Going gluten-free

So what happens when you don’t use maida, or even wheat while baking? With a little bit of clever adjustments in the measures, what you get is a gorgeous, dense cake. I’m not kidding, read on to find out.
Until a couple of years ago I had no idea what gluten-free food meant, let alone celiac disease. And then, one day we got to know that my nephew was allergic to wheat, he still is, so that’s how words like ‘gluten-free’ became a part of my vocabulary. Over the years I’ve tried to experiment with something gluten-free but I never took it seriously. I don’t use eggs in my baking so whatever I made had to be egg-free as well and it just seemed like too much effort to think of a recipe that ticked  off all the boxes. Yes, I’m lazy like that sometimes.

About a month and a half ago I met a nutritionist, the purpose wasn’t weightloss or calorie counting, I just wanted to know what changes to make in our diet to make it healthier. That’s when I clearly understood why we need to start incorporating alternative flours into our diet. Thankfully, the husband and I are open to trying out different things in our meals so it hasn’t been all that difficult. But baking gluten-free is something I’d been wanting to try for a long time now and it finally happened with this cake. And yes, it is egg-free to! 
Gluten-free cake with walnuts & cinnamon 
1/3 cup each of ragi (finger millet), bajra (barley) and buckwheat (kuttu ka atta) flours 
1 tsp of baking soda 
1/2 tsp of baking powder 
1/2 cup of buttermilk (1/2 cup of milk mixed with 1/2 tsp of white vinegar) 
2 tbsp of curds 
3/4 tsp of cinnamon powder 
1/4 cup of walnuts, broken + 2 tbsp more for the topping 
3/4 cup of jaggery, chopped 
Sift the flours with the baking soda and baking powder. Keep this aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, put the curds and jaggery together, mix well till the jaggery has melted. Now add the cinnamon powder and buttermilk. Mix this well. Now add the flour mixture to this and fold to make sure it becomes one smooth mix. 
Add the walnuts in the end and fold them in to the batter. Pour the batter into a greased cake mould and top it with rest of the walnuts. Bake this for about 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees. Remove from the oven when a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool down and cut into slices before serving.

* This cake is a little dense, obviously because of the absence of gluten, but that’s what adds to the charm of it 
* I’ve used jaggery because I’m on the health drive but you can simply substitute this with sugar, if you like

* Don’t stick to just walnuts or any other nuts, experiment with seeds or even dried fruit to add some more personality to this cake

I’m sending this recipe to the Cooking with Whole Grains event at Nupur’s UK Rasoi, she’s guest-hosting the event which was started by Priya from Priya’s Versatile Recipes

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  • Princy Vinoth March 27, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Thats a healthy cake and even I Like the idea of going gluten free but the family isn't happy with the texture of the cakes.

  • Renuka March 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Well Princy, if you do consume eggs then you can add them to the cakes it makes the texture a little better

  • Priya Suresh March 28, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Thats a wonderful and definitely a best alternative for gluten free bakes..loving it.

  • Renuka March 28, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks Priya!

  • Hari Chandana P April 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    very healthy and delicious cake.. looks great!!


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