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Our resident French Girl and Food Gypsy Editor, Astrid DesLandes, takes one for the team, testing a recipe from David Lebovitz – Gluten-Free Brownies. It’s a tough assignment, bound to add inches to the thighs.
Originally from Marseille, France, currently residing in Calgary, Canada; Astrid is our source for fashion advice and all things… ‘sans gluten’. (Please, don’t get her started on shoes.) ~ Gypsy
A couple of days ago, my favourite Food Gypsy challenged me to make these scrumptious looking, gluten-free, David Lebovitz brownies. He said “These are really good, whether you’re gluten-free or not!” Being Celiac, I am always on the lookout for “really good” gluten-free recipes, so giving it a go.
My first instinct is always to “just tweak a little” anything I create, although I resisted the urge this time. Mostly. Replaced his almonds with hazelnuts. Because I love hazelnuts. See… nothing big. Also reduced the cooking time from 30 minutes to 23 minutes… because I love a gooey under-cooked brownie. Glad I did.
The brownies turned out nicely enough, but I found them a teensy bit crumbly, or dry maybe, hence my cuts do not look as clean as David’s. And before you even ask… YES! I absolutely did beat the heck out of the batter, for even longer than the one minute prescribed in David’s recipe. And it did look beautifully smooth, glossy, and pulled from the sides of the bowl, just like he said it would.
In my re-creation, I also used 72% dark, bittersweet, organic, fair trade, chocolate. The sugar was natural cane sugar. The cocoa was Frys Premium Cocoa. Real butter. (Of course.)
Perhaps the dry result is due to a higher altitude cooking? Living in Calgary, 3440 ft above sea level, I am a bit higher than David, currently residing in Paris, 114 feet. The higher the altitude, the faster water boils and moisture evaporates, a special challenge for those of us who love to bake.
High altitude baking tips http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/howtocook/primers/altitudebaking
Next time I bake David’s Gluten-Free Brownies I’ll do all the same things, but then drop my baking time to 20 minutes, and maybe add a few drops of Frangelico. (For “moisture”, right?)
As someone who appreciates a great gluten-free recipe, I must say these brownies turned out super rich. By rich, I don’t mean sweet, like some people think. They’re not overly sweet. Pop one tiny little morsel of this brownie on your tongue, and a powerful dark chocolate gooey wave hits you right smack in the nucleus accumbens (brain’s pleasure centre, for the non-nerds).
You know you’ve done good work, when the grown-up visitor at your house says: “You make the best damn brownies in the world”.
Thanks David. We of the Gluten-Free salute you.