Fufu you? Fufu me!
February 1, 2010 7:32 PM   Subscribe

I have some Fufu Flour. It intrigues me. What, besides its obvious use, can I do with it?

So I bought this box of fufu flour a few weeks ago but haven't got around to actually making any stews that one would traditionally use this with. However, I would really love to know if I can use this in other culinary ways. I'm gluten intolerant so it's always exciting to find something I can substitute for wheat. Fufu is a blend of cassava, plantain, & potato flours.

Can I use fufu flour in baking? If so, does anyone have ideas on recipes, proportions or any required additives to maximize its success rate? How about other uses; oh, I don't know... like breads or wraps, custard-y desserts, drinks, anything. I'm intensely craving chocolate cake right now and am low on gf flour so it would really blow my skirt up if chocolate fufucake is a possibility.

Yeah, I know I can use it to make dumpling-y things and breading with. It says that on the box. I'm interested in more diverse recipes. Googling has been unhelpful. And technically, yes I could experiment & come up with my own recipes, but lack of spare time and an unwillingness to waste the contents of my cupboards on any unsuccessful attempts, leads me to you and your interesting little recipe boxes O Hivemind. Thanks in advance!
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think baking works very well with it. But a friend from Ghana gave me some and told me that it's a great thing to cut some chicken breasts into strips, "wash" them so they're very wet, roll them in fufu flour and squeeze a ridiculous amount of lemon juice on them as you fry them (with only a little oil) in a skillet.

I did it and it was really great. It's very easy to do too. You could do it with regular flour as well, but the fufu flour adds a kind of cool and undefinable touch.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 8:00 PM on February 1, 2010

Response by poster: Frying is an option & thanks for the suggestion. Still hoping for additional ideas though. Anyone?
Fufu is fun to say. Fufu fufu fufu.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 8:42 AM on February 2, 2010

You could certainly take a sample and try yeast & water (or baking powder) to see if it raises. I suspect it won't since it lacks gluten needed to hold shape. You could try it in thinks like apple crumbles.
posted by chairface at 4:06 PM on February 2, 2010

Lack of gluten isn't a problem. There are plenty of gluten substitutes out there, the most common being xanthan gum. Many supermarkets carry it these days, though if yours doesn't just go to a health food store instead. Baking aisle. Also, it depends on what you're doing. Cookies need little gluten and can get away with none if you don't mind them being thin and tend toward crumbling. For some cookies, that's downright perfect. Cakes need gluten, and do best in a small pan with high edges to lend it extra support. Bread-making is the art of developing gluten (or its substitutes) and managing its properties expertly; I wouldn't recommend starting here. Breadmaking without wheat is certainly possible, but not

Have you gotten some gluten-free cookbooks yet? Bette Hageman and Karen Robertson are quite respected. There's also tons of GF recipe sites. You don't need ones that specify fufu, just ones you'd like to eat.

You probably would get disappointing results using 100% fufu for baking, though it might do nicely for batter frying. For optimal GF baking, we usually mix several alt flours to balance their different properties (i.e. one lends smooth texture, another develops golden color, possibly another for its nutrient value or to impart slight sweet/savory flavor, and at least one starch to help bind the rest together). Potato flour and tapioca flour (which is another cassava derivative) are *very* common components of GF flours/recipes. There's where to experiment with substituting in the fufu. i.e. If it calls for 1 cup tapioca and 1 cup potato flour (careful -- potato starch is completely different), use 2 cups fufu instead. That it also contains plaintain shouldn't change things radically. It might impart a slight sweetness and/or sourness, so you'll do best with something complemented by such flavors. How about lemon bars? Crumbly, sweet, and sour by design, so should go with your flours nicely. I'd wager you can even skin the xanthan gum if you toss in an extra eggwhite and/or a teaspoon of plain gelatin.

Post your results, would you? It's great to hear from others experimenting with possibilities.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 1:18 PM on February 4, 2010

Response by poster: Just a quick note of follow up as I had a little time to cook today. I was brave & tried the fufu flour in my favorite chocolate cake recipe. Instead of the 2 cups wheat flour, I used 1.5 cups Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking flour, and .5 cup fufu. It was EXCELLENT. The cake holds together well, is not dry, doesn't have a weird vegetably taste, and I didn't need to add any xanthan gum. If I didn't know any better I'd swear it was a wheaty cake. I may try using a higher ratio of the fufu in the flour base next time, possibly half and half.

I also used the fufu flour to bread minute steaks: put the fufu, salt/pepper & a little parmesan in a ziploc bag, shook the steaks up in it till coated, and I fried them in olive oil. This was also fantastic. A nice firm crust.

So far so good. I'm encouraged to keep trying more new things. And it's cheaper than most other gf flours too. Fufu ahoy!
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 8:29 PM on February 6, 2010

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