Browsing Tag

brownie

Product Review: Macro Gluten Free Brownie Mix

Reviews February 2, 2013

Ever since my recent gluten and dairy free stint, I must admit there have been a few foods that I have been missing. Cheese is definitely one. Buttery, delicious pastries have been another! Creamy mushroom fettuccine (be still my beating heart!) has been another as well as white chocolate, butter and supermarket iced coffees. I will admit that this diet has definitely forced me to be a lot healthier but I am surprisingly enjoying it. While I do enjoy healthy food, its quite often that the lazy side of me will choose unhealthier options out of convenience and price – especially for my unplanned work lunches which have recently transformed from Chinese fried chicken takeaways, chips and creamy pastas to roast chicken salads to tuna, tomatoes and herbs on gluten free crispbreads, lots of fruit and loads more veggies. Since I chose such unhealthy options so frequently in the past its almost surprising how much I enjoy the change and I do hope it’s a habit that sticks. It’s also fun coming up with healthier versions of things I normally cook as its surprising how delicious the results often are.

All that aside – I must say that it’s definitely nice to have a treat now and then and one thing I definitely miss is brownies. When I first started baking, brownies were my go-to recipe and I loved making super naughty versions of them (my faves had cookie dough swirled into the brownie batter with a thick layer of chocolate ganache. heartstoppingly amazing!) So while fruit has been my latest go-to dessert, sometimes you just want to sink your teeth into something soft, dense and amazingly chocolatey – which led me to go searching for gluten free brownie mixes. I found this one at Woolworths for $4.99 and thought I’d give it a shot. Coles also sell a similar mix, but for a different brand which I’d be interested in giving a try.

I made a few adaptations to the instructions on the box to suit me a bit better;

  • The box mix says to add 2 eggs and 1/2 a cup of melted butter, but I substituted the butter for 1/2 a cup of rice bran oil to make it dairy free and couldn’t taste a difference. In fact it was a bit more convenient as I didn’t need to melt any butter.
  • The box mix also includes some chocolate chips which it says to melt with the butter to mix into the batter, but I skipped this and just added them to the batter for some extra texture which I think turned out really well and did not detract from the chocolatey flavour of the brownie batter overall.

For those wanting to make a vegan version of these brownies, the box also recommends the use of egg-substitute in place of 2 eggsa (however I did not try this so I’m not sure exactly how the results would come out.)

Here’s what I came out with:


So the verdict? I found these brownies to be an excellent substitute for regular brownies. They were very moist, dense and chocolatey. I particularly enjoyed the chocolate chips in the batter rather than melted, but that’s just a personal preference. I found it hard to find a difference in taste or texture to regular box mix brownies that normally contain gluten/dairy. They were also very easy to make (just mix together eggs, oil and ingredients in the box and bake – too easy!). I imagine the ingredients are something like a mixture of corn/rice flour, sugar and cocoa powder so would probably be quite easy to put together yourself with a good recipe, as well as cheaper – but generally buying a box mix for the convenient factor usually adds a bit to the price. If they were on sale, I’d definitely snag another box but for full price, I don’t expect it’s something I’d buy regularly. In terms of taste and texture though, I would give it a 4/5.

After sampling a few brownies, I froze the rest of the batch to prevent me from eating it all… Until I discovered that frozen brownies taste amazing. (If you haven’t already, you have to try it! They get denser and almost taste richer – if that’s possible?) You could also microwave them for a warmer brownie if that’s what you prefer, but I bet you will find these very handy for when you need a quick sugar fix!

So how about you readers? Would you consider trying gluten/dairy free brownies or do you prefer to stick with the real deal?

xox
C

Wanna keep in touch? Why not like me on Facebook by clicking here, or follow me on Twitter by clicking here 🙂

*This has not been a paid review. Cooking Crusade paid for the box mix/ingredients.

34 Comments
1 Brownie

Deadly Cookie-Brownies

Uncategorized March 21, 2011

Hey y’all. How is everyone doing?

As you can imagine, I have wedding on the brain right now. I picked up a Cosmo Bride magazine yesterday and I was bombarded with all the things I’m supposed to be thinking about.

Engagement party, photographers, hair and makeup, dresses, reception invitation list, actual invitations, actual reception venue, honeymoon locations… It’s all making me a teensy bit mad, but hey.. It’s gotta be done, right? At least I feel like we’re making a little bit of progress (in the way of research anyway.)

I’ve also joined a gym and made major changes to my diet in an attempt to fit into a bridal gown.. I’ve given myself a good six months to drop the kay-gees (or kgs haha) before I go dress shopping. I’ve been told that dress-makers are going to absolutely freak on me, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! Besides wanting to get into shape, I honestly do not think I could plan this whole wedding in under 12 months without having a mental breakdown – all this planning is giving me a serious headache!

Anyway… This post is an indication of what you almost definitely should not be eating when you’re on a crazy bride-diet. Bakerella calls these Thaank you Betty! brownies, but I kind of call them ‘deadly brownies.’

I have to say.. Every single time I have baked these I have received nothing but compliments. I’ve been told these are the best brownies I’ve ever made (on several occasions). And its true. They are completely amazing. It’s a combination of brownie AND cookie (AND chocolate ganache.) Something about the cookie dough and the brownie batter melds together to marble together in this amazingly wonderful fudgy, dense, incredible way to create something completely magnificent.

The best thing about them is how absolutely easy they are to make AND they cut down on clean up (people with no dish washers shout “hooray!”)

You only need a few things.

Ingredients:
1 brownie box mix; My favourite box-mix by FAR is White Wings. I’ve tried all the other brands and I swear by this one – been using it for years with great results every time. I fail to make a brownie this good – shame, right?
1 box mix of cookie dough Oddly enough the Betty Crocker brand far outweighs the White Wings cookie dough, which I have also tried. Weird, right? I guess you need the best of both worlds to make this one.
PLUS the ingredients to make the box mixes. From memory, the brownie mix requires 1 T of water, 2 eggs and 1/4 oil (i always use melted butter) and the cookie dough needs 1 egg and something like, 1/3 cup of softened butter.

PLUS you will need some chocolate ganache.
1 cup cream + 250 grams of good eating milk chocolate (I just use the Coles Belgium chocolate brand and it’s gooood.)

To make the chocolate ganache, boil the cream in a saucepan until bubbling. Pour over chopped/broken up chocolate in a bowl and leave for about 30-60 seconds (until chocolate is melted) and stir together. Wow! You just made chocolate ganache. Give yourself a pat on the back. Now take a spoonful of chocolate ganache and contemplate how good chocolate is. Then put the ganache in the fridge and stop eating it. Seriously. Stop. I said stop eating it! Thank you. Allow it to cool for a good hour. You could make this a day beforehand if you were feeling particularly productive.

(PS: In case you didn’t know this, chocolate ganache makes a mean chocolate milk, mixed with cold milk or a beaut hot chocolate with hot milk. OR drizzle it over vanilla ice cream for the perfect chocolate topping.. It can even be used as frosting for a cakes. Ohhh chocolate ganache how you thrill me with your many uses!) Yep. It’s true. Chocolate ganache is a magical substance.

To make the brownie slice, whip up the brownie batter and pour into a greased and/or lined brownie tray. Mix together the cookie dough and then drop in large chunks of cookie dough into the batter. Not too big, I just like to break off a little bit with my fingers and distribute them randomly in the batter. Bake in a hot oven (about 160 degs, don’t wanna overbake these babies) for about an hour or until the cookie dough starts to brown (and the brownie batter is cooked – test with a cake tester – it should yield moist crumbs.) Cool completely. Pour over chocolate ganache and refrigerate until completely set. Cut into slices and serve.

Ah-mazing!!

If you need any more convincing about these brownies, I took some on a picnic.. And the next thing I knew .. I was engaged. Coincidence?

 

.. I don’t think so.

Oh and just a little side note: if you noticed that the chocolate ganache looked like it had a couple of air bubbles in it, its because I put this slice in the fridge with some plastic wrap when it was setting and the air bubbles created that weird effect. I didn’t really notice until later but it was fine to spread to even out the texture.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

xx

Christine

 

 

PS:

These freeze beautifully. Pop slices between squares of baking paper and then wrap in cling wrap – perfect for those days you just need a quick and sinfully sweet pick-me-up. Though I don’t drink it, I imagine these would be great with a coffee 🙂

8 Comments