You know, not all my experiments work just how I planned. For example, the predecessor to this recipe is not up here. It tasted great, nobody could tell it was primarily made from chickpeas, but it gave all of us gas! So back to the drawing board. 🙂
Tonight, it worked (recipe here). Actually it exceeded my expectations. I had planned on making another Ahern GF recipe, Peanut Butter Brownies, but discovered I didn’t like the look of the recipe. Their last one, the carrot cake, used gums and I found it had a slightly slimy after taste. It’s inevitable, that’s simply the gums in action, but I wanted to do a gum-free (xanthan and guar, to be precise) brownie.
I decided to go ahead and use chickpea flour, quinoa flour and almond flour/meal instead of their flour blend as well…basically all I kept was the hope for peanut butter and chocolate. 🙂 That trio of flours is my current favorite for gluten-free baking. The crumb and lift on this brownie/cake exceeded all my gluten-free expectations! Probably the eggs helped. I like a good amount of eggs in a recipe, as it adds to the protein quotient of the final product. I suppose there must be some kind of egg replacement out there for vegans? If there is, go ahead and try this recipe. 🙂
Eggs. Side note. I thank God for eggs. I never had an issue with eggs even when vegetarian (ergo, being vegetarian, which is technically called lacto-ovo-vegetarian since milk and eggs are ok vs. vegan where they are not), because only fertilized eggs have the potential to be baby birds. Therefore no death is involved in their consumption. I thank God that he made birds to produce so many eggs, even without fertilization, as an important food source for the animal kingdom! Even reptiles eat eggs, and they lay them! Actually, it’s kinda gross, but even birds eat eggs. Ya. Apparently chickens will eat their own eggs if their feed is low in protein. So much for the kind, gentle side of the animal kingdom. 😛 But eggs are a high quality protein and fat, and are a readily available source of nutrients. I am not pro-chicken abuse, I like my eggs to come from happy, well treated chickens but I do appreciate eggs!
One of the things I love about gluten free baking is that it never seems to spike my kids’ behaviour like normal sweets with wheat do. I don’t know if that’s because of the wheat, if it’s the presence of the almond meal that adds the extra protein punch that helps balance the insulin/blood sugar issue, or what. But I will happily give my toddler a second helping of a cake like this while I groan inside whenever we are at a party or something and the kids are given regular cake. That’s why I am not on a sugar free diet. Well, one of the reasons. I just don’t see the sugar as causing the problems. I can use it in GF baking without issues. This recipe uses palm sugar, which is supposed to be easier on the insulin reaction. But the chocolate chips have regular sugar and still no issues. I am opposed to aspartame, and its related ilk but had been excited after reading up about xylitol. I had high hopes. Unfortunately, a known side effect of xylitol, one that’s apparently true for me at well, is gas. It’s thought that the side benefit of xylitol, killing bad bacteria by starving them, also works for the good gut bacteria that we need. Ergo, gas. I still buy xylitol gum and xylitol teeth products, but I’ve stopped using it as a sugar replacement in my tea and baking. Insert sad face. LOL. Instead I stick to palm sugar for baking as it’s got slim evidence that it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels as much as regular sugar. I also like muscovado sugar, for flavor and because it retains some nutrients.
Another side note. I looked into sugar replacements as a way to reduce calories in my diet. But I’ve become aware that apparently there is a contingent of people who blame all modern evils on the amount of processed sugar in the diet. I don’t know of any proof for this, or how you could possibly locate high rates of cancer and such to sugar intake when there are SO many other factors at play, but apparently it’s a thing. Again, back to God. He created sucrose. Yes, that white stuff that everyone loves to hate. Well, it’s not “modern” – sugarcane use can be dated back to at least before the 8th century _BC_ because it’s mentioned in a Chinese text as coming from India that far back. And it’s 100% natural. Yes, modern techniques are certainly an improvement on the past but it’s not a different beast. Same ol’ stuff the ancients were eating. And, apparently enjoying enough to trade…in fact Buddhist monks brought sugar processing techniques to China. Ha! How’s that conjunction for the modern mind? Buddhist monks and sugar processing?? LOL. So, I’m gonna take Paul’s advice on this one. All things created by God can be enjoyed by the believer (_in moderation_) while giving thanks to God for his Bountiful provision. 🙂 (…ps….I will except tobacco from this because of the modern genetic manipulation to it to make it intensely addictive, and because of all the evil side ingredients. God said to be enslaved by NOTHING. And this should especially include things that can kill you. I thank God for his provision of the coca plant, the poppy plant, the marijuana plant, all plants that are the basis for modern pain killers…but I believe humans should partake of them only in very small doses and for extremely good reasons, not just to get “high.”)