July 25, 2007

Carrot Cake: The Gluten-Free Experiments




I believe carrot cake is one of old favourites we, especially children, mostly enjoy. My first attempt of baking carrot cakes was a gluten-free one around in the end of 2003 when Ben was having his 1st birthday party. I made two layers of carrot cake and sandwiched and topped them with cream cheese icing, which then sprinkled with chopped walnuts. I was a bit surprised to see the reaction of the guests at that time, especially those who could not consume gluten, that the cake was incredibly moist for a gluten-free version they've ever made or tasted somewhere else. I couldn't think that their compliment indicated a politeness over the hostess of the party, but then I encouraged myself to continuously trying to improve the recipe that I used. I will find it useful in the future because some of my guests might as well be suffering food intolerance, eczema, or suffering from Coeliac disease.

As for gluten-free flours, they don't contain any gluten whatsoever. The finished products often are not satisfaction-guaranteed as you might like to compare with the regular floured products. I have been experimenting to produce gluten-free products which taste and look as delicious as the goodies made from regular flours and up to now, I am not really convinced that they would taste as good.

I have been trying to reduce the amount of the flour, but that often makes the cake soggy and really thin and hard. That probably because with the other ingredients not being reduced, it means a disaster to the balance of the ingredients. So I thought I'd better keep the amount of flour and have to increase the number of eggs. I believe that eggs can give sponginess in a cake, the texture that can hold the shape and also moisten it at the same time. And I definitely can't add more grated carrots or crushed pineapple in the mixture as these will give the flour and eggs a hard work to rise.

Another thing that I often do is to use ground nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut, or pecan) to add more flavour and to help give good construction to the cake. Although the finished product is often fragile, within cooling down it will be harden.

So, with all devoted hours and how many failures I had had to improve the recipe, I baked another carrot cake for my daughter, Sarah Jane's 3rd birthday. The result was the compliments from the teachers and children. Some of the parents were also asking for the recipes. So, I thought oh that works well. And here I am writing down the recipes for you to jot down.

I am just hoping for all readers who are suffered from food allergy or food intolerance to find it is not impossible for you to enjoy cakes or other goodies although they are not made from regular flours and with this you will also be encouraged to bake your own cake.

Here are the recipes of carrot cakes I've been working on. They may be not perfect, but at least it's been proved that it tastes as good as moist by the school teachers and children.

Carrot Cake (Gluten-Free Version)

This cake can be made for individual servings as well by using medium muffin pans, only you have to reduce the baking time for 30-45 minutes according to how hot is your oven.

2 cups Healtheries Simple Baking Mix mixed with 1 tsp baking soda,
¾ brown sugar,
¼ cup white sugar,
2 cups grated carrots,
115g crushed pineapple,
100g walnut pieces,
4 eggs,
1 cup vegetable oil,
1 heap tsp ground cinnamon,
1 heap tsp ground mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Break the eggs in the bowl and whisk lightly until well mixed. Add in the remaining ingredients. Beat for 1 minute until well combined. Scrap down and side of the bowl, then beat again for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Pour into the prepred cake tin and bake for about 50-60 minutes until cooked or when a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Carrot Cake (Regular Version)

It needs slow baking as this cake tends to be heavy. Using very hot oven will burn the cake before it is thoroughly cooked.

2 cups plain flour mixed with ¼ cup Self-Raising flour and 1 tsp baking soda,
¾ cup brown sugar,
¼ cup white sugar,
2 cups grated carrots,
125g crushed pineapple,
120g walnut pieces,
5 eggs,
1 cup vegetable oil,
1 heap tsp ground cinnamon,
1 heap tsp ground mixed spice,
½ tsp ground ginger,
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Break the eggs in the bowl and whisk lightly until well mixed. Add in the remaining ingredients. Beat for 1 minute until well combined. Scrap down and side of the bowl, then beat again for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 50-60 minutes until cooked or when a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

12 comments:

Ilva said...

Sounds great Arfi, I have never tried to make a gluten-free carrot cake but now I will have to try yours!

Callipygia said...

Good for you for continuing to make good tasting treats for your loved ones with allergies. The cake looks not only good but fun!

Anh said...

Arfi, this is a very thougtful post. :) Gluten-free cake sounds and looks good. I am glad you maked it.

So Simple said...

Arfi

Great idea working on that gluten free cake. I will be sending it to my friend who's a celiac. Most gluten free cakes that I have made contain ground nuts. They are usually fairly rich and delicious.
By the way I've tagged you for the 4 x 4 meme. Looking forward to reading it.
Cheers

Lia said...

i loveeeeeeee carrot cake, mau dunkkk seiris. happy belated day ya sarah sun jauh dari tante muahhhhhhhhhh......mba itu dilapisin putih pake butter cream atau cream cheese?? aku contek yg regular versionnya ya ;)

Arfi Binsted said...

ilva: yes, please do and please let me know the result. i'd love to hear it and to know what's not right from this recipe.

callipygia: thank you!!

anh: for the sake of the beloved ones, why not!!

gilli: i'll have a look at your blog what's 4x4 meme all about hehehe... thanks anyway!

lia: icingnya pake cream cheese icing: cream cheese, mentega tawar, icing sugar, dan lemon juice. have fun!

Jen said...

thanks for the recipes my man is a Celiac

Alex e Mari said...

It must be really good! I will try this recipe as I am always experimenting gluten free recipes!
thanks
MARINA

Alex e Mari said...

Hi Arfi,
I am very interested in gluten free recipes... this sound very good for children as well!
Cheers
MARINA

Alex e Mari said...

Hi Arfi, it seems that my computer is not able to pass my messages to you... I don't know why, but it is the third cooment that I am writing.
Cheers
MARINA

So Simple said...

Arfi
Just a little bit of fun revealing 4 x 4 little things about you.
I have joined lovelyblogs nz as well...interesting isn't it. All that information.

Arfi Binsted said...

jen: please do and please tell me the result. if it is not that perfect, i'd love to improve it again!

marina: please do, marina!! and please tell me the result.

gilli: yes!! i'm glad you're joining too! i would love to gather all the bloggers in nz one day hehehe...!