Wednesday, April 4, 2018

baking with teff

Teff. A new frontier in baking! I've heard of it, I've eaten it in the form of injera, along with delicious Ethiopian food, and I just learned it's kosher for Passover! An ancient grain the size of a poppy seed, native to Ethiopia and Eritrea, teff is high in minerals, protein, and dietary fiber, and it's naturally gluten-free. I'm planning to make a flourless chocolate cake for a last-night-of-Passover seder, and last night, my sister mentioned that her friend made a delicious flourless chocolate cake with teff. Google it, and this recipe comes up first; I suspect that's the one she made, and I'm going to try it, too.

But first... I found myself with an awful lot of extra Bob's Red Mill teff flour, and without any KFP dessert for the kids tonight, so I decided to make an Alice Medrich recipe for bittersweet teff brownies. I've mentioned Alice Medrich tangentially before: she is a renowned pastry chef and chocolate expert, and she formerly owned Cocolat, the bakery at which my college roommate worked and from which she brought home treats such as golf ball-sized truffles and whole Sacher tortes that we used to divide in quarters and eat with a spoon, straight from the box. Ah, delicious college memories.

I've now committed to two untried recipes for Friday's seder - the flourless chocolate cake and a KFP carrot cake - and I thought I might feel better having at least baked once with teff before subjecting 15 people to my experiment. If either of these recipes is good, it can go into the Passover dessert rotation. I continue to believe that the best Passover desserts are those that are naturally gluten-free/KFP so they don't have weird ingredient substitutions that make them ultimately taste like matzah.

The brownie recipe was interesting. You melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat, stir in the teff, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and then beat in the eggs for two full minutes. The mixture starts out dark brown and grainy, but it ends up thick, light brown, and fluffy after being beaten. It still feels a tiny bit grainy, and I assume that's the teff talking, but it tasted good.

Update: they are very delicious! The top was crackly, almost like a meringue, and the underneath was soft and fudgy. I waited to cut them until they cooled, and perhaps they would have shattered a bit less if I had cut them while still warm, but that was not a tragedy.




Alice Medrich's Bittersweet Teff Brownies
Makes 20 (8" pan)

10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%), coarsely chopped or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
3/4 cup (3 5/8 ounces) teff flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs, cold

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8" pan with tinfoil and grease it. Melt the butter and chocolate together over very low heat (or a double boiler) until melted, stirring frequently. Cool slightly. Pour chocolate mixture into stand mixer bowl. Stir in sugar, teff flour, salt, and vanilla. Add eggs and beat on high speed until the batter lightens and thickens, about two minutes. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine cracked on top, just for reference. Cool, cut, and enjoy!

Print recipe.

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