All purpose flour is the most common ingredient when it comes to baking cakes and cookies. It is easily substituted now a day with our wholewheat flour that we also call Aata or other gluten based flours like Spelt etc to make it healthy. But the thought of baking without these gluten based flours was pretty daunting to me.
I have tried making gluten free brownies and cookies. With brownie, most of us enjoy that fudgey and gooey texture and with cookies too, we don't expect a cake like fluffy texture. So, technically it felt a lot safer for me to try these things first.
I am very new to gluten free baking and I have baked only two gluten free cakes so far. And trust me when I say this, that both the time, I was utterly surprised that the cakes turned out great! By great, I mean fluffy and moist. And it felt like a miracle!
This cake here uses a blend of coconut flour and almond flour. I made this cake with jaggery powder. I prefer it in baking as it works great in almost every recipe, is commonly available throughout India and is a lot healthier than regular sugar. If you are not familiar with jaggery, you can also use coconut sugar for this recipe.
The frosting is also healthier here. I have started making the frosting out of freshly make paneer lately. It turns out very creamy, delicious and way healthier than whipped cream. The cream that's commonly available here is so difficult to whip anyways. I'm sure you know what I mean. This version gives you a creamy, stable frosting that is delicious and healthier!
So let's take a look at the ingredients you will need for the recipe.
For the cake -
1 cups - Almond flour
1/2 cup - Coconut flour
1/4 cup - Tapioca flour
1/4 cup - Corn flour
1/2 cup - Powdered jaggery
1/2 tsp - Baking soda
1 tsp - Baking powder
1/4 tsp - Salt
1/3 cup - Unsalted butter
1/2 cup - Whole milk
1 tsp - Vanilla extract
For the topping -
1/2 cup - Coconut milk
1 tbsp - Powdered Jaggery
1/2 cup - Freshly made ricotta or paneer
1/4 cup - Fresh cream
Fresh fruits (optional)
For the cake -
In a bowl, crack the eggs and add the powdered jaggery. Whisk it with a hand mixer or a whisk until the egg starts to get frothy.
Melt the butter in a pan. When it cools slightly, add the butter, milk and vanilla extract to the whisked eggs and give it another mix.
Sieve all the dry ingredients into a separate bowl.
Add in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and whisk it gently until everything is well combined and a batter forms.
Pour this batter into a greased and lined baking pan. I had used a 8x8 square brownie pan here.
Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
If you have used a smaller pan, the cooking time of the cake will vary. You may have to bake it a little longer.
Let the cake cool slightly.
For the toppings -
Take the coconut milk in a pan and place it over medium heat.
As soon as it comes to a boil, add in half the jaggery (1/2 tbsp) and take it off the heat.
In a hand mixer or a blender jar, add the paneer or ricotta, cream and the remaining jaggery (1/2 tbsp).
Process it until everything is mixed properly and the mixture is smooth.
First pour the slightly cooled coconut milk all over the cake and refrigerate it for about an hour.
Then take the cake out of the fridge and top it with the whipped paneer/ricotta and spread it evenly over the cake.
Serve it with some sliced fresh fruits (optional).
There is no substitute for coconut flour in this recipe. Coconut flour is different from desiccated coconut. It is much finer, like a flour and works great in baked goods.
You can use whole almonds instead of almond flour here. Take a little less than 1 cup of whole almonds into a blender jar and add the tapioca flour and corn flour to the jar as well. Process it until you end up with a smooth, even flour.
The sweetened coconut milk thats poured over the cake keeps it moist and reinforces the delicious coconut flavour in the cake.
Freshly made paneer works great for the frosting. Since we do add some cream to the paneer, you don't necessarily need ricotta to begin with.
When you are making your paneer, add the acid gradually to the milk and stop adding more the moment you start to notice the curds forming. This will give you a softer paneer.
I hope you guys do give this gluten free cake a try. It is an absolute delight with the coconut and almond flavours working so well together!