Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gluten-Free Cheese Cake, Crumb Coffee Cake, and Brownies

I’ve tried to more of the Lean on Me Baking Company dishes. Today’s lunch ended with a Reduced Fat, Wheat & Gluten Free Original Cheese Cake. It was just barely okay. It had good texture but the flavor was not wonderful. I grew up in the greater Philadelphia area and there is nothing like a good Philadelphia Cheese Cake and this one wasn’t even close.

Growing up mom made this wonderful crumb coffee cake. I remember always trying for the piece with the most crumbs on top. I spotted a box of Gluten-Free Pantry Coffee Cake mix and decided to give it a try. I made it a weekend we had company and they loved it. It was good but I think my childhood memories of mom’s cooking were just a bit too high of a standard to expect them to match while still being gluten-free.

This past weekend I had a craving for a chocolate brownie. I had picked up an Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Brownie Mix I have been meaning to bake up. It was very easy to mix up, as easy as mixing in eggs, oil, and water. The harder part was waiting for it to cool and cool down enough to sample. The brownies had a very nice rich chocoately flavor. The chocolate chips were a bit on the crunch side but were very tasty. The down side is the texture. The flours used to replace the traditional wheat flour are a bit grainy. It’s not like eating sand but it doesn’t have a smooth texture most people are use to, because there isn’t any gluten. If you never had a ‘traditional’ homemade brownie then you won’t know what you are missing. I’d buy it again and make it for the next brownie craving.

For all 3 of these products I think I’m just going to get mom’s recipe and try substituting spelt for the wheat flour. Yes, spelt is an ancient relative of wheat but luckily different enough it doesn’t send my body into a nasty reaction.

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