Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gluten-Free Ratio Rally: Brownies


Another month, another Gluten-Free Ratio Rally!

Last month the theme was crepes. Did you see our mini stacks of key lime crepes? If not, go check 'em out!

This time around, we're tackling everyone's perennial favorite: brownies!

As usual, Kelli and I wanted to challenge ourselves and make a brownie with a twist. (When I told a coworker that we were working on making "special brownies" he wisely cautioned me to be careful with how I describe our project, lest I give the impression that we were making ... ahem ... brownies fortified with a certain variety of cannabis.)

But how do you reinvent the classic brownie?


When Kelli and I sat down to brainstorm, we came to the table with different ideas that were surprisingly compatible. She thought to make brownies using Mexican chocolate, which is flavored with cinnamon. My idea was to incorporate some mesquite flour into our brownies. Coincidentally, mesquite flour also often has notes of cinnamon in its flavor profile.

We decided to marry the two ideas and make Mexican chocolate mesquite brownies, with an easy caramel sauce to tie it all together.


To see what delicious brownies other Rally-ers baked up this month, be sure to check out Frannycakes, our host this time around.

And what about our ratio? We ended up darn near 1 part flour : 2 parts egg : 2 parts sugar : 2 parts butter : 2 parts chocolate. Pretty neat and tidy. Bada bing, bada boom, as they say.

Without further ado, on to the recipe:


Caramel Mexican Chocolate Mesquite Brownies
Makes one 8x8 pan, 16 two-inch squares

Ingredients

For the brownies:
100g salted butter
100g Mexican chocolate
100g dark brown sugar
100g eggs (2 large)
50g Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend
15g mesquite flour
1/4 tsp GF baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

For the caramel:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp corn syrup (optional)
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp GF pure vanilla extract

Steps

To make the caramel:
1. In a heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, and corn syrup (if using).
2. Place over high heat and let the sugar mixture cook without stirring until golden brown. (Swirl the pan if needed to mix for even browning, but don't use a spoon.)
3. As soon as the mixture is golden brown, add the cream all at once. (Pull your hand back and be cautious of spattering.)
4. Stir vigorously and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sugar and cream melt together and create a smooth texture.
5. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla, stir, and let cool.

To make the brownies:
6. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan.
7. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk to combine.
8. Remove from the heat and stir in all remaining ingredients.
9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle with half the caramel sauce.
10. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the brownies are set around the edges.
11. Cool completely. Then cut and serve, drizzling brownies with the remaining caramel sauce.

Notes
Caramel sauce can sometimes turn grainy when cooled completely. To prevent this crystallization, use 1 tsp corn syrup. However, if you're averse to using corn syrup, simply omit it. Also, when drizzling the finished brownies with the remaining caramel, you may need to re-warm the caramel slightly to achieve a "drizzle-able" consistency.

Degrees of Free-dom
This recipe is: gluten-free, peanut-free, tree-nut-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, soy-free, vegetarian.

To make this recipe corn-free, omit the corn syrup, and use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend that does not include cornstarch.

Nutrition Info
Sorry ... the recipe calculator we use doesn't have info for ingredients such as mesquite flour, so no nutrition info for this recipe.

Enjoy!

–Pete

15 comments:

gluten-free[k] said...

Wow, that caramel looks amazing! Lovely brownies.

Erin Swing said...

Great minds think a like! I went the Mexican route, too... but yet ours are so different from each other. Love it! I've got to try some mesquite flour! That caramel looks so yummy...

Caneel said...

I would love these. Love mesquite, Mexican chocolate and caramel. What a combination - great job on making our mouths water!

~Mrs. R said...

Your brownies sound so wonderful. I have not used mesquite and will have to try this! There seems to have been a decided Mexican flavor to many brownie offerings this month! :-)
Blessings, ~Mrs. R

Jenn said...

wow these look decadent! fantastic brownies, love th caramel on top :)

Angela @ angelaskitchen.com said...

Loving the thought of these brownies, and the caramel is such a nice touch! What a combo! Yum!

jas - the gluten free scallywag said...

these look delicious! Mexican chocolate and caramel - oh my!

mary fran | frannycakes said...

These look incredibly decadent, and I think you should bring some with you when you come to speak at Nourished. A sort of tax for the host of the rally :)

Now I really do have to try the mesquite flour that is in the cabinet!

Tara Barker said...

I love how the two of you came up with different, but compatible, ideas for your brownies! And they look and sound delicious. I actually have some Mexican chocolate and mesquite flour hanging around in my pantry . . . they may be destined for brownies.

charissa (zest bakery) said...

Bada bing. I love it!

The look of that caramel looks wonderful. I could see having these with a cup of spiked Abuelita (mexican hot cocoa).

P.S. I've made your jerk chicken twice in the last month. It's a new family favorite!

My Gluten Free Home said...

Wow…These look AMAZING! My mouth is actually watering just looking and the pictures :)

Morri said...

Ah, another mesquite user! We're EVERYWHERE this GFRR... I love it.

This is an amazing recipe, and the photos show a treat that is moist, cakey, and extremely hard to only eat one.

A job well done.

gretchen said...

first of all, i love that you two conspire together on these recipes. secondly, your brownies look divine. clearly, caramel is a great brownie choice :), but i love the mexican twist! i need to get me some mesquite flour real soon.

Jonathan said...

The photos of the caramel dripping off the brownies is insanely appetizing. Wonderful Rally post!

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