jello. Coconut cake sounded like a great place to start. And it is. Every attempt I think about how great it would be with the haupia. Yet, I can’t get the moisture level just right. Probably my closest attempt was #4, but Chaz wasn’t keen on the taste. Which, I realized several hours after he tried it that I forgot the vanilla. That day wasn’t such a good day so I was a little distracted while making it.
I know each attempt gets me closer and closer to the final product. It can be quite maddening to turn out the cake and not have it quite right. Most people would just give up, throw in the towel and pull a mix out of the pantry. Or run down to the local bakery.
I’m not one for mixes and running down to the local bakery, or even the Kroger bakery which is closer, isn’t an option. There are gluten-free baking mixes. I am well aware of that fact. No one needs to remind me. If you look at the
ingredients on a lot of those mixes, you’ll find a lot of refined gluten-free flours. It defeats the purpose of me going refined-free if I’m eating a lot of refined gluten-free flours. All that stuff gets converted to sugar too quick in our bodies. I have used Gluten-free Bisquick for Brittany’s Gluten-free/Vegan Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza Crust and for Silvana Nardone’s Jalapeño Popper Waffles (from her cookbook, Cooking for Isaiah). This was only just since the Expo and I’ve only used it sparingly. It’s not something I want to use all the time.
One thing that keeps me from trying a lot of gluten-free baking is the list of ingredients. Once you have everything ready, it’s not all that long to measure everything out. But sometimes getting everything together can be time consuming. And who really wants to get out 2o things to make a cake? Okay, maybe not 20. 15. Yeah, 15. I like easy. Even before I was gluten-free, I liked to baked and I liked it easy. Not mix easy, but definitely not 2o ingredients. I made some pretty good cakes from scratch. One of my friends with Celiac really enjoys the Chocolate Chinchilla cake I make. Think flourless chocolate angel food cake.
My first attempt had 7 ingredients. Attempt #5 had 8. Each attempt was easy and took just minutes to put together if I had everything out and ready to go. Also, each attempt has slight variations in it. If I forget to write it down, I can recall
what I did differently easier. Yes, I’m prone to not writing things down. If I remember to write everything down, I’d have more recipes for you. C’est la vie.
The thought that I bit off more than I can chew did enter my mind. I mean, who in the world starts off making a gluten-free cake completely allergy-free? Just me? I guess this is where the saying, go big or go home, comes in. I could have experimented with a plethora of gluten-free flours. I certainly seem to have them all right now. I even said I was going to use beans if one of the attempts didn’t work out but I kept on with the coconut flour. So why stay on this track when the deadline for the challenge is Saturday? Because I know it can be done. And not only did Iris challenge me, I challenged myself.
I most likely won’t have my gluten-free cake ready by Saturday. I’m okay with that. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop working on it. I just won’t have it constantly in my head trying to figure out how to do the next tweak. Besides, I can’t keep eating all this cake! I eat some of it and then end up tossing it. I know it’s wasteful, but unless it’s Chaz approved he’s not touching it and I just can’t eat it all alone.
Just be prepared for an amazing Haupia Cake at some point in the future. I know I’m ready for it!