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I bake quite a bit, and I am always on the look out for tips and tricks that will make the process easier… especially when it comes to baking for people with dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten intolerant, etc.). I’ve noticed many bakers regard specialty baking as overly complicated and unsatisfying, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Nor should it be regarded as something you shouldn’t try unless you’re already a skilled baker. One of the best things I discovered while trying out gluten free baking was that my favorite brand of flour (King Arthur) had a whole line of gluten free products. Everything from all purpose baking mix to actual cake and cookie mixes, and you know what? They are pretty awesome. Most of my taste testers firmly assert that they can’t even tell the difference. So when my gluten intolerant friend requested something chocolate, with fudge and berries for her birthday I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
- King Arthur Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix
- 4 Eggs
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Fudge Filling (adapted from this recipe):
- 5 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 6 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp water
- Pinch of salt
- 1½ tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 all purpose gluten free flour (I used King Arthur)
- 1 cup blackberry juice
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 sticks up butter cut into cubes
- Combine ingredients and bake according to the box’s instructions.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted and smooth. Whisk in the cocoa until dissolved, mixture with be very thick. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine together corn syrup, sugar, cream, water, and salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Cool the mixture slightly, about 2 minutes. Then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly before using.
*Can be made up to three days in advance.
- Combine sugar, flour, cream and both juices in a sauce pan and place over medium heat. Whisk ingredients and allow them to cook, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the consistency of a soft pudding (roughly 10-15 minutes).
- Transfer mixture to a stand mixer and beat on high until cooled (6-8 minutes).
- Once mixture has cooled, reduce mixer speed to medium and start adding the butter a couple of cubes at a time until all the butter has been incorporated. (This will take forever, just stand there and let the mixer do it’s thing)
- Switch mixer back to high and whip frosting for 1-2 minutes.
- Use a cupcake corer or knife to remove a shallow center section from each of the cupcakes.
- Put the fudge filling in a sealed sandwich bag and snip off one of the corners. Pipe filling into each cupcake.
- Pipe or spread frosting onto each cupcake being careful to cover the fudge filling so none is peaking through.
- Garnish however you please; I used chocolate sprinkles and Mini Dark Chocolate Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares.
*I have received no compensation for this post; the opinions expressed are 100% my own*
Honestly, these brownies are the result of me being clumsy. I was making brownies for Andy to take to the office and I had just seen the episode of Barefoot Contessa where she talked about simple ingredients that can be added to recipes to enhance the overall flavor of a dish. None of her test subjects could figure out what was that made the flavor different, all they knew was that it tasted better. One of the recommendations was adding a little bit of coffee to chocolate baked goods. Inspired, I decided to go all Food Network and sprinkle a bit of instant coffee into my brownie mix, but being clumsy, ended up dumping in about 1/4 cup. I did my best to scoop out the extra granules, but everything that had actually touched the batter stuck. I finally just mixed it in and baked the brownies. I warned Andy about my culinary mishap, but he took them to work anyway, and boy was I shocked when he called to tell that everyone had flipped over the amazing coffee brownies. So I guess clumsy isn’t always bad.
What you need:
1 Box of Brownie Mix( with box specified ingredients)
1 Heaping Tbsp of Instant Coffee
- Preheat oven to the temperature listed on the box.
- Combine mix with instant coffee and other required ingredients
- Bake for the amount of time suggested on box (usually 20-25 minutes)
Box Mixes I’ve Tried:
- Gluten Free – Arthur Gluten Free Brownie Mix (cake-like brownies) or Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix (fudge-like brownies), Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix (cake-like brownies)
- Regular – Betty Crocker Triple Chunk Brownie Mix (cake-like brownies), Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix (fudge-like brownies)
- Vegan – Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix (very dense cake-like brownies), Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix (fudge-like brownies) *To veganize these mixes substitute veggie spread or oil for the butter and replace egg with egg replacer, apple sauce, banana, silken tofu, etc.
- For even distribution of coffee flavor, fully dissolve instant coffee in the liquid ingredients before mixing in.
- For brownies that have concentrated “coffee pockets” gently fold in coffee granules and bake immediately.
- If you want a strong coffee flavor add additional granules, I’ve made these brownies with up to 3 tbsp of instant coffee.
- I like to add a handful or two of chocolate chips to the brownie mix. This is especially good if you have opted for the stronger coffee flavor.