Alternative flours — like chickpea flour, banana flour and grapeseed flour — can add a nutritional kick and a tasty nuance to many everyday recipes. Though substituting your tried-and-true AP flour may seem a little intimidating at first, once you have a few recipes under your belt you can add these alternative flours to your regular cooking and baking repertoire. To help you get there, Chef Sarah Chaminade is sharing three new recipes that she developed for ICE and Direct Eats using alternative flours. First, Chef Sarah uses chickpea flour to add a sweet and creamy texture to her chickpea canapés. Then, Chef Sarah demonstrates how to make a gluten-free angel food cake using banana flour —with all of the lightness and none of the gluten. Then, she uses merlot grapeseed flour in her chocolate chip cookies to create a gluten-free and vegan take on the classic recipe. Watch the video below, and then scroll to get the recipes.
Servings: three to four dozen individual canapés, depending on the size of each
In Liguria, the region flanking Genoa along Italy’s northwest coast, farinata is a classic dish. Farinata is a thin chickpea cake typically cooked in a wood-burning oven. In Liguria, bake shops put signs in their windows announcing the time that the farinata will be ready and customers line up to buy it. It’s a perfect snack when eaten like a piece of pizza on waxed butcher paper. Farinata, just like pizza, can be stuffed or garnished with any vegetable, cheese or sauce.
3 cups chickpea flour
5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Optional garnish: dollop of creme fraîche, crispy prosciutto or micro herbs like micro arugula
- Preheat convection oven to 450 °F (or 475 °F for a conventional home oven).
- Combine chickpea flour and water with whisk until smooth — let sit for 1 hour to allow batter to thicken slightly.
- Stir in remaining ingredients.
- Pour the batter onto a silicone baking mat or a baking sheet lined with parchment. Spread evenly with spatula and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut farinata into squares (5×7 or 6×8, depending on the size you prefer) and top with optional garnish.
* Recipe adapted from Ciao Italia by Mary Ann Esposito
Gluten-Free Banana Flour Angel Food Cake
Yield: one cake
1 10-inch angel food cake pan with removable bottom
15 egg whites, room temperature (note: it’s essential that they are at room temperature!)
1 pinch of salt
½ cup plus ¾ cup coconut sugar
1½ cups banana flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
* Flavor variations:
Replace vanilla with zest of one lemon, two limes or half an orange, or replace vanilla with two teaspoons of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- In a very clean, dry mixing bowl combine egg whites and salt and whip to soft peaks. Gradually add ½ cup of coconut sugar. Continue to whip egg whites to medium peaks, being careful to not over whip.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the remaining coconut sugar and banana flour.
- Gradually sift dry ingredients into the whipped whites, folding gently to be careful not to deflate.
- Fold in vanilla extract and vanilla bean.
- Pour batter into an ungreased angel food pan, spreading carefully to distribute batter evenly — do not bang the cake pan, as this will cause the batter to deflate.
- Bake for 50 min, or until golden brown and cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Remove from oven and invert onto a cooling rack without removing the mold.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before unmolding.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Merlot Grapeseed Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: one dozen cookies
2 ½ cups almond flour
¼ cup merlot grapeseed flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup agave
1 cup 72% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt the coconut oil in microwave or on stove top. In a medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, mixing with a rubber spatula or spoon to combine.
- Stir in the chocolate chunks, and allow the mixture to chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cool before enjoying. Because these cookies stay nice and moist, they taste great the next day too.
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