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Old 03-28-2013, 09:10 AM   #1
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Crunchy Top on Brownie

Hey guys,

So, I've been working on making brownies lately. I've got a recipe I really really like - the taste is perfect, but I want that crunchy top that you get on some brownies. Any insight? Is this possible with brownies that are sweetened with xylitol and stevia and use almond flour?
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:49 AM   #2
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I don't know of a way to get that same crunch, but you can get a different sort of crunch by sprinkling the top with crystal xylitol at some point during the baking, I think. I do this with my flax muffins sometimes, using erythritol crystals. I wait, because putting it on before baking causes it to melt in. nice but not crunchy. you have to figure the right time when it will be on them long enough to totally melt, but not early enough to mix with moisture coming out during the baking... good luck.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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Pretty sure the crunchy top is mostly due to sugar, and probably a little due to the reaction of the sugar/flour when it melts and then sets back up. I don't think xylitol gives you quite that caramelization that sugar does. You *may* be able to get a similar texture if you were to add polyd or inulin, and another form of "flour"... something finer than almond meal.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:13 PM   #4
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You could melt some erythritol in a small saucepan (it just takes a few minutes), and pour it over your cooked and cooled brownies. That's what I do with my creme brulee with the addition of a couple of drops of molasses. It's hard to tell from the real thing.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
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Any chance you'll share your recipe? I'm still trying to find THE best brownie recipe.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Any chance you'll share your recipe? I'm still trying to find THE best brownie recipe.
I would be interested in it also!
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:21 PM   #7
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Sure thing! It's on my blog I never was able to figure out the crunchy top, but they're still quite tasty. Especially with a big dollop of real whipped cream! Rich & Delicious, Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Brownies
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:28 PM   #8
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Sure thing! It's on my blog I never was able to figure out the crunchy top, but they're still quite tasty. Especially with a big dollop of real whipped cream! Rich & Delicious, Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Brownies
Oh, my gosh, Trish, just looking at the recipe ingredients is making my mouth water. I will definitely be giving these a try next weekend. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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Oh, my gosh, Trish, just looking at the recipe ingredients is making my mouth water. I will definitely be giving these a try next weekend. Thanks for sharing!
Hope they turn out good for you
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #10
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Hope they turn out good for you
Me too!
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:44 PM   #11
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Unfortunately, dizneegirl is right, the crunchy top on brownies is from some of the sugar melting and recrystalizing. The effect is discussed in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion and they tell you how to do it. But I doubt you could get it to work with a sugar alcohol or sweet fiber because they are all too hygroscopic (water attracting) and none of them crystalize into quite the right size particles. PolyD does make for an interesting chewy substance when you try to make frosting from it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:20 AM   #12
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I wonder if tagatose would work, as it caramelizes like sugar.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:58 PM   #13
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I made your brownies today and LOVE them! This is the first sweet baked item I've made with almond flour that wasn't heavy and dense. These were fudgy and perfect. I used erythritol instead of xylitol. And, I added 1/2 of a 90% cacao bar that I had broken into pieces. The chocolate pieces completely melted into the brownie instead of being like chocolate chips, but they just added to the deep chocolaty flavor. I only made half the recipe and am now wishing I had made the full recipe. Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:47 PM   #14
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I made your brownies today and LOVE them! This is the first sweet baked item I've made with almond flour that wasn't heavy and dense. These were fudgy and perfect. I used erythritol instead of xylitol. And, I added 1/2 of a 90% cacao bar that I had broken into pieces. The chocolate pieces completely melted into the brownie instead of being like chocolate chips, but they just added to the deep chocolaty flavor. I only made half the recipe and am now wishing I had made the full recipe. Thanks for sharing!!
So glad to hear they turned out good! Always nice to know they turn out well for someone other than me

The cacao bar would have been totally chocolate overkill for me! I'm not a huge chocolate person, but my kids probably would have loved that. I actually really really liked the brownie batter. I could sit and eat that and feel like I was being super naughty
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:35 PM   #15
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The cacao bar would have been totally chocolate overkill for me!
Chocolate overkill?? No way!!!
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:47 PM   #16
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So, I modified this a little bit and used it as a crust for a peanut butter cheesecake and then put ganache over the top.... oh my gosh. Amazing! I can't believe it turned out so perfect on my first try!
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