Wednesday, September 14, 2011

C4C Gluten Free Flour Review - Cup 4 Cup by Thomas Keller

   
      Thomas Keller, author of the The Complete Keller: The French Laundry Cookbook & Bouchon has a new gluten free flour called Cup 4 Cup.  You can use this flour as a cup for cup substitute in any of your gluten recipes.  The ingredients in this flour is cornstarch, brown rice flour, white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, milk powder, and xanthan gum.


     To test this flour, I used it in three different gluten recipes.  

      I started off with the classic Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie.  I made this recipe four times, with three different flours.  I used C4C, Better Batter Flour, and King Arthur Flour.  The fourth recipe I made allergy friendly, no gluten, no dairy, no eggs.  I made this not really for comparison, but because if I made all these cookies and my kids couldn't eat any they would have a fit! 


Top Left: Better Batter, Top Right:Allergy Free
Bottom Left: King Arthur,  Bottom Right: C4C
  


   Toll House Cookie Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

C4C batter - smooth and creamy
Better Batter - light and fluffy but coarser.
C4C cookie baked

Here was the scorecard for the cookies:



Better Batter Flour
C4C
Better Batter Flour Egg Free, Dairy Free, 
King Arthur Gluten Flour

D
A
Person 1
A
D
B
Person 2
C
A
B
Person 3
A
B
C
D
Person 4
A
B
C
D
Person 5
 The results as you can see were varied.  If you were to average them out like in school, The Better Batter Flour did the best with C4C coming up behind. 
When asked the question which cookie reminded you of the Toll House Cookie you grew up with.  Better Batter won hands down, C4C came a close second.  





Biscuits
 I adapted this recipe from Southern Living.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self rising gluten free flour - added 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt to flour
  • 1/2 cup dairy free shortening, softened
  • 3/4 cup dairy free yogurt 

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 425° F.

CUT  shortening into the flour with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the yogurt until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll dough to a 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for 8-12 minutes until done.  Brush with shortening.  
        BAKE for 8 to 12 minutes until done. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.



C4C biscuits



The cup for cup flour produced a beautiful flakey biscuit that melted in your mouth.  It was fantastic!  The Better batter was stiffer and produced a heavier, less favorable biscuit.  
The C4C biscuits disappeared, where I had plenty of Better Batter Biscuits left over.  I made those into bread crumbs.  
Hands down C4C was better. 

Better Batter Biscuits

Chocolate Bouchon

The last recipe was one of Keller's own recipe from the Bouchon cookbook.  
This recipe is high end brownie.  It is decadant, rich and chocolately.
  If you are just gluten free and not egg or dairy free, this recipe is heavenly!  
The C4C flour shined in this recipe.    

The ingredients  included all purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, butter, and chocolate chips.  



My photos don't do these gems justice.  The batter had a beautiful shine.  

I didn't have a timbale mold, so I used mini muffin pans.  I baked them for the same amount of time as the original recipe.  


This little gem was delicious!! 

The final report:  

I loved the biscuits and his cookies came a close second to the Better Batter.  The brownie bites were awesome!  This flour is good.  If I were to rate this on a five star basis I would give it 4-1/2 stars out of 5.    Why not five stars?  It doesn't work all the time in every gluten recipe as happened in the Toll House Cookies.  If you read the review on Williams Sonoma you will see that one reviewer had a gooey center in her apple cake and pancakes.  Another reviewer reported that it worked perfectly in her cookie and doughnuts.  It works well in general but there will surely be some recipes that will be less than stellar depending on what you are cooking.  Sometimes converting something gluten free is more than a one to one substitution, especially if you have more than one allergy.  Another drawback is the use of milk powder in the flour.  A lot of the times people that are avoiding gluten are also avoiding dairy. 

Overall, C4C is a good flour that I would recommend trying if you are just gluten free.  I am not sure that I can justify the price.  But hey, if you can afford to have the Ferrari of Flours, then by all means.  For those of us, that have to be a little more modest, there are plenty of great choices out there.  

On a final note, I would love to see Thomas Keller converting some of his own recipes from his French Laundry and Bouchon cookbooks into gluten free ones.  His cookbooks are amazing!  I think I am going to venture off myself and make some French Laundry recipes gluten free!    


If you want to try C4C for yourself, it can be purchased at Williams Sonoma for $19.95
 for a 3 lb bag. 


Check out some of my family favorite recipes using C4C 
Cardamon Bread
Make Ahead Breakfast Cake
Buttermilk Waffles


10 comments:

  1. If you can have dairy and eggs, I really recommend making the Toll House Cookies with the Better Batter Flour. They totally tasted the same.
    And I second the YUM about cookies!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had a similar result with the cookies with c4c, but after using it more I realized that you need less oil/butter/fat when using the c4c because of the milk powder in the flour. Try using less butter next time..it makes difference. Everyone I used this flour for when I made apple spice cupcakes went crazy for them and liked them better than regular flour.
    I also was ugh about the price, but I did the math and it was pretty equal in price per cupcake (as an example) as the prepackaged mixes like Betty crocker gf. I realized that it is actually not a bad price. I like better batter and use it for most things, but for special baking I use the c4c.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the tip! I only use my C4C for special people. :) We can't have milk around here, but I loved the flour. And you are right, when you price it out per pound, it is comparable to other flours. Glad to meet another Better Batter Lover! I use that and Cybele's flour blend to meet our allergy needs in our house. Thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do you have the recipe for the bouchon brownies?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I didn't post the recipe for the brownies because of copyright laws. However, if you don't want to buy the book, try your local library for a copy. That is how I got the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd love to see a pie crust comparison with Cup4Cup and Better Batter. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I will work on that this weekend for you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your recipe for the biscuits says use self rising gf flour. I have the cup 4 cup in the blue bag. What do I add to it to make it self rising? Or is that where the baking soda/powder come in play?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, when you add the baking powder and salt to the C4C flour, you are making the self rising flour called for. Hope you enjoy them!

    ReplyDelete

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