Woohoo! I am happy to announce the chocolatey rich grain-free awesomeness that is the gluten free brownie. Though I have to admit, after 3 batches of brownies in two weeks, I might just be done for a bit. I’ve gotten more than my fill of rich dark chocolate fudgey sweet goodness, and I think I am ready to move on to another dessert. My husband may not be ready to move on just yet, however. So there may be another batch soon in our future, but we’ve got the grain-free part worked out at least.
Honestly, I really didn’t do much adapting from the original recipe. I just slightly altered some ratios, switched baking soda for powder (thought it might rise a little better since I couldn’t identify an acidic element in the ingredients), and subbed out the GF flour for cocoa powder. While they do rise significantly while baking (about 50% ish), I think the cocoa powder helps to keep them dense. The hazelnut flavor comes through nicely, and complements the chocolate well. I love that you can buy huge bags of nut-meals here en Suisse for super cheap, especially when you consider the going rate of almond flour at a certain elite natural foods store. Nut-meals are just perfect for tarte shells, but happen to be perfect for grain-free brownies too.
Photographing these brownies was fun. I baked these the night before, and got up before work early in the morning to set everything up and take the pics. Now that wonderful daylight-savings is over, the early morning is currently my only consistent time for natural daylight during the week. And then I also get the added bonus of watching the sun rise. It really is a totally different look than watching it set, the colors and mood are not even close to the same. Don’t believe me? Get up early a few days and see for yourself :) I had fun playing with HDR a bit too, and the CG/illustrated effect that resulted in the pic below has been growing on me the past couple days – in case you ever get tired of “normal” (yet hopefully still drool-worthy) food pics, here’s a fun and tripped out looking brownie shot for you:
To get these brownies to look pretty, I baked the batch in a round spring form pan. I lined the bottom with parchment paper, and then buttered the sides and bottom to grease the pan. This way, after the brownies had cooled, the sides released nicely to reveal beautiful brownie edges. And in case you figured out that flour sifters are kinda useless (shh, don’t tell my dad, he swears by them!) and so now are wondering what to do with yours, they make for convenient powered sugar shakers. I think a little dusting of powdered sugar dresses up almost any dessert. For the small brownie next to my café cup, I used a small pastry ring to cut a circle out of the batch I made. Then I snapped some pics, drank my espresso, and enjoyed my chocolatey grain-free breakfast.
On to the recipe, enjoy!
Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Adapted from Karina of the Gluten Free Goddess who adapted from her reader Clare.
1 c. brown sugar
150g 77% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
113g butter, cubed (i.e., 1 American sized “stick”)
scraped seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
3/4 c. hazelnut meal (not as finely ground as a flour)
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350F, or 180C. Beat the eggs with a whisk until foamy in a large mixing bowl, and then gradually pour in the sugar and keep beating until you have a consistent texture.
2. Combine chocolate and butter and vanilla in a small saucepan and on med-low gradually heat, stirring often, until all is melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
3. Add chocolate to the eggs, 1/4 c. at a time until all is incorporated.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients together.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, vigorously stirring with the whisk for a couple minutes. Pour into a greased/parchment lined pan to a depth of about 1 inch. I found a 9 x 11 pan to work fine.
6. Bake about 30-35 minutes depending on the pan you used and the amt of batter you poured in. If it passes the “clean knife test”, it’s ready.
7. Let cool about 1 hr before cutting if you want pretty cut brownies, or dig in with a spoon and eat it hot.