Sorghum has gained popularity recently because it is gluten-free and people suffering from celiac disease can safely enjoy foods made with sorghum. Sorghum is seldom used alone, because it is bland (flavourless). That being said, its neutral flavour and light colour is also precisely the reason why it is used as a substitute for wheat flour since it does not alter the taste and smell of the finished product. It does alter texture however – it results in a crumbly end product because of its lack of gluten, so it is usually used in tandem with rice or corn starches or more fat.
Three interesting facts on sorghum
Sorghum is the 5th most important cereal crop grown in the world! It is typically used as a replacement for wheat in India and Africa. And what’s even more interesting is that it is also known as “Milo” in Spanish!
There was once when the nutritional benefits of sorghum were not known – in fact, the UNFAO found them to have “poor nutritional quality”. Nowadays, sorghum is known as the next “superfruit” for its high antioxidant power – studies have shown that it has 4-12 times MORE antioxidants than fruits like pomegranates, acai berries, and blueberries!
Sorghum is also high in insoluble fibre, which is helpful for improving digestion and bowel movement. Also, the starch in sorghum is more slowly digested than other cereals, which makes it friendly for diabetics because it controls blood glucose.
Sorghum is also used to produce sorghum sorghum syrup or molasses, which is used as a sugar substitute. The stalks of the sorghum plant are harvested, crushed like sugar cane to produce the syrup. Just check out this recipe for instance.
Sorghum grains can be ‘popped’ just like popcorn, and they taste even better!
You might not know this, but sorghum grains are usually found in the ten-grain mixes (十谷米) that you can find in organic food stores.
How to store sorghum flour?
- 50g butter
- 45g brown sugar
- 25g castor sugar
- 55g egg (without shell)
- 150g banana, mashed
- 90g gluten-free flour mix* (*I used a mixture of the following: 15g almond flour, 15g millet flour, 15g sorghum flour, 15g rice flour, 15g tapioca flour, 10g corn starch and 5g ground flaxseed.)
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 50g milk
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Sieve the various flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together. Set aside.
- Cream butter until softened. Add in the sugars and cream until fluffy. Add in the egg and beat well, for about 1 minute or until mixture does not appear too curdled.
- Next, add in the mashed banana and mix well.
- Sieve in half of the dry ingredients, beating until all traces of flour disappear. Add in half of the milk and mix well. Repeat with a quarter of the dry ingredients and the remaining half of the milk, and end with the last quarter of the dry ingredients. You should get a smooth cake batter at this stage.
- If baking as a round cake or loaf, bake for about 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. If baking as cupcakes/muffins, bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops turn golden brown. Let cool for about 15 minutes on wire racks before serving. The cake tastes best the next day, after it is fully cooled and the cake has had time to develop its rich banana flavor.
Texture: Because of the lack of gluten, the loaf is slightly more compact and moist in the centre. But this could also be because of the greater amount of liquid (I used 50g milk instead of 20g per my previous recipe), greater amount of mashed bananas (150g instead of 120g) and smaller amount of sugar (70g instead of 90g). The batter is slightly more liquid than usual as well.
Serving size: I used a small loaf tin and made tiny cupcakes with the rest of the batter. If you want a nice and tall loaf, I suggest using a 15cm or (4 x 7) loaf tin!
Modifications: I would probably stick to the original liquid and banana amounts (about 20g milk and 120g banana) because I found this gluten-free version a little dense in the centre for my liking. I much prefer a breadier texture for my banana loaves. But this purely be because of the lack of gluten here. I haven't had enough attempts to determine my optimum proportions yet ;p But my mom did enjoy its moistness and said the extra banana made it super yummy.
Storage: Because the cake contains banana, it only stores well for a day at room temperature in our tropical climate. After that, the cake will feel a little sticky. I would advise keeping the cake in the fridge, and it will taste good for at least a week. If you prefer, give the cake a quick 5s zap in the microwave and it will be slightly warm, perfect with a cup of tea in the morning :]
Would I make this again?: Yes definitely! Check out my previous recipe here!
|Check out the dense (and moist) crumb!|