Gluten Free flour alternatives can be a little tricky to work with and sometimes, alas the results in baking can been something akin to dry cardboard. Because of my love affair with all things kokonas (coconut) I started using coconut flour 3 years ago. Not wanting to end up with unsuccessful baking that the family wouldn’t eat, I invested in Bruce Fife’s book, The Coconut Flour recipe book. I’ve found it a treasure trove of delicious and guilt free gluten free morsels, both sweet and savoury.
There are few tricks you need to learn when converting to coconut flour. Because of the lack of protein in coconut flour (which is effectively finely ground dried coconut meat) any recipe using coconut flour requires a high input of a protein, usually in baking that is in the form of eggs. Using coconut flour has allowed me to mix up the baking repertoire so that I’m not bombarding the family with gluten all the time.
If you are adventurous in your baking and want to convert a standard white flour recipe to one that uses coconut flour – here’s a little way of maximising your success:
1 cup of wheat flour = 1/3 cup coconut flour + double eggs + more liquid (water or milk of choice)
Recently, I was asked to “take a plate” (it’s a kiwi thing) to a function. The hostess is celiac, so I wanted to create a savoury dish that was gluten free. After much toiling on the internet, here’s what I came up with, Blini. The combination was fantastic. I was a little hesitant that the blini would taste too strongly of coconut, but they didn’t. This recipe will now feature regularly in the Lav Kokonas HQ kitchen.
Makes about 2 dozen small blini
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons milk (your choice of nut milk, organic, coconut – up to you)
a pinch of salt
Lav Kokonas Virgin Coconut Oil for cooking
Sift coconut flour and salt, add eggs and whisk. Gradually add in milk. Coconut flour takes a while to incorporate so make sure you whisk well until a batter is formed – be patient and using a whisk makes the job easier. The mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter. If it is too runny add a little coconut flour and if it is too dry add a little more milk. Coconut flour has a high capacity to absorb liquid so let the mixture sit for a short time before deciding if the consistency is right.
Heat Lav Kokonas Virgin Coconut Oil in a pan and spoon about a tablespoon full into a hot pan, cook each side for a minute until golden brown, then place to the side. In my frypan, I can easily fit 6 at a time. Cool, then top with your choice of deliciousness.