I was skeptical.  I mean I am a person who buys sugars, flour and butter at Costco so that I don’t run out so frequently.  And I am fortunate enough not to have any food allergies or dietary restrictions.  So why am I baking vegan gluten-free anything?  Well, even though I don’t need to pay attention to it for health reasons I can’t help but notice the increase in the amount of products that are labeled “vegan” or “gluten-free”.  I think it is great that people who do suffer from digestive problems or prefer not to eat animal products have so many more options to choose from these days.  I have been curious about the ingredients and results of vegan and/or gluten-free baking and so when I inherited all of the special ingredients necessary for this type of baking, I was very anxious to give it a whirl.

I wanted to start the experimentation with something classic that would be easy to compare to a “regular” specimen.  Brownies seemed like a good option.  Also, I wanted to learn a bit about the interesting (strange) new ingredients I would be incorporating into these brownies.  Here are some of the ingredients and what I learned about them:

  • Garbanzo-fava bean flour-used instead of regular wheat flour and also is a source of protein
  • Potato starch-makes baked goods tender and moist
  • Xanthan gum-makes batter sticky instead of crumbly
  • Coconut oil-extracted from the flesh of coconuts, high in saturated fat, but good fat
  • Arrowroot-carbohydrate thickener similar to cornstarch

I will always promise you an unbiased review when I am telling you about a recipe or a product.  And here is my honest critique of these brownies:

While I was baking the brownies, when it came time to insert a toothpick into them to see if they were done, I naturally licked the batter of the toothpick.  At this point, sweet teeth, I was pretty sure I would be giving these brownies away to someone I didn’t like very much or just throwing the whole batch away.  However, I am aware that a finished product cannot be judged entirely off it’s unbaked predecessor, so I waited patiently (?) for them to finish baking and cool before a second try.  My lesson to you here is simple:  don’t eat the batter!  But the finished product, I really have to tell you was so delicious!  They were possibly the most light and moist brownies I have ever made!  They did not taste over-chocolatey, but were just sweet enough to satisfy me.  And for the REAL test, my husband tried them with an upturned nose and ended up eating a row right out of the pan because he couldn’t get enough!  Bottom line, whether you need, choose or just want to make these brownies, you will be in airy, chocolatey heaven.

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combine dry ingredients

add rest of ingredients except chocolate chips

stir to combine

fold in chocolate chips

pour into prepared pan and bake

Have you tried gluten-free and/or vegan baking?  Any great recipes I should try next?

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3 Comments ( Reply )

  1. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    Now how am I supposed to make those recipes?!?! Hehe!

    Since you are a very skilled baker – I would recommend the lemon blueberry streusel out of Babycakes…I had it at their NYC bakery and it was amazing…I was always too lazy because you have to make cupcakes first. 🙂


    • Mercedes
      Nov 06, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

      Ok! I will try that next! It was so good to see you last week!


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