Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Monday, October 08, 2012

Allergic Solution, Vanilla Cake

Allergic Solution vanilla cupcakes with cinnamon sugar topping

Here’s the great news – Allergic Solution's food allergen protocols and transparency seem top notch. They appear to be doing an excellent job in a way that could be a model for new allergen-friendly manufacturing businesses; it seems that good. When they sent me samples, they sent along additional information about how they get, manufacture and use ingredients, their factory HACCP and allergen testing procedures. Great job, Allergic Solution!

Here’s the less great news –  I didn’t love the resulting vanilla cake. At all. I chose to make vanilla cake out of the four mixes (bread, pancakes, chocolate cake and vanilla cake) they sent for a very specific reason. In my experience, vanilla cake is the most difficult to get right i.e. if a company makes a great vanilla cake mix, then usually the other mixes are similarly great. The inverse is also usually true: if a company doesn't get vanilla right, everything else will be similarly not right.

I made the vanilla cake as cupcakes as directed. As I was mixing it, it smelled very bean-y and the batter was a yellowish/gray, wet slurry. Not a great beginning. I made a plain batch and a batch with some cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, see the picture above, as I love cinnamon sugar and I sensed that these cupcakes would need some help. The resultant cupcakes, with and without the topping, were dense, gummy, yellow-gray in color and even though they had a strong bean aftertaste, they tasted very bland. I suspect if the wet ingredients were reduced and ripe banana, carrots or zucchini were added with some more vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg/allspice, you could doctor this batter into something better tasting but as it is, made as the directions suggested, it was not as scrumptious as I would have hoped. I also gave the cupcakes to five non-allergen-free eaters who said they wouldn’t buy it or try it again.

So why write about Allergic Solution at all? Because they have half the battle down – allergen protocol and transparency. And for a top eight allergen-free household, Allergic Solution may be an option (NB: the mix bases are legume flours.) The final product - vanilla cupcakes - to my taste buds, needs work. But as taste is completely relative, I leave it to you to try.

*They have sent me other mixes that I may try and will report back if/when I do.*



2 comments:

Arthur Sinuoy said...

tried it with ripe banana and some cocoa, partly for aesthetics, and made a delicious marble banana loaf with the vanilla cake. i found that the taste of the banana to be more prevalent in the finished product than that bean taste the mix has if you just follow the standard recipe in the instructions.

also, since I can have chocolate and dont need the carob cake, I added just cocoa to the vanilla cake and it made a great tasting chocolate cake. honestly could not taste the beanyness at all!

Tammie Sarra said...

Thank you Arthur for your comments and thanks to Allergic Girl for the honest review. I think the one thing we at Allergic Solution have fallen short on is communicating that the mixes are meant to be a base to build on. If you have multiple food allergies use them as is but if chocolate is ok then like Arthur says, add some cocoa powder, if your ok with nuts, throw in your favourite nuts. I can have eggs so I make everything with egg and end up with a really high protein treat. We love experimenting and creating different recipes in our test kitchen (all available on our website http://allergicsolution.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10&Itemid=152 ). Just a note though, because they are made with bean flours it is important to cook them for the required length of time. The beans need to cook to lose the 'beany' flavour. Different ovens will run slightly cooler or hotter so be familiar with how your oven behaves as you may need a few extra minutes of cooking time. Again I want to thank Allergic Girl for taking the time to experiment with the cake mix.