wordless wednesday: urban element event

Yesterday I promised you pictures.

Since this is a wordless wednesday entry … I’ll let you just look at the pictures … I think you can gather how much fun I had just from the sheer number of pics…

Sigh … I wish I was eating all this food again.  As in … right this instant.

(in case you’re wondering … this is from the urban element mix & match event – in which Trish Larkin and Marc Lepine each served 4 courses  – oysters, caviar, tuna and cranberries

guest blogging @ the urban element

In order to read today’s blog … you kinda need to click here.

I spent last Monday night at the Urban Element (yes… I then went off to Oz Kafe – I ate a lot last Monday – as in 13 courses…) hanging out with Trish Larkin and Marc Lepine – two awesome individuals who make cooking look like a whole lot of fun while also making delicious food.  Seriously delicious.  Sigh.

Don’t worry … pictures will follow…

a sweet deal

Guess what?

It’s pretty exciting!

I … bought … my VERY FIRST CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously.  I’ve never owned a car before … I’ve always been happy to walk, ride my bike, take the bus, or the train… or a plane.  But I’ve never owned a car.  Not until Thursday that is.  Last Thursday was the day I took the leap – I went to a dealership and test drove a car … and then bought it (don’t worry … I did my research).

I pick it up on Monday.

A-MAZ-ING.

What does that have to do with baking you might ask?

Well … I decided to go to the dealership prepared … I brought along some brownies.  That’s right.  My car salesman was given a container full of brownies upon arrival.  :0)

I actually didn’t give him the brownies you’re about to see.  No – I twisted my own twisted brownies – but you’ll get the picture.  Both versions are good.  The brownies you’re about to see were a party treat (a birthday party treat).

I had actually blogged about this recipe two years ago (to the day): but that was when I wasn’t taking as many pictures – so I felt it was time for a recipe update.  You might want to check out the original post, plus another update (I make these brownies pretty regularly) – or stick to what you see here.

These brownies are gluten free.

Please continue reading.

These brownies are also AMAZING.  Seriously – anyone who tries one loves them.  They are moist in the centre but get a little hard on the sides ... oh so good.  For the purpose of this party I decided to divide the brownie batter in half – a layer on the bottom, then add a layer of peppermint patties, which were then covered by the second layer of chocolate brownie.

WOW.

Don’t be surprised if a couple of the peppermint patties kinda expand in the oven … it just adds to the cool effect of the brownies.

Peppermint isn’t your thing?  How about adding some Hershey’s kisses – caramel kisses to be precise.  Yeah … that’s what I brought along to the dealership.  Another success.  Unlike the super cool effect of the peppermint patties (just look at that white centre); the caramel kisses melt into the brownie batter, allowing the caramel taste to shine through (obviously, you could make homemade caramel and use that … your choice).

Two options – both extremely simple.  There is absolutely nothing difficult or complicated about these brownies.  Just make them in advance.  You need to allow the pan to sit in your freezer overnight.  I know … normally when you bake something you want to be able to cut right into it.  Not these.  I swear they get better the longer they sit in a very cold place.  Trust me.  Once you try these – – you’ll be willing to bake a night ahead… I promise.

peppermint patty gluten free brownies

1/2 c. salted butter, cut into cubes

6 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 c. brown sugar

2 eggs
1 tsp. mint extract (vanilla if making the caramel version)

1/4 c. brown rice flour

1/4 c. tapioca flour

1 package peppermint patties (or many caramel Hershey’s kisses), unwrapped

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Line a square pan with foil – spray the foil with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

Melt the chocolate.  Do this using a double boiler – place a heat proof glass bowl over a pot of simmering water over medium-low heat (you don’t want the water to touch the bowl).  Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl and allow it to melt – don’t get to fussy with it – let it sit and stir from time to time.  Once the chocolate is smooth and shiny – remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

No need for your stand-mixer – a bowl and whisk will do for these brownies.

Whisk the sugar and eggs together – you want a nice and silken looking base.  Add the mint (or vanilla) extract.  Whisk again.

Toss in both flours – whisk to incorporate.  Finally, add in the melted chocolate/butter mixture – this batter is thick and gooey.  That is a very good thing.

Spread half (to 2/3rd of the batter) of the batter in the square pan.

Layer your unwrapped peppermint patties (or caramel kisses) on-top of the brownie base – don’t place them right next to one another – leave about 1/2 inch of space between them.

Spread the remaining brownie batter over the candy layer – I needed to use a frosting spatula to spread the batter around – it’s almost like a really thick buttercream at this point.  Cover the candy.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

They are ready.  I promise.

Remove from the oven and place the pan (brownies and all) into a bath of cold water (fill your sink with ice water – about 2 or 3 inches of water will do). I usually leave the brownies in the ice water bath for about an hour.  When ready – toss the brownie pan into the freezer (cover with foil).  And then walk away.  Go to bed (best to make these brownies after you have brushed your teeth and are getting ready to go to sleep).

Wake up and trim the sides off the brownies.  Eat a piece of the trimmings.  Smile to yourself… now go ahead and tell yourself how awesome you are :0)  Cut the brownies into squares (usually I’ll then cut the squares into triangles) … wrap them up …

And then go buy a car (don’t forget the brownies)…