Sorghum flour and xanthan gum – the two ingredients related to gluten free & vegan baking, the two ingredients that I never tried before and the two ingredients that I substituted with other things before. But now, they are in this cake!
So, first things first: I had some leftover carrots from my catering gig on Friday. For a long time I was planning to make a carrot cake and I thought this could be the time for it. But I didn’t want to make a regular carrot cake, so instead I decided to go both gluten free and vegan.
Which lead to this: I needed to find and try sorghum flour. Now, for a while I’ve been looking for sorghum flour to create my own gluten free flour mixture but I had no luck. It was not used in Finland. In some shops, like Ruohonjuuri, they didn’t even understand what I was asking for. So I had given up – until I saw Risenta had sorghum flour finally and it must have been sold in some market out there. Turns out, Risenta durra jauho can be found in big K-market inside Kamppi shopping centre.
The second ingredient that I have seen in many gluten free and vegan recipes for a while but I never tried myself was xanthan gum. I had to admit that my reaction to this thing was rather psychological coming from its name – it always felt like I would put a chewing gum inside the cake! But, I overcame my prejudices and decided to give it a try.
Xanthan gum is used in gluten free baking to provide stickiness which is normally what gluten does. It is used in very small amounts and helps with your dough or batter. And well, I think it did. In some forums about gluten free baking, I had seen some people complaining about xanthan gum saying that it makes cakes taste weird or it gives them stomach problems. So far, it hasn’t caused any problem with me and I didn’t notice any weird taste.
Well, that’s all the story about the ingredients of today’s recipe. Enjoy!
Difficulty: ★☆☆ (Easy)
(makes 1 cake using a springform cake pan, 24cm in diameter)
a little bit of vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil) to grease the cake pan
1/2 cup / 1.2 dl buckwheat flour (in Finnish: tattarijauho)
3/4 cup / 1.8 dl sorghum flour (in Finnish: durrajauho)(Risenta brand sorghum flour, you can find it in K-supermarket in Kamppi, in gluten free flours section)
3/4 cup / 1.8 dl potato flour (in Finnish: perunajauho)
1 tsp xanthan gum (in Finnish: ksantaani, you can find this in many markets in baking ingredients sections or in gluten free ingredients sections)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups / 3 dl light brown sugar (coconut sugar works too)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup / 1.2 dl olive oil
1 cup / 2.4 dl applesauce (you can find it in almost any market, next to jams and marmalades)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 medium size carrots (about 150 gr.), peeled and grated
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 24cm springform (or another kind) cake pan and line its base with baking paper, put aside.
2. Put all the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl and whisk a little (dry ingredients: in the list above, starting from buckwheat flour, ending with cinnamon). Put aside.
3. In an electric mixing bowl (or you can also easily make it by hand whisk), put olive oil, applesauce and lemon juice and beat it until they mix well.
4. Add dry ingredients mixture and continue beating until the ingredients are incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.
5. Add carrots and beat until carrot pieces are distributed evenly inside the batter.
6. Put the batter inside the prepared cake pan and smoothen the surface. Put the pan in the oven, in medium rack, and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave in the pan for 20 minutes after baking, before you take it out of the pan. Let the cake cool down to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!