This post is a 2 in 1 product review with a recipe tacked onto it. As regular readers will know, I recently went to Whole Foods in Piccadilly to meet Amy Ruth, who sells a baking mix with some relatively unusual ingredients: quinoa, teff, brown rice, flax and chia seeds. This is an all purpose mix suitable for any kind of baking.
At £6.99 a pack, I was sceptical that it would be much different from the masses of different types of flour I have already tried. For my upcoming Christmas book (see picture on the right!) I primarily used the Dove’s Farm plain white flour blend, and achieved pretty decent results. Was it really worth spending that much extra on a 500g bag of flour?
For this review I wanted to make something relatively straightforward with what I had in the house. You will be pleased to know laziness doesn’t factor into all my decisions, just most of them. I wanted to see how it stood up to the most basic task – making a simple sponge cake (or cupcakes). I searched online for said sponge cake and found this recipe from Dove’s Farm, which I have adapted here.
- 150g butter or margarine
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp chai latte powder (I used the Drink Me Chai brand)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 130g Amy Ruth’s baking mix (can use 150g of any gluten-free flour)
- 3 tbsp whole milk or cream
- 150g butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp chai latte powder
- A splash of milk
1. Beat sugar, vanilla sugar and butter together. Add eggs and beat in slowly. Add vanilla extract and milk or cream.
2. Sift remaining dry ingredients into a bowl and add to wet mixture, stirring until fully incorporated.
3. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 190C for 15-20 minutes.
4. Leave to cool before making up the buttercream and piping on top.
As you can see, this recipe is quite easy, but I’m quite proud of the way I spruced it up. The cakes smelled absolutely divine when they came out of the oven. One was demolished before we got to add the buttercream.
The texture was light, but firm and really really tasty. I was actually really pleasantly surprised at how great it tasted.
Somehow they taste different but familiar, familiar as they are without gluten, but different in the taste and spongyness. I much prefer the flavour and texture of this mix to the Dove’s Farm blend.
My verdict: 8.5/10
This is a fantastic product to use for cakes, but the price tag makes it out of reach for everyday baking (I imagine the raw ingredients are expensive though – have you tried to find teff recently?). However, I think I’ll be using this for special occasion cakes in the future, or when baking gifts for friends and family. It was very easy to digest (the buttercream not so much!) and looking at the website, it seems far more nutritious than regular gluten-free flour. Thanks Amy Ruth, for encouraging me to try something I wouldn’t normally have, and I feel like I’m ready to start experimenting with a few more outrageous grains. Amaranth anyone?