This summer, something wonderful happened…After nearly 8 years together, two of my very best friends have officially agreed to love each other forever- huzzah!
Seeing as last night was their engagement party, I thought I would contribute to the table of goodies and bake something sweet to eat. We all know a very special celebration requires a very special treat… I give you…*drumroll*
Gluten-free Salted Caramel brownies… *drools*
Bethie was a big lover of bread, puddings and chocolate- not a problem. However to her horror, she also discovered she is intolerant to wheat and gluten- less than ideal.
I had no idea how much being intolerant could affect everyday food choices until I went shopping with Beth. We know it affects the usuals, like bread, cake, biscuits and so on, but it affects so many other products that we don’t even think of like drinks, chocolate brands and even savoury snacks.
Many members of my friendship group, myself included, are fitness junkies and enjoy a balanced lifestyle. The vast majority are also Sport Scientists, specialising in a range of disciplines from strength and conditioning to cardiac physiology, physiotherapy and biomechanics, to nutrition and dietetics, so on and so forth. As you can imagine then, we are quite healthy and tend to enjoy eating unprocessed, whole foods. We all cook regularly at home and never eat ready meals really, so experimenting in the kitchen is natural, easy and fun to do. Besides, I wanted the night to be special for them so I thought I would give it a go.
Now, I am by no means a pro at this gluten-free stuff, nor am I trying to make out like I am. In all honesty, I have had so many trial and error attempts at baking gluten-free goodies for Bethie as I am still playing around with finding the right balance of ingredients. I find a lot of gluten free foods tend to be quite dense when I make them…
However, these were pretty damn amazing, if I do say so myself. Besides, if anything, the fact they were gluten-free meant that they were even more gooey and delicious as the caramel slowly melted in to the rich chocolate centre. Divine to eat, terribly tricky to eat without looking like a child. Something I have not yet mastered.
The recipe is one I adapted here from Waitrose and is super-easy to make; I swapped the plain flour for a g-free option from Doves Farm. I just added a ganache to the top for that extra dosage of luxury, as both Bethie and Si are huge fans of anything chocolate-based. And seeing as it’s a celebration, I thought I would add a little helping of sparkly gold shimmer and dust to make them extra magical (even though they look messy here!).
As you can see, I went to town with it.
The picture above is one I took before transferring them to the tray at the party itself and arranged them properly. However, last night I decided that my phone needed a bath, and so proceeded to throw it in a glass of Merlot. That then means I have no pictures of the brownies in all their gooey and decadent glory. More upsettingly, it also means that I do not have any pictures from the evening itself, apart from those in my mind.
The engagement garden party was beautiful. We all sat outside admiring the beautiful Cheshire sunset whilst drinking fizz and reminiscing about stories of the happy couple. As the night progressed, so did the stories and laughter. Utter perfection.