I first came across mesquite flour at the Allergy and Gluten Free Show (as it then was) in 2011, when a producer dropped some samples off at our Free From Awards stand. I pocketed one of them faster than you can say “It’s the dried ground bean pod of a leguminous plant which grows throughout much of Latin America and it’s gluten free”.
The mesquite flour (or ‘powder’) taste has been described as a blend of ‘chocolate, coconut, mocha and cinnamon’ and, as unlikely a combination as that may seem, it’s faithful of the aroma too; I also think it’s slightly smoky. It sort of catches you in the back of the throat a bit, but not in a bad way.
Eventually, I got around to baking the following Christmas cookies with it …
* 200g butter
* 300g caster sugar
* 1 egg
* 50g cocoa powder
* 50g mesquite flour
* 180g plain GF flour
* generous amount of ground cinnamon, and ginger, and grated nutmeg
* some white chocolate (maybe)
* Some icing sugar (deffo)
1. Cream together the butter and sugar, and then beat in the egg.
2. Add cocoa and mesquite, and then the spices, and then finally, the flour – I used Doves Farm GF – blending all the way. (Use a blender. I did it by hand and my arm almost disembodied itself in protest.)
3. Dollop small balls of the resultant mixture onto greaseproof paper-lined baking sheets, leaving good space between them to flatten as they cook.
4. Into a preheated 200°C oven, for eight to ten minutes. Smoky chocolate spiciness will fill your home.
My attempt emerged so:
The idea was to melt some white chocolate and drizzle it over the chocookies (yes, that’s a real word), and this was meant to represent settled snow. (I take my work seriously.) But as I melted the chocolate, it took on a more custardy appearance, and at some stage a spoon I used for the cocoa got involved and contaminated the ‘snow’, further denting its ambitions of whiteness. Sludgy snow, then – salvaged somewhat by a dusting of icing sugar atop. Naturally, this represented falling snow. (Like I said – seriously.) Here are some of the better examples:
On reflection, the experimental economy bauble was a decorative error:
They are delicious: chewy, chocolatey, smoky, rich, cocoay (that’s a real word!).
Merry Christmas, folks!
Buying mesquite flour / powder
It’s not easy to find. Here are some options in the UK:
- iHerb – Sunfood’s Sweet Mesquite Powder – but be warned, as may contain milk, wheat, soya, nuts/peanuts
- Lifefood Rawfood Organic Mesquite Powder – may contain sesame, nuts, but vegan and GF
- Loving Earth Sweet Mesquite Powder – confirmed GF, can’t see any precautionary allergen warnings
- Raw Miller Raw Mesquite Powder – the best of the Amazon offerings, no allergen warnings mentioned
This recipe and post originally appeared in December 2011, and was inspired by Caleigh Gnana-Pragasam’s Free From & Festive initiative. The recipe was adapted from one by Charlotte Pike, blogger at Hello Magazine’s ‘free from’ kitchen.