Its the very bare chilly tips of spring outside, and in my neck of the woods that spells maple syrup. Every weekend friends go off for breakfast or brunch at a local Cabane a sucre, and the woodsey smokey flavours of the campfire infused into the home made maple syrup is enough to make you flip your lid with happiness.
Although most of the food at the Cabane a sucre is off limits to me I was inspired to pull together something that was maple-y for this time of year so I could have a little maple treat. This cake doesn’t have any eggs, dairy, nuts or xanthan gum- its Top 10 Allergen free. It has an incredibly soft thick and tender crumb with a slight texture form the millet. I was worried the chickpea flour would make it taste beany, but, you can’t taste it at all (yay!).
I must say, baking without nut flours is a challenge and a half! I did manage to pull it off- whole millet grains cooked gave a great structure to the cake along with the unflavoured gelatin. I’d love to veganize it. I’m going to have to play with it some more- its just that I’ve already made 5 cake to figure out these proportions and the thought of another 5…. well… you know. Thats kinda hardcore lol.
Now, if you don’t have maple products in your area, you can make some substitutions. For me, getting stuff like fresh syrup and maple sugar is as quick as going to the downtown market but not everyone lives in this chilly part of the world. If you want, substitute agave nectar for the maple syrup. For the maple sugar, try using palm sugar (you can get it in lumps at your asian grocer, I’d grate /shave it to get the amount needed for the recipe). Alternatively, you can use coconut sugar if you aren’t nut intolerant, or you can try any other solid sugar replacement you prefer.
Note: the texture of the cake is soft, and the cooked millet grains give pockets of slightly chewy almost oat-like texture.
Onwards! Here we go.
Gluten Free Maple Cake
- 1/2 cup millet grain
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp unflavoured gelatin
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup millet flour
- 1/2 cup maple sugar (or palm sugar, or coconut sap, or your preferred solid sugar replacement)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Simmer the millet and the 1 1/2 cups water in a small pot over medium-low heat until all of the water is absorbed and the bottom of the pot is dry. You want the millet fully cooked and slightly mushy. Takes 15-20 min.
- Add the millet to a mixing bowl and mix in all of the other wet ingredients. Make sure to sprinkle the gelatin and mix it all thoroughly.
- In a separate bowl, mix and sift all the dry ingredients instead of the sugar. After sifting, mix in the sugar.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly.
- Let the batter sit for 30 min to 1 hour (or longer if you wish). This allows the gelatin and the millet to absorb as much moisture as possible and makes the cake hold together better once you cook it.
- Line one 8 inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Make sure to cover the whole bottom of the pan, and grease the sides if you can- this is a very sticky batter. You may also want to grease the top of the parchment that touches the batter.
- Pour the batter in, and bake at 350 for 30 min or until the top is solid.
- Let the cake rest in the pan for 3-4 minutes before removing. When you flip it gently on to a cooling rack, peel off the parchment very gently as the cake may stick to it a bit. Done! :)