Thursday, January 20, 2011
A few weeks before Christmas my family in South Carolina shipped a big package of gifts to us to open on Christmas Day. As we were opening the box and sorting through the gifts I immediately spotted a medium sized tin with wax paper protruding out of it and I squealed with delight. I knew that it meant homemade treats. Not just any treats. They were homemade Congo Bars.
I was inspired by their arrival to try a gluten-free dessert similar to a Congo Bar. I settled on making a blondie. A blondie is basically a brownie but blonde not brown. In addition, a brownie has a rich chocolate flavor. A blondie has some chocolate flavor but it is not always the dominant flavor.
Once I figured out what to make I looked for a recipe that could guide me through the gluten-free baking process. I’m new to the world of gluten-free baking. There is so much to learn. I turned to a trusted source. If you have not read their site or their book you must check out Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Shauna and her husband Danny have created some incredible gluten-free recipes. I decided to adapt one of their brownie recipes.
I wanted to adapt it to be egg-free but my first attempt didn’t exactly work out.
I used an egg replacer product that completely altered the texture of the blondie. One of my taste testers suggested that it tasted a lot like a Clif Bar. It was yummy but it was not what I was going for so I decided to try again and made another batch.
Success! They were moist, chewy and not too sweet. A couple people said they would have never known that they were gluten-free if I did not mention it.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup cacao chips, chopped
Preparing: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Roughly chop the chocolate into small chips. Slice the butter into one-inch pieces. Combine the two flours together.
Melting the butter: Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. Place a large metal bowl over the top of the saucepan. Pour the butter into the metal bowl and stir, occasionally, as it begins to melt. Once it has come to a full melt remove from heat. Note: It is important to slowly melt the butter. I think part of the problem with my first batch was that I melted the butter in the microwave which altered the texture of the butter.
Making the blondies: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar and eggs, whisking vigorously until they are creamed together, with a silky consistency. Add the vanilla extract and salt and stir well. Add in the gluten-free flours and stir. Finally, pour in the butter mixture and stir, carefully, with a rubber spatula, until the mixture has become smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Baking the blondies: Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top with the spatula. Slide the baking pan into the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes.
Finishing the blondies. As the blondies are baking, fill the sink with ice cubes and 1 inch of water. When the blondies are finished baking, remove the pan from the oven and place it immediately into the ice-water bath. Let the blondies stay there until they have cooled completely.
Adapted from gluten-free girl and the chef