Have you ever come across a product and thought, “I wish I would have found this a year ago”? That's what I thought when I read Starlene's Baking with Coconut flour e-book. Thus far, my attempts at baking with coconut flour have been less than entirely successful. After reading Baking with Coconut Flour, I've got a whole new strategy for using this ingredient, plus a back up plan to recover anything I still manage to screw up. 😉 (She gives salvage instructions as well.)
What is Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour really isn't flour as most of think of flour, i.e., ground up grain. Coconut flour is dried coconut meat that is finely ground and can be used as a substitute for standard flours. There are different types (finer and courser grind), which is explained in Starlene's e-book.
Why Use Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is gluten free, so it's become popular with gluten sensitivity. It's also low carb, and acceptable for most people who cannot use nut based flours. It's high in protein and fiber, so it fills you up and is less likely to spike blood sugar levels.
Where Can I buy Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour can be found in most natural food or gluten free baking sections of grocery stores. It can also be purchased online through vendors such as Tropical Traditions or Nutiva, or through bulk buying clubs like Azure Standard or UNFI.
How Does Coconut Flour Compare to Wheat Flour?
Starlene explains in detail how to substitute coconut flour for wheat flour. Her rough rule of thumb is 1/4 cup coconut flour for 1 cup of wheat flour, but she gives additional tips on how to measure to get consistent results every time. (This is part of the material I really wish I had known about sooner.) There can be a lot more variation in coconut flour depending on its age and storage conditions, and because you use less, that variation can have a big effect on a recipe. (Thus my rather dry and gritty baking results are explained, and remedied in the future.)
What Recipes are Featured in Baking with Coconut Flour?
Inside Baking with Coconut Flour, you will find:
- Grandma's Applesauce Cake
- Banana Nut Muffins
- Pumpkin Poppers (Donut Holes)
- Orange Medallion Cookies
- Strawberry Shortcake Medallion Cookies
- Chocolate Medallion Cookies
- Cookie Cutter Cookies
- Cookie Cutter Cookies (Egg-Free)
- Pumpkin Bread
- Sanwich bread
- Faux Cornbread or Muffins
How do You Adapt Recipes for Use With Coconut Flour?
This is where the book really shines. Sure, Starlene gives an assortment of great recipes to get you started, but she also gives you the tools you need to successfully adapt favorite recipes you already use. The adaptation instructions include flour swaps, egg adjustments, substituting honey for sugar and finding the right mix of ingredients to achieve the desired texture. She discusses how the batter should look for different types of baked goods, and the best techniques for adjusting the amount of flour used. Because coconut flour works best when it has a chance to sit and soak up the liquid in a recipe, you can't just adjust it at the end like you would a wheat flour recipe. (Well, you can, but it won't work nearly as well.)
Here's an example of a recipe Starlene converted just for this post. 🙂
Almond Butter Blondie Bites Made With Coconut Flour
The original recipe is here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chewy-peanut-butter-brownies/
- 1 cup crispy almonds (skins removed after soaking) (132 grams)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean caviar, optional (extracted from a piece of vanilla bean about 3″ in length)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour + 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a glass 9″x9″ square baking dish. I also lined the dish with parchment paper for easy removal.
1. Place crispy almonds into food processor and add 2 tablespoons warm, melted coconut oil.
2. Blend until smooth. It took about 3 minutes in my food processor. Measure out 1/2 cup of almond butter (there will be a couple of tablespoons extra).
3. Place almond butter into a medium sized bowl.
4. Add remaining coconut oil (3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon).
5. Add 1/3 cup honey, vanilla extract and vanilla bean caviar.
6. Beat two eggs and add to the bowl.
7. Mix together.
8. In a smaller bowl, place 1/4 cup coconut flour and salt. Mix. Sift.
9. Add coconut flour and salt to the wet ingredients.
10. Mix using hand mixer or whisk until thoroughly blended.
11. Allow the batter to sit for 2-3 minutes to give the coconut flour time to absorb.
12. Assess the batter. Brownie batter should be somewhat stiff. I had to add the additional tablespoon of coconut flour as the batter was pretty sloppy.
13. Spread into the baking dish.
14. Bake 20 minutes. The top of the brownies will lose the shiny look and will feel firm to the touch when done.
These were delicious all alone but they looked a little homely so I decided to dress them up with a little touch of frosting.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- vanilla bean caviar from a piece of vanilla bean about 1″ in length
Mix together. Using a pastry bag, pipe a small dot on top of each blondie. I cut these into 9 pieces, and then 4 pieces again. Yield: 36 bites
You can buy your copy of Baking with Coconut Flour online by clicking here. I did not receive any compensation from Starlene for this review, but I did decide to become an affiliate, so if you choose to purchase the book or Nutiva coconut flour through my site, I receive a small affiliate payment.