Wednesday, October 28, 2009

: : 1 cup [[ flour ]] : :

◙ flour ◘ flour ◙ flour ◘

So, four is another factor which contributes to the texture of the cake or muffins you are baking. Just like sugar, the correct amount is vital!

Yes I know - at this stage you are probably a bit put off baking...or perhaps you have just convinced yourself that the upside-down pineapple cake you have planned for that morning tea with your in-laws may not be the right thing...

May I suggest a nice packet of Tim Tams instead? [[For Tim Tam ideas visit : : Recipe #1 [[ Tim Tam Temptation ]] : :]]

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[[ The Purpose of Flour ]]

Flour has two basic purposes:

1. to bind and add bulk and body [[imagine cake batter without flour! ]]


2. to rise [[flour, when added with baking powder assists with the rising of the cake]]

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So, a cake can rise without flour, but not without baking powder; however in order to substitute flour successfully, we need to use a fine grained solid whose texture is able to mimic that of flour's.

[flour-like substance] + baking powder = rise

The ingredient you choose to substitute flour with must be a solid as it helps to bind your ingredients together (and better yet; will ensure your creation resembles something remotely cake-like...and not soup!).

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Yes, I know...
What are some safe ingredients you can replace flour with?

Probably the most popular choice is self-raising flour or almond meal.

: : Ingredients : :

1 cup of flour

3/4 cup self-raising flour, a pinch of salt and NO baking powder

1 cup almond meal

3/4 cup oat bran (you may need to add some more liquid as oat bran has the tendency to absorb moisture)

3/4 cup custard powder

1 cup potato flour

NOTE: you are only substituting flour, not baking powder

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[[What can go wrong when using too little, too much or just not the right type of flour?]]

: : Too much flour : :

NOTE: Yet again a muffin/cake by your computer/laptop is mandatory (be warned : : you may need a dozen or so to correctly identify your baking problems)

Does your cake/muffin have a hard crust?

Is your cake/muffin dry?

Is the top of your cake/muffin lumpy?

Is the top of your cake/muffin cracked?

[[ If you answered yes to any of these questions, your cake/muffin has too much flour ]]

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: : Too little flour : :

Okay - too be frank, there's no real way to tell if you are lacking flour...apart from if your cake/muffin is a blobby mess that just refuses to cook! Well, I guess there are two acceptations to that rule:

1. MUFFIN ONLY you were lazy and didn't use a muffin tin [[ AKA the weight of your muffin flattened the patty pan ]]


2. Your oven "mysteriously" turning itself (*cough cough*) off and/or lowered the temperature.

Yes, so basically - if your cake/muffins turn out resembling some sort of pancake...add more flour next time.

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: : Wrong type of flour : :

The type of flour you use really depends on the other ingredients used in the recipe - so this one is a bit of trial and error, to say the least.

Does your cake/muffin have a coarse texture?

YES: if you answered 'yes' to the above question, you are using the wrong type of flour for your particular recipe

Is your crust slight damp or soggy?

Has your cake/muffin developed a slightly soggy bottom layer?

[[ If you have answered YES to either of the above question, the flour you used is too damp for your recipe ]]

NOTE: The above two questions, if answered 'yes' could also be a result of too much sugar. Try using your taste buds here to see whether your cake/muffin tastes too sweet or not.

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