Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: Alice is using oat flour to make a cake so delicious that frosting would only be a distraction. And, added bonus -- it's gluten free.
Shop the Story
Who knew that oat flour had marvelous caramel and toffee notes? It makes a most delicious sponge cake -- this one is a genoise, actually. Editors often give me a hard time about plain cake (of which I’m a great fan). I have to be reminded that people love frosting, and photo editors always want some kind of finished look to things. So, my intention was to make a two-layer oat flour sponge cake and frost it with something between penuche and brown sugar buttercream. But every time I tasted the cake, I questioned the frosting.
This cake is a brand new experience for most people. It’s entirely made of oat flour, and it’s entirely yummy and amazing -- I want you to taste that! Of course I didn’t want the delicious thing to look naked and boring. So while I have ditched the frosting, I’ve added a thin, crunchy, sweet crust that's easily created by baking the batter in pan coated with butter, brown sugar, and pecans. What could be bad? (And who says I am intractable?)
The cake comes together quickly and easily, but it does require your best folding technique. And, for smooth sailing from start to finish, do please set up the saucepan with butter, the bowls, and the strainers as instructed. You will have just enough time to brown the butter while the eggs are beating!
Get excited about Alice's new book Flavor Flours: nearly 125 recipes -- from Double Oatmeal Cookies to Buckwheat Gingerbread -- made with wheat flour alternatives like rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, and teff (not only because they're gluten-free, but for an extra dimension of flavor, too).
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).