Gluten free cooking has been quite an adventure for our family. Last night I announced that I was serving Indian food. Since we've tried Indian food at different restaurants, we were confident we would like this theme. I had picked up a korma spice mix that was wheat free and looked delicious. A spice mix seemed the easiest route to a fine meal for this neophyte Indian cook.
My eldest son took one bite and was gasping for water. My family has a very low spicy heat tolerance and a flair for dramatics ... or so I thought. But when I bit into the korma, I grabbed that water jug like a drowning man grabbing a life saver. Holy moly, it was spicy.
Generosity should have been the brand name of that spice mix because there was twice as much spice mix as labelled on the original box. I missed the little sticker that said "an extra 50 g included". The instructions stated to mix one package (50g) into yogurt. Only when our tongues were hanging out and we were panting for relief did I read the instructions more carefully.
What did I learn from this?
1) Read instructions carefully.
2) Treat your family nicely.
3) It's a great bargain and I'm going back for more.
After that debacle, my family deserved a little relief. I've been experimenting with different flour mixtures to recreate some of the whole grain taste and mouth feel of wheat. These muffins are light if you follow the instructions to sift your dry ingredients and whisk the wet ones. Ironic that I would insist on that.
Allspice Teff Muffins
1&3/4 cup teff flour mix*
¾ cup white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp xanthan gum
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp allspice (mixture of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg)
2 tbsp flax meal
Sift together dry ingredients. If you use a sifter it will aerate the dry ingredients and give more loft to the muffins. Set aside dry ingredients.
2 extra large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup pureed prunes (baby food)
1/3 cup warm water
½ cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare 12 muffin tins by oiling them lightly.
Whisk the eggs until they are light coloured and foamy. This works more air into the batter. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking all the time to form an emulsion. When the oil is incorporated fully, whisk in the pureed prunes. Once they are thoroughly mixed, whisk in the warm water. The mixture will be viscous but light.
Carefully fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with the raisins. Spoon the fully mixed batter into the muffin cups.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
This recipe could be improved with molasses and if it had been in the cupboard, I would have used it.
*Teff flour mixture
2 cups teff flour
2 cups sorghum
1 cup rice flour (glutinous, very white, squeaky when pinched)
1&1/2 cups cornstarch (again, white and squeaky)
1&1/2 cups tapioca starch/flour (white and squeaky)
Starch “squeaks” when pinched or rubbed between two fingers. If you’ve never tried this, take cornstarch and pinch between your fingers. Then try it with corn flour – which is yellow, fine but won’t squeak.