Category Archives: Gluten-Free Baking

SRC – CHEWY CHOCOLATE BROWNIE CAKES (Vegan & Gluten Free)

It is time for April’s Secret Recipe Club post.  This month I was assigned Cupcake Muffin and really enjoyed perusing  Sara’s site.  While Sara and I don’t follow the same nutrition criteria, there were a lot of recipes that I was interested in trying.  She is crazy for curry and the curry recipes she posted looked really good!

I ultimately set my sites on veganizing, healthifying (massive fat reduction), and gluten-freeing her Chewy Chocolate Chunk Brownie recipe which she adapted from Pixelated Crumb.  I highlighted all of the changes that I made to the recipe in RED (see below).  

The brownies that resulted from these recipe changes were really very very good, but I do feel the need to call them brownie “cakes” because the texture more closely resembles that of cake than brownies.  That being said, we couldn’t get enough of these.  I personally think they tasted better the second day.  When eaten straight out of the oven, you can taste the prunes slightly (which I didn’t mind at all), however once they cooled completely the prunes disappeared entirely.

I decided to use my mini crumb cake pan because when I make brownies I like to have nice finished edges on all sides (I’m weird like that).  I also like that using the mini crumb cake pan makes the brownies single serve…though I would have to say that these brownies were HUGE and filling.  Next time I will only put half of the batter in and make two batches vs. one.  If you do this, please adjust the baking time accordingly as they will bake much faster.

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup Dutch Processed Cocoa
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs boiling hot coffee
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (I used Sweetriot Brand 85% dark chocolate)
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted (I used babyfood prunes)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs vegetable oil (I used applesauce)
2 lrg eggs + 2 lrg yolks (I used 3 Energ egg replacer “eggs”)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups sugar (I used 1 cup maple syrup)
1 ¾ cups unbleached flour (I used 1 ½ cups King Arthur GFree flour AND 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour)
3/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
6 ounces bittersweet / semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips)
***

Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini crumb cake pan with oil.

Whisk together the cocoa and boiling hot coffee.  Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk until melted.  Whisk in the prunes and applesauce.  Add the egg replacer eggs, vanilla, and maple syrup and whisk until smooth.

In a separate bowl whisk together the gluten-free flour, blanched almond flour, salt, and xanthan gum.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well (but don’t over mix).  Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes (if you use half the batter and make two batches, cook for 10-15 minutes and then check with a toothpick to make sure they are done).  Allow the brownie cakes to cool for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.

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Filed under Breads / Crackers / Muffins, Cake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Gluten-Free Baking, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

NATIONAL CELIAC DISEASE AWARENESS DAY

Today is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day.  I know gluten-free has become a fad diet for some, but for those who suffer from Celiac Disease, a gluten-free diet is absolutely essential.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten. – National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

My daughter has a wheat and gluten allergy, but does not have Celiac Disease for which I am grateful.

Living gluten-free now is soooooooo much easier than it used to be, however there are still challenges (B-Day parties, school functions, family parties, restaurants).  So many times kids/people who need to avoid gluten are not able to eat the same fun treats other people are and it leaves them feeling like a bit of an outsider.  For this very reason, my heart leapt when we were in Orlando recently.  I knew that Downtown Disney had recently welcomed Babycakes Bakery (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free, & Kosher).  It was with such joy that I was able to tell my daughter, “You can have ANYTHING you want from this bakery!”  She looked at me like I was on crack and then quickly became mesmerized by the goodies in the glass cases.  We ended-up buying a cupcake, donut, and chocolate chip cookie sandwich.  Great memories!  Babycakes also has bakeries in NYC and Los Angeles.  I also love my Babycakes cookbook and I hear Erin just came out with another cookbook, Babycakes Covers the Classics, that I am sure is fab.

I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you some of my favorite gluten-free resources:

Are there any blogs or gluten-free resources that you use frequently and don’t see listed above?  I’d love to hear from you.

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Filed under Books, Education, General Vegan, Gluten Free, Gluten-Free Baking, Gut Health, Vegan, Vegetarian

HOW TO BAKE GLUTEN-FREE

My latest Chic Vegan column. I have lots of vegan bread recipes that call for whole wheat flour, but I don’t bake with gluten.  Is there a formula for adding xanthan gum to gluten free flours, ie…teaspoon for every cup of flour, etc.? ~ Sirica Hi Sirica, Yes, there is a formula for adding xanthan gum to recipes.  The amount of xanthan gum added depends upon what you plan on using it for.  Here is a quick breakdown: Cake – ¼ tsp. per 1 cup of flour Breads – 1 tsp. per 1 cup of flour Pizza Crust – 2 tsp. per 1 cup of flour Salad Dressings – 1/8 tsp. per 1 ½ cups of dressing Frozen Treats – 1/8 tsp. per 2 cups of liquid For those of you not familiar with xanthan gum, it is a powdery substance often used in gluten free baking to replicate the function of gluten.  When added to dressings xanthan gum binds the dressing together and improves the texture.  When added to frozen treats it inhibits the development of large ice crystals and imparts a more creamy texture to the dessert. A wonderful resource for learning how to bake gluten free is The Gluten Free Goddess by Karina Allrich.  I always keep a bag of Karina’s Gluten Free Flour mix in my fridge. Karina’s Basic Gluten Free Flour Mix

Combine:
1 cup sorghum flour (aka jowar flour)
1 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)
1/3 to 1/2 cup almond meal, buckwheat flour, millet flour or quinoa flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

To read more of Karina’s gluten free baking tipclick here. I know it seems intimidating at first, however with a little experimentation I know you will soon be very comfortable baking in your gluten free kitchen. Here’s to health! Gretchen **Do you have a questions for Grettie? She is here to answer any of your health and nutrition related questions! Email her ataskgrettie@chicvegan.com .**

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Filed under Chic Vegan Column, Education, Gluten Free, Gluten-Free Baking, Vegan, Vegetarian