Can You Really Make Flour-less Cake?
To truly be a cake you need flour, unless you are making a cheese cake,or a chocolate egg cake. Having said that I will add a very large BUT; flour is defined as the grinding of meal into a powder; therefore flour can be from nuts, beans, rice, grains, tubers(tapioca, potato), or seeds. So for the sake of argument we will consider the making of a flour-less cake as using flour other than the white/wheat flours that most of us are accustomed to.
Nut flours are a little heavy and make wonderful banana, carrot and spice cakes, but would not be a good choice for sponge or angle food cakes. Rice flour, or a combination of bean flours and starch(corn, potato, tapioca) flours, would be the better choice for these lighter cakes. Bob's Red Mill has an All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour consisting of a blend of Garbanzo Bean Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour, Sorghum Flour, and Fava Bean Flour. This flour makes great cakes, cookies and breads. It is also easier to use than trying to find the perfect combination for the right texture and density. Buckwheat is a wonderful light, nutty flour that comes from a relative of the rhubarb plant, and is not in anyway related to wheat. Don't limit this culinary jewel just to the making of pancakes; it makes a wonderful banana nut cake.
If you bite into a nice chocolate cake made with one of these flours expecting the artificial fluff you get from white flour you are going to be disappointed. This is real food with real gusto, but after eating a few bites you won't even notice the textural differences. Hopefully you won't ever want to go back to the former fluff, but if you still desired the packaged texture there are now available boxed mixes from Betty Crocker and others, but expect to pay for this indulgence.
Using alternative flours has multiple health benefits as well. More and more people are succumbing to diseases that stem from, or are exacerbated by, intolerance to wheat or the gluten in wheat or other grains. Finding alternatives thus becomes a necessity for these people. Another health benefit has to do with weight. Most of us have found that if we indulge in bread, cake, pasta or any other food item made primarily of white/wheat flour we are going to gain weight. there are many reports on the negative effects of excess weight; finding a way to continue eating foods we love that won't put on the pounds is a very big plus. One example is Buckwheat; it helps regulate blood sugar, is full of fiber, contains many nutrients including magnesium which helps the body's metabolism, and this is just a few of it's many health benefits.
Healthier food for your family is always a good thing and being able to incorporate desert will make everyone happy as well. Start by replacing your regular flour with a little of your flour of choice and they will never notice the switch.Yes, making a flour-less cake is a good choice, regardless if you do it for health, have run out of conventional flour or you just want to try something new. Give these flours a try, and surprise yourself with the many different combinations you can come up with.
~Orange Coffee Cake
Set oven to 325*F and butter and 8x8 inch cake pan
*3 T melted butter
*1/4 c. honey or sugar
*1/4 c. sour cream
*1/4 c. orange juice
*2 beaten eggs
*3 c. blanched almond flour (ground as fine as you can get it)
*2 t. grated orange rind
*1/2 t. baking soda
*pinch of salt
Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with topping:
*1T. grated orange rind
*2T. honey or sugar
*1T. melted butter
*1/4 c. chopped walnuts*pinch of ground clove
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.