April 25, 2006

The Perfect Gluten Free Brownie: A Bake-Off

A Bake-Off Between the Gluten Free Goddess, Gluten-Free Pantry & Pamela's

I've been searching for a classic brownie recipe (gluten-free) that had a rich chocolate taste. The right recipe whose aroma makes everyone migrate towards the kitchen to ask "Are they done yet?" My contestants in our taste test were a Pamela Brownie Mix, a Brownie Mix from The Gluten-Free Pantry and a recipe from The Gluten-Free Goddess' food blog.

I started with the mix by Pamela's. It had a nice texture that wasn't too grainy as they used a nice variety of flours. It had nice sized chocolate chunks that had a nice smooth dark chocolate flavor. The mix made an 8 x 8 pan. The taste test for these went over quite well. Although my daughter still liked the taste of the uncooked batter rather than the finished brownie. She said it tasted more like the one's we used to eat that had wheat. Plus my son wanted brownies without chunks in them, so my search went on.

Next we tried The Gluten-free Pantry's brownie mix. It made up into a nice 13 x9 inch pan. They recommended lining the pan with foil and coating with vegetable spray before putting the batter in the pan. After they cooled, I put them in the freezer for around an hour to make it easier to remove them from the pan. I still needed to flip the brownies out onto a cutting board upside down to peel the foil off the brownies. As far as the taste tests went the brownies had a medium to light chocolate taste and the chocolate morsels were bitter. They lacked that warm rich moistness that make you want to have just one more. My son (a very tough food critic) said that he really didn't care for them.

The brownie recipe from the Gluten-free Goddess is wonderful. I have now made both the original version by Clare and the Gluten-free Goddess' jazzed up version of this recipe. Made from almond meal, rice flour, dark chocolate bars or cocoa powder this recipe is a winner. The recipe makes a 8 x 8 pan. Also, line the pan with foil to make them easier to remove. The brownie rated tops in our taste tests. It had all the hallmarks of a good brownie -- aroma, moistness, intense chocolate flavor and the desire to have just one more.

Update: I have substituted millet flour for the rice flour. The brownies had a nice flavor, but were difficult to eat by hand since they fell apart. Another time I substituted 1/2 cup Turbinado sugar and 1/2 cup cane sugar instead of 1 cup of brown sugar. The brownies turned out to have a lovely chewy texture. They tasted wonderful.

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