It started about a year ago, when customers at the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., began requesting gluten-free versions of some of Thomas Keller’s specialties, like the flaky cornets filled with salmon tartare, or the lush little gougères. Lena Kwak, the restaurant’s culinary researcher, developed a gluten-free flour. Now she and Mr. Keller are partners in a company called Cup4Cup, so-named because its flour, C4C, can replace the regular all-purpose variety for cakes and pastries. It is a blend of flours from white and brown rice, tapioca and potatoes, with potato starch, cornstarch and milk powder.
I tried it in a poundcake, a chocolate cake and a pie crust. It works very well, though the cake textures were more delicate than usual and I found that the pie crust was best rolled somewhat thicker for ease of handling, since the lack of gluten made it less malleable than pastry…
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