I Can’t Bake: Carob Brownies? Cupcakes? Muffins?

For my sweetie’s birthday, I thought I would do us both a favor and avoid baking. You may have noticed, by now, the complete lack of sweet baked goods on my Low Amine Recipes blog. It’s because I can’t/won’t bake.

Part of my avoidance is my skill in putting on pounds simply by looking at desserts. The other, larger part of my non-baking is dictated by my ability to burn, char, and crisp most desserts into oblivion.

I started by buying an allergen-unfriendly flat cake at QFC which was (the bakery gal told me) iced and decorated by “trainees,” as you can see from the botched “32nd” and can’t see from the icing on the sides. It looks like an icing job that I would do. That should say it all.

Allergy-unfriendly flat cake for the masses, AKA backup plan #1. (photo)

Allergy-unfriendly flat cake for the masses, AKA backup plan #1.

And then decided that I would be bold and buy a box of gluten-free Betty Crocker brownie mix. I figured if I substituted the butter with butter substitute, and subbed the egg with applesauce, everything would turn out fine. It did! They are made of unhealthy boxed goodness and were tasty.

Note: No, I didn’t eat them all… just the ones that fell apart when I tried to take them out. I didn’t realize they were too warm to remove from the tins. Cut me some chocolately high-amine slack. I already told you, I don’t know how to bake.

Betty Crocker gluten-free brownies made with butter substitute and applesauce as an egg substitute. (photo)

Betty Crocker gluten-free brownies made with butter substitute and applesauce as an egg substitute. Made of high-amine crack, I tell you. AKA backup plan #2.

Halfway through baking crack, I mean, the Betty Crocker brownie things, I decided that I *CAN* bake, and that I should try my hand at a real recipe. So I used a recipe I found on the internet,¬†made a few substitutions, and went to town: sugar for stevia, applesauce for eggs, doubled the carob chips, and made my own carob powder (see: threw a half cup of carob chips in a food processor until it was pretty powdery…).

Low-Amine Carob Muffin/Cupcake/Brownie Batter (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, chocolate-free) photo

Low-Amine Carob Muffin/Cupcake/Brownie Batter (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, chocolate-free). At this point, I still thought it would end up being brownies.

Little did I know that not only would this recipe not make brownies, but in attempting to bake, I would also break my oven. At the start of baking, I saw this soldering-like spark on the heating element.

I thought, “Wow, that’s strange. It must be burning something off that dripped on it last night.”

In 10 minutes, when I came back, it had kept going, burning and burning through the heating element. Another foot of heating element was destroyed. The burned parts were now not working, and the working parts were having to work twice as hard to keep the oven up to temperature.

Ummmmmmmmmmm…. Well……… The muffins, or cupcakes, or brownies or whatever they are were still cooking. What’s a girl to do?

A master of improvisation, I decided to let it keep going for the first muffin tin. For the second, I turned off the “bake” function and set it to broil to heat the oven back up, and checking the temperature by flipping it back to “bake.” It worked well enough. But my oven is dead.

D E A D. Dead. I think it decided that my baking days, only just begun, are over. It wasn’t having any of that nonsense. I found the whole thing so funny that I decided to post my experience with baking, my somewhat okay recipe (truth be told, you’d be better off getting your recipe from Lauren David Style – why the heck I didn’t start with a recipe from her site will forever confound me), and my photo of my now destroyed oven heating element.

On that note, for the first time in my life, I have renter’s insurance. And as of this morning, I’m really glad I have it. For a quote, talk to my awesome agent, Tracy Lake (in a previous professional life, I worked with her). She will take great care of you. Brownie points if you tell her this story (pun intended).

My oven heating filament actually soldered itself (and lost the ability to heat the part of itself that it broke) while I was cooking. (photo)

My oven heating element actually soldered itself (and lost the ability to heat the part of itself that it broke) while I was cooking. I have a suicidal oven, but at least my house didn’t burn down. I think this is why they tell you not to leave your oven unattended.

There is only 1/3 of the heating element that isn’t ruined. Final verdict? I can’t bake. My oven said so. It committed seppuku right before my very eyes.

I Can’t Bake: Low Amine Carob Brownies? Cupcakes? Muffins?

1 2/3 C Bob’s Mills Gluten-free All-purpose flour

1/2 C unsweetened carob chips, processed till powdered in food processor

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 C sugar

1/2 C soft butter (butter substitute, in my case)

1/2 C organic unsweetened applesauce

1/2 C water

1 C unsweetened carob chips

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix first six ingredients together.
  • In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients together.
  • Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients.
  • Grease muffin tins.
  • Fill muffin cavities till halfway full.
Low-Amine Carob Muffin/Cupcake/Brownies, hot out of the oven (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, chocolate-free) photo

Low-Amine Carob Muffin/Cupcake/Brownies, hot out of the oven (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, chocolate-free) photo

  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until they come clean with a toothpick.
  • *Optional: Break oven.
  • *Optional: Try not to burn down the house.
  • When completely cooled, carefully remove from muffin tins using magical muffin-shaped wands (seriously, folks, how are they supposed to come out?). Or do what I do. Jam a knife in there and hope you don’t scrape off too much Teflon with the muffins / cupcakes / brownies… Or whatever they are.
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