The holiday baking and product testing odyssey continues! As I wrote in the butter tart square post, the real test for the Baker’s Gift Square Pans was going to be re-using them for the President’s Choice Belgian Chocolate Square Baking Mix. I already knew that it did a good job baking, that the silicone-covered paper baking vessel held up quite well and the easy-release factor was great… but how would it do going through my text kitchen twice?
Well I was going to find out because Sunday morning I woke up and opened this package for President’s Choice Belgian Chocolate Square Baking Mix. I love Sunday baking!
For this mix you only get two packages and you need to 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and 1/3 cup of water.
Oh boy, that is a lot of oil! This was going to be a decadent brownie! Yes, normally I would use a liquid measuring cup but mine were all in the dishwasher.
Although you do not need measuring cups or spoons, this recipe does say to use an electric mixer which many bakers might not have. I got out my Betty Crocker Hand Mixer and followed the directions. First beat on low speed for one minute. Scrape the sides and then beat on medium for four minutes.
Four minutes? For both brownies and cakes, you never mix for very long because you do not want to develop the gluten. By the fourth minute, my mixer and my hands were struggling. It was getting quite tough.
The square pan I had used for the butter tart squares was kind of scraped up from me cutting out my squares. (I froze them individually in my deep freezer for the holidays.) I was worried that I may have compromised the integrity of the pan. Oh well, that is what a test kitchen is for!
I added the batter to the pan and baked it in the middle of the oven at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Again, I baked it for 30 minutes because this pan is larger than the one they recommend on the package. Cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, run a knife around the edge and turn out onto the rack to cool completely. That part confused me, am I supposed to let it cool upside down?
Once cooled, it is ready for the chocolate drizzle. You get a package of melting chocolate wafers and you have to melt them yourself over a double boiler and put into a small Ziploc bag. I happened to have one but if you did not, that might be an issue. You cut a small hole at the corner and drizzle from side to side.
“Drizzle the chocolate over the cake.” Interesting they referred to it as a cake! To avoid mess, I put mine on a cooling wrack that has parchment paper underneath for easy cleanup.
“Chocoholics will love our moist and super rich Belgian Chocolate Squares which are a perfect combination of cake and brownie.” You do get great chocolate flavour from these and they are not too sweet. They are not super moist and fudge-y though, they are light with deep chocolate flavour but more cake-like than brownie. They were surprisingly tender considering the four minutes of mixing the batter went through!
This product is a little more challenging to review. It is not a brownie, it is not a cake. It is a dessert hybrid. In most mixes for cakes, you usually add oil and eggs just like this one. Unlike most mixes, I can actually recognize most of the ingredients but there were words there I did not know 100%. Unlike the butter tart squares, this was very easy and straightforward to make, absolutely perfect for the new baker. Making the drizzle like that might be a little intimidating to the new baker but it will give her a sense that she really gave this dessert a homemade and handmade touch.
This is not the product for me but it is the product either for someone new to baking or a busy parent who wants to make a special chocolate treat for the holidays but does not have time or energy to do all the measuring. I think for $3 this is an easy and tasty dessert to make but if you are looking for a super moist and fudge-y flavour, make your own brownies. I give the Belgian Chocolate Square Baking Mix four out of five wooden spoons.
The cake pan did surprisingly well, no spillage but after two uses it was done. Again, I do not think you can put them in the compost or recycle them. Still, for a holiday treat and gift, they are quite attractive and easy to use. I give them four out of five wooden spoons.