CakeHow to CookBakingDessertIngredients

Um, Tiger Nut Flour? Yes, Tiger Nut Flour!

8 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Tiger nuts are not nuts. Nor do they have anything to do tigers. Tiger nuts are actually crunchy tubers that taste sweet and nutty.

I bought a bag of tiger nut flour out of curiosity—not because it’s loaded with nutrition, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, paleo-friendly, and a resistant starch (prebiotic). I just wondered what the heck it was and whether it would make a delicious cake or cookie.

Advertisement
Brown Butter Tiger Nut Genoise
Brown Butter Tiger Nut Genoise

Tiger nut flour is edible without cooking or baking. You can put it in a smoothie, for example. Based on its edibility right out of the bag, flavor, fat content, and texture, I thought it might behave like a cross between ground nuts and flavorful cracker or cookie crumbs—maybe it could even replace matzoth meal! I decided to find out.

But first I made a genoise—my standard get-acquainted test for new flours—just to experience the flour in a simple cake. Actually I made a rich brown butter genoise, knowing the nutty brown butter would play well with tiger nut’s nutty flavor and that the butter’s richness would enhance the flour’s resemblance to ground nuts in the cake. The result was faintly crunchy and unusual. But I loved it. It had a beautiful speckled golden brown crumb and unique nutty flavor with notes of vanilla, butterscotch, and perhaps even banana. I accidentally under-beat the eggs and sugar, but later learned my mistake gave the cake its nice level (rather than concave) silhouette. With a couple of adjustments, and a toasted pecan variation, I had a rich and sophisticated cake that reminded me of financiers.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread by Merrill Stubbs

Perfect Coconut Cream Pie

Perfect Coconut Cream Pie by em-i-lis

Cheese Sables with Rosemary Salt

Cheese Sables with Rosemary Salt by Anna May

My Classic Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Classic Best Chocolate Chip Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

Here are a few ways to get started with tiger nut flour:

  • Sables/butter cookies: Replace one quarter of the flour in your recipe with twice the volume of tiger nut flour, or 1.35% of the weight. (Example: Replace 1/2 cup (70 grams) all purpose flour with 1 cup (95g) tiger nut flour.

    Advertisement
  • Banana bread: Make banana bread, replacing 1/2 cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour with 3/4 cup (70 grams) tiger nut flour. Reduce sugar to 3/4 cup.

  • Meringues (the dry crunchy type) for cookies or dacquois layers: Fold 1 to 2 tablespoons (6-12 grams) tiger nut flour per egg white into stiff whipped meringue.

  • Chocolate chip cookies: Based on my recipe in Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt in Your Mouth Cookies, replace about 1/3 cup 45 grams) of the flour with 3/4 cup (70 grams) tiger nut flour. Reduce the amount of brown and white sugar each to 2/3 cup. (Next time I plan to replace 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the flour!)

  • Whole-grain chocolate chip cookies: Based on my gluten-free recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies in Flavor Flours, replace 40 grams of oat flour and 40 grams of brown rice flour with a total of 100 grams of tiger nut flour and reduce the amount of white and brown sugar each to 2/3 cup.

  • Crumb Crust for cheesecake or cream pie: Use your favorite graham cracker crust recipe, replacing the graham cracker crumbs with an equal weight of tiger nut flour. If necessary, adjust the amount of butter or tiger nut flour until the mixture feels right—just buttery enough to stick together when you press it. Press in pan and bake until nicely browned.

  • Passover sponge cake: This is a work in progress, but I’m excited about it. I started with a fairly typical Passover sponge (8 separated eggs, 3/4 cup matzoth cake meal, 1/4 cup potato starch, and some orange juice and zest), but substituted 3/4 cup (70 grams) tiger nut flour for the cake meal. Results were almost stellar: exquisitely light and moist and delicious, but a tad too sweet and slightly too moist. Next time I will try 1 cup (92 grams) tiger nut flour and less sugar. I have very high hopes for this one.

6c6dead6 dae6 4cd2 aace e87c7b57b6b8  2017 0214 tiger nut brown butter genoise mark weinberg 251

Brown Butter Tiger Nut Genoise

Af749f95 c306 4400 900d aa681242d56b  alice.medrich.deborah.jones 360x360 Alice Medrich
28 Save Recipe
Makes 1 8-inch cake
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups (125 grams) tiger nut flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) sugar
  • 4 large cold eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) lightly toasted pecans, finely chopped or blitzed in a food processor

Tell us: Have you tried tiger nut flour before?

Alice Medrich is a Berkeley, California-based pastry chef, chocolatier, and cookbook author. You can read more about what she's up to here.