Since I was diagnosed with gluten and wheat intolerance, I've had to change my attitude entirely to cake. The majority of bought gluten and wheat free cakes and dry, mealy and pretty uninspiring. Thankfully after a lot of experimentation and dare I say it disasters, me and Mummy Lou can make various cakes that we're proud of.
One of my biggest disappointments with commercially available gluten free food, is the humble chocolate brownie. You buy a gluten free chocolate brownie in any supermarket or coffee shop and I can pretty much guarantee that it will be dry, and cloying with only the smallest hint of the dense fudginess that a good brownie should have. So the obvious solution when I get that brownie craving is to make my own, and I do, I've just about perfected my own blondie and brownie recipes, which I'll show you soon, but sometimes I just want to be able to buy something yummy and as good or if not better than what I can make at home, thankfully fellow blogger Kellie from BigFashionista and QVC came to my rescue, and introduced me to Gower Cottage Brownies.
Founded in 2007 Gower Cottage Brownies, is the epitome of a cottage industry. The owner Kate Jenkins started supplying a local shop with her chocolate brownies, made fresh everyday in her cottage kitchen on the beautiful Gower Peninsula in South Wales. The huge popularity of her brownies with both locals and tourists meant that an expansion was inevitable. Kate now supplies a number of retailers and establishments throughout the UK, and she also sells direct to the public via her own website and also via QVC UK.
In reality though nothing really has changed, the brownies are all still handmade,and made fresh for every order using only the finest ingredients available including local free range eggs.
After watching a QVC presentation and reading a post from Kellie I eventually took the plunge and placed an order. There are several varieties to chose from including the Original, With Walnut and With Hazelnuts, but I went for Kate's Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies.
I ordered mine via QVC but they came directly from Gower Cottage. They are boxed, and the brownies themselves come beautifully wrapped and then wrapped in waxed paper with a tag and tied with a ribbon. I loved the fact that was no plastic packaging. Everything has been thought of perfectly your not just opening a cake box it's almost like your opening a present, all be it a beautiful chocolate, vanilla scented present!
At this point I really should be showing you a picture of the unwrapped brownies but my mum dived into them too quickly, sniffing and portioning them out!- you get 12 small sized brownies in each box x We decided to be good and only leave a couple out. They freeze really well, just wrap them up well, and either defrost at room temperature or pop them into the microwave for 20 seconds or so to defrost and serve them warm. Each box though comes with storage and freezing instructions x
Okay, I'm sorry I'm leaving you in suspense aren't I? You wanna know what they taste like, well I don't think I have words! The smell when you open the box is exactly what they taste like, rich, rich buttery chocolate, squidgy yumminess! You can really taste the quality of the ingredients that Kate uses, these gluten free ones, have only 5 ingredients, sugar, eggs, butter, chocolate and gluten free flour, and that is what you can taste. The chocolate taste is smooth and velvety and when you heat them up you can almost smell the butter.
Yes they aren't the biggest brownies I've ever seen, but they don't need to be, they are rich, dense, and squidgy but without being sickly, they hit the spot perfectly and 1 really is enough, especially if your trying to show restraint!
Unlike a lot of gluten free brownies you don't need to drench them in cream or ice cream, the slightly crisp outside melds perfectly with the soft centre, meaning they're a treat in their own right. That said a scoop of vanilla Ice cream turns them into a decadent pud, and a bit of fresh fruit add to your 5 a day. If I didn't know that these were gluten free then I wouldn't be able to tell they really are that good.
These aren't the cheapest brownie out there by any means but what your getting is quality, unlike a lot of commercial products, they are still made with care, and you know exactly whats gone in them. Kate has won praise for her brownies from food writers, local and national media, and to be honest I'm really not surprised. I still think I make a pretty decent brownie but I'm not sure that they are a good as this. I have to say I'm now a Gower Cottage covert x You got me Kate ;)
They maybe aren't for everyday munching but for a special treat they're perfect. You can also get a box delivered to someone else, so I think they would make a great and unusual gift for any occasion.
Gower Cottage Brownies are available from their website and also from QVC UK. 12 Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies retail at around £17.99, but prices vary depending on the variety you choose. I'd also recommend that you follow Kate on twitter, she's really sweet and so passionate about what she does and pleasing her customers, she's also a serious enabler :) If you have any questions please leave me a comment - We have 4 brownies left so I'm away to raid the freezer :)