Friday, February 18, 2011

Product Review: Sof'ella All-Purpose Baking Mix

Sof'ella Sour Cream Coffee Cake
The Review

White Rice Flour, Navy Bean Flour, Cornstarch, Tapioca Starch, Vanilla Powder (Dextrose, Vanilla Bean Extractives), Baking Powder, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum.

Overall Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

I made pancakes, a much anticipated treat, and the first I'd tasted since going gluten free. Plain with no "trimmings" the pancakes had a definite aftertaste which I believe can be accounted for by the inclusion of navy bean flour. The vanilla powder flavoring counteracted the aftertaste a bit, but not enough to completely mask it. A pat of butter and some maple syrup helped the palatability, but the after-taste was still present, no matter what I tried (and I tried three different flavors of jam after the syrup). I'm not sure this would be my first choice of mix when making pancakes or waffles, but it's an alternative when something else isn't handy. Of course the navy bean flour contains terrific nutritional value, so each cook will need to decide what's most important. BC

For this review, I prepared both pancakes and a Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe included with the mix. For the pancakes, I did notice a distinct aftertaste- but promptly did away with it by including (a lot of) chocolate chips. Whoops. The taste is not overpowering and for me, it wasn't even that distracting (so maybe my chocolate chip to pancake ratio was a little high) but still... they were pretty good! And, as Becky reminds us, Navy Bean flour is a really healthy ingredient and, much like flax, I can handle a little healthy getting in the way of my pancake inhaling erm, eating...

As for the coffee cake, the taste was hardly noticeable! There was a bit of a taste, but I'm 99% sure it was from my nutmeg and not the mix -- similar incident a few recipes ago. Either way, the coffee cake had no such aftertaste but could use a little bit more brown sugar in the crumb topping. Maybe not the best coffee cake I've ever tasted EVER, but perfect for a short-notice breakfast or brunch! KG

WOW - the pancakes I made cooked up exactly like those made with wheat flour! They were moist, light but dense (who knew that was possible?) and cooked like a dream. As they were cooking, the pancakes even filled with little bubbles that popped as they were cooking, just like the pancakes from my old-style cooking days. My mother's rule of thumb was always five bubbles popped and they were ready to turn, and I'll be darned if that wasn't the case here as well! Lightly browned, moist and tender - a great texture overall! BC

Pancakes - epic! Fluffy and light and bubbly and deep enough to wrap my chocolate chips in a nice big hug - I would call this a win. The coffee cake was unbelievably moist without being dense (see photo above) - with air pockets and crumbs and awesome baked in a cake pan. KG

Inside the box is an inner paper bag to preserve freshness, and this is handy for easy re-sealing. The box holds 1 lb., or approximately 3 1/3 cups of mix, so there's enough for several weekends' worth of pancakes or waffles. BC

Amen! But the package is kind of disappointingly small... with only 3 1/3 cups in the whole box, you can only really make one recipe + pancakes/waffles with a single box...KG

Available through the Sof'ella website for both commercial and wholesale orders. Also available in some specialty food markets nationwide with a growing distribution weekly!


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