A mere week after my lab had their annual culinary competition there was a department-wide picnic, with a bake-off for dessert. I rolled up my sleeves and had a shot at the Dietary Requirements category, producing this vegan and gluten-free specimen. It's a double-sized variation on the chocolate mousse slice that I made last week - here's what I altered:
- First, I replaced the plain flour with a gluten free substitute. It's a mixture of corn, tapioca and rice flours. I found that this gluten-free base was quite brittle and my first attempt split in half when I tried to remove it from the tray. However, it tasted good and didn't ultimately go to waste. My second, more successful attempt was baked for less time.
- Next, I went for a chocolate-coffee filling by stirring some instant coffee into the sweetened melted chocolate. I just kept adding a tablespoonful at a time; tasting, tasting until it was what I wanted.
- Once the slice was set, I cut it into 36 pieces, each little more than an inch square, and topped them with a walnut half.
With that, I had a more complex mix and mini size to temper the richness of my first version. In honour of the coffee and walnut elements, I dubbed it Bittersweet Symphony Slice for the competition. And what do you know? It won!