I’ve experimented a lot with gluten-free, vegan baking over the last few years and love the exciting plethora of textures and experiences that can be created. It all depends on how you use the ingredients available to you.
This biscuit is all about its ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ texture and it’s gorgeous taste.
It holds together exceedingly well – when cooled to room temperature – but, a word of caution: it is really important that you let it cool down before you dive in – so you’ll need to tell every one to ‘keep off’ and be patient (which isn’t always easy when the whole kitchen floods with that incredible aroma) and eyes begin to feast on your lovely plate full of goodness.
If you prefer a chewy, crunchy biscuit however, then this one is probably not for you.
Gluten-free flours rice and tapioca flour
Rice flour is easy to find in any health food store these days. I use brown rice flour, although white works too.
Tapioca flour is the other important flour here. It is also called tapioca starch. In fact, in England where I live, to add to the confusion, the packet I often use says ‘tapioca flour’ BUT I strongly suspect that actually tapioca starch (similar in consistency to corn starch).
Luckily, you can use tapioca flour or tapioca starch interchangeably, so it doesn’t really matter which one you use.
I am using a little maple syrup and coconut sweetened chocolate chips in this recipe. As sweeteners go, these are healthier for you than regular refined sugar.
However, if you don’t have these, by all means, try substituting with rice syrup or another similar ‘syrup-type’ sweetener. You can also buy regular dairy-free chocolate chips or get a bar of chocolate and chop it into tiny chocolate crop sized pieces.
How to work with the mixture
One of the tricks to getting this recipe right is to ‘not’ make it too moist. So you aren’t going to end up with a ball of dough (as you might do with traditional wheat flour and butter biscuits). Once you’ve thoroughly mixed all of the ingredients together, you will will know that you have the right consistency if it sticks together when you press it together with your fingers.
You’ll need a container lined with parchment paper. I used a container that is approximately 13cm x 18cm (5 1/2 x 7 inches) in size. I prefer using a pyrex, baking dish. Glass works really well to help the heat spread evenly. You could also use a large loaf tin or a round tart tin with a pop out bottom. Just bear in mind that if your pressed, biscuit mixture is deeper in size in the baking dish (i.e. as it would be in a smaller container), then it will take longer to bake and perhaps not come out quite the same as if it were a little less deep. So aim roughly for the dimensions that I am suggesting.
You’ll need to compact the mixture down very firmly. This is essential, so that it doesn’t crumble.
The other important thing will be to score out your biscuits BEFORE you bake it (see photos that follow). You’ll need a sharp knife and to cut it all the way though. It may crumble slightly at this stage – just press down anything that loosens.
Here are the chocolate drops that I used in this recipe
I am vegan, so I only ever use dairy-free chocolate. I also prefer not to ever use regular refined sugar, opting for healthier alternatives. The reason I particularly LOVE these chocolate drops (purchased from Scotland) is that they use coconut sugar instead of the nasty refined regular sugar that we normally see in chocolate. They are also organic. Yay!
OK let’s make these melt in the mouth biscuits together…
Please note: cup measurements above are approximate. I use kitchen scales to measure for accuracy.