Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wheatless, Not Sweet-Less!

It took me forever to find out what this month's SHF theme was, and I'm so happy I discovered it before time was up! For those of you who don't know about Sugar High Fridays, it's a dessert-centric event created by Jennifer, the Domestic Goddess. Basically, each participant makes a dessert involving the specific theme, which is different every month. This month (until the 25th) is Sweet Without the Wheat, being hosted by Climbin' the Walls (I love that blog title!).

So what does that mean? Well, in short, exactly that - desserts without wheat! No all-purpose, whole wheat, durum or semolina flours can be used, nor any wheat berries, bulgur, or wheat pastas like couscous. Heresy, you say? Well, what about rice and tapioca pudding, heck - most pudding - or meringue, or French macarons?? None of those have any wheat! Craving something "traditional" for dessert, say cookies or cake? Think it can't be done without traditional flour? Well, I would say look at the amazing variety of gifted food bloggers out there (Karina made a list, and there's a gluten-free blog search option for Google too!) who are cursed with a wheat allergy, or worse - Celiac (ergo NO gluteny products - wheat, rye, triticale, barley, malt, spelt, or Kamut). Those with wheat allergies and Celiac deal with a wheat free life, including desserts, all day, every day. For one dessert, one time this month, no wheat is no problem!

Serindipitously, I already had a recipe that I wanted to make for brownies - courtesy of Hannah at BitterSweet - that just so happened to be wheat free! It is lower in fat, gluten free and vegan, but isn't completely flourless. It uses a combination of sweet rice flour (also known as mochiko) and potato starch with a hefty dose of cocoa powder to bring it all together, and it results in the fudgiest, most decadent bar cookies you've ever imagined. Out of both personal preferences and sheer necessity (i.e. no way of getting to the grocery) I switched up the recipe, reducing the sugar and using part dark brown, using a banana instead of the pumpkin and canola oil for margarine. I also added in some coffee to boost the rich chocolate flavour, and in place of the walnuts in the original I tossed in some peanuts and semisweet chocolate chips. Note to self: melty chocolate bits = yummm. One of the great things about the batter is that without gluten, there's no overbeating it, so it's great for kids to learn with too! No matter which version of the recipe you try, I can tell you it will be a winner... and nobody will ever guess it's wheat free.

Awesomely Delicious GF Brownies
Makes 12
2/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/3 Cup Potato Starch
1/3 Cup Sweet White Rice Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Large Banana, Mashed
2 Tablespoons Warm Coffee
1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla
1/4 Cup Peanuts, Roughly Chopped
2 Tablespoons Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease or line an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, potato starch, rice flour, salt, and white sugar.
  3. Mix the oil, brown sugar, banana, coffee and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir well, until smooth.
  5. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips to evenly distribute them throughout the batter.
  6. Smooth the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for 20 – 24 minutes.
  7. The top should no longer look “wet,” and a toothpick should come out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  8. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 194.3
Total Fat: 8.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.9 mg
Total Carbs: 30.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 2.2 g


  1. Great adaptations, your version sounds so wonderful! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. :)

  2. Wow, do these ever sound amazing! Seems I'm headed more and more GF, so I am putting these on my list!

    Thanks for the comment on my blog re: my cookbook! And yes, the mention on the Post blog was really cool. :)

  3. Looks very yummy! I made brownies as well... but the recipes are so different. The addition of the peanuts, banana and coffee sounds super yummy.

  4. Yummy! I am looking to make a GF brownie (which is one of my favorite desserts!), this might be one I'll give a try!


Thanks for the feedback!