Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

Actually, what I got was a lovely bunch of coconut flour from my friends at Duo Dishes.  If you're not reading  their blog, you should be.  They are an adventurous pair of cooking pals who will tackle just about any cuisine you want to throw at them.

Since I've been experimenting with gluten-free baking, coconut flour has been one of the ones I've been working with.  It's a pretty cool product.  It's high in fiber (how many other flours can boast that), gluten-free, and low carb (if you're into those sorts of things).  Definitely worth experimenting with to obtain a few health benefits from your baking.

It has its disadvantages though.  It's not the easiest flour in the world in the sense that you can't just automatically substiute it in a recipe and keep everything else the same.  You will need to adjust your liquids and your eggs for the perfect texture in your baked goods. (My somewhat chewy chocolate coconut waffles are a testament to that!)  Coconut flour absorbs way more liquid than wheat or rice or bean flour.  It can become a stiff ball of dough within seconds.

Fortunately there are some folks out there with the foresight to figure it out for you and give you a recipe with all measurements listed out for you for the perfect baked goods.

However, my first recent experiment I didn't do that.

I had a bumper crop of wild blackberries at the barn this year, so I decided to make some coconut-blackberry muffins.  I used a mixture of coconut and almond flour and added my berries and plenty of shredded coconut.

My problem was I needed some more milk and another egg to get the right consistency and level of cohesiveness in the muffins.  One I added my wet ingredients to the dry, I saw that I still had a stiff dough.  I didn't want to add more liquid for fear of overmixing.

My resulting muffins were kind of crumbly, but tasty.  They weren't tough at all.  With a few adjustments they would be better.  I'm not going to share the recipe I came up with, because it clearly needs to be perfected.  I think I'm in the right direction though.  Definitely a couple more eggs will be in the next batch.

Next up was coconut flour brownies.  I found a recipe on the internet a long time ago and printed it up.  Then I stuck it in a drawer and forgot about it.  Thank goodness I found it again when I received my new bag of flour.

These use a lot of eggs, which makes sense considering the use of coconut flour.  They are cocoa brownies rather than ones made with solid chocolate.  I have come to accept that cocoa brownies can be good, so I wasn't hesitant to try this recipe.  I have since managed to find a recipe that also includes solid chocolate.

These were really very very good.  I think they could have been a tad more chocolately (I would add more cocoa the next time) but the texture was delicious.  They were soft, fluffy, and cakey, but still quite moist.  I brought them to an impromptu gathering at a friend's house and they were quickly gobbled up.  They take no time to make, so they're great if you need a quick dessert.

Coconut Flour Brownies

  • 5Tlb butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoat powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
Heat over the 350.  Grease an 8"x8" square cake pan.

Melt butter together with cocoa in a small saucepan.  Set aside.

Whisk together all remaining ingredients except coconut flour until smooth.  Slowly whisk in the flour.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes. 


bellini said...

Coconut flour is definitely a good substitite!!!!! Love the brownies and look forward to the "new and improved" muffins.

The Duo Dishes said...

Coconut flour is petty awesome, but it's definitely tricky for new users. We had the dry texture issue with that pie crust we made. Yikes! It's trial and error or follow someone else's guidelines perhaps. You did find good use for them in the brownies though!

The Blonde Duck said...

Have you ever tried spelt flour?

Sue said...

I can't believe I almost missed your aside about cocoa brownies. I find THOSE are the best and much more chocolatey than ones made with melted chocolate. Of course, I also love adding chocolate chipe, so I have the best of both worlds.

I've taken to baking brownies sometimes in a bigger pan than the recipe calls for. You get more brownies. :-) Plus it can make a cakey brownie more chewy, if that's what you're after, so I bake a 8 by 8 inch recipe in a 9 by 13 pan.

Emily said...

I wish we had coconut flour here! I bet you can buy it online though...

The muffins sound great. I'm envious of your blackberry bush.

The brownies look goooood! I want one!

firma contabilitate said...

Hmmm this recipe looks so delicious and nice and i think that fits perfect with my taste and in my opinion is a very easy recipe, so i think i will try it. Thanks for sharing.