Gluten Free and Grain Free Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Brownies

by Jenn on November 5, 2010

in Desserts,GF Substitutions,Gluten Free

Gluten Free, Grain Free Chocolate Brownie Gluten Free, Grain Free Chocolate Brownie

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.

2 eggs
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.



Rosa November 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Those look so irresistible! I love fudgy Brownies and your shots are gorgeous.



Jenn November 5, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Thanks Rosa!

Kelsey November 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Chocolate and hazelnut is one of my very favorite combos. Thanks for the great idea!

Jenn November 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Your welcome!! I can buy hazelnut meal like by the kilo here, so I LOVE using it whenever I can!

Deanna November 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm

These look incredible, Jenn. Oh so delicious!

Jenn November 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Thanks Deanna!

JAN November 6, 2010 at 12:25 am

Can’t wait to try them when Scott gets back home. I’ve tried another recipe that is flourless and it turned out well so I am looking forward to making this one too!

Jenn November 6, 2010 at 2:00 am

Awesome! Hope you both enjoy them!

Michalene November 6, 2010 at 1:55 am

Jenn, looks great! Where can you get hazelnut meal? Thanks.

Jenn November 6, 2010 at 1:59 am

Thanks! Living in Switzerland, I can get hazelnut meal pretty much anywhere. Even the grocery store I shop at has a store-brand budget line of hazelnut meal, though I tend to buy the bio (organic) when I can.

Stacy (Little Blue Hen) November 6, 2010 at 7:01 am

Ooh, yum. I haven’t made brownies in far too long. Hazelnuts are just about the only type of nut I don’t normally keep around, though.

A couple of years ago my friend and I mixed up a batch of plain brownies, but stirred in toasted hazelnut pieces, topped them with Nutella while still warm, then sprinkled more toasted hazelnuts on top. Then we each ate two brownies, laid on the couch, and moaned. Obviously I need to go find some hazelnuts. =)

Jenn November 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm

With nutella? that sounds awesome!!

bigFATcook November 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm

These look tasty.. AAAnd gluten free?! Impressive!! :)))

Greets from BFC !!!

Jenn November 7, 2010 at 12:48 am


Kim - Liv Life November 7, 2010 at 12:44 am

I love the early morning as well! My natural light is best around 9:30. My husband is frequently laughing at me as I’m saving a bit of last nights soup for my morning photo shoot!
Love these Brownies! We usually do a/p flour, but these look so good I think I will give them a try!

Jenn November 7, 2010 at 12:48 am

Ha glad I’m not the only one up early taking pics! I hope you like these :)

Adina November 7, 2010 at 1:22 am

These are amazing.

Just made them and they are so so so good.

Jenn November 7, 2010 at 1:25 am

Thanks so much!! I’m glad you enjoyed them!!

Nicola @ gfreemom November 7, 2010 at 7:02 am

Wow. These look perfect. A tad daunted by the scraping of seeds from a vanilla bean. How difficult is that to do?

Jenn November 7, 2010 at 9:56 am

Not hard at all. You take a vanilla bean, and use a knife to cut down the long side so that it opens up. Then just open it up flat, and take your knife to scrape the inside so that the seeds come out – you’ll have about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. or so of all these little black dots. I find their flavor comes through best with a little heat, which is why I chose to add it where the butter and chocolate melt. Alternatively you could just pour in some extract to the batter, but I love the flavor of directly using a vanilla bean.

Chow has a useful video showing how to scrape a vanilla bean if that helps!

InTolerantChef November 7, 2010 at 7:49 am

I just happen to have a bag of hazlenut meal in my cupboard. How handy!

Jenn November 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

Perfect! We keep lots of hazelnut meal around too.

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

These look absolutely magnificent and I will be sharing this post with all my friends who eat GF. Well done – your hard work and research shows!

Jenn November 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Thank you! I think these would pass the “awesome-brownie-test” of glutenicious eaters too :)

Nancy/SpicieFoodie November 7, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Wow! Congrats on the success and the brownies really do look decadent and just awesome.

Jenn November 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Thanks so much!

spiceandmore November 9, 2010 at 4:34 am

Gosh they look amazingly good. Can’t beat that combination of hazelnut and chocolate!

Jenn November 9, 2010 at 4:36 am

Thanks! Yeah I love the hazelnut/chocolate combo.

Cara November 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm

These sound wonderful. One of my favorite brownie recipes is made with almond meal, but I bet this would be a really great way to change it up!

Jenn November 9, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Thanks! You could definitely use hazelnut meal and almond meal interchangeably.

Miz Helen November 9, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Those brownies look perfect for my afternoon tea I can almost taste them. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.
Miz Helen

Jenn November 9, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Thanks for the lovely compliment! November 10, 2010 at 4:00 am

As usual, I’m blown away by your lovely photography…

But I’m really excited about those awesome, beautiful brownies!


Jenn November 10, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Thanks so much Lisa!

Karina December 18, 2010 at 3:09 am

Gorgeous! Absolutely love the round shape. So pretty! I bet hazelnut flour is amazing in these. xox Karina

Jenn December 18, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Aww thanks Karina! Yeah I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnut :)

Camila February 22, 2011 at 11:11 pm

These look amazing!! I am going to make them this afternoon. I am trying to cut back on sugar though. Do you think these would still turn out similar to yours, fudgy and chewy with less brown sugar, maybe 1/4-1/2 cup instead of 1 cup? Thanks so much and looking forward to your response. :)

Jenn February 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Given that these are flourless and thus the sugar is a large fraction of the dry ingredients, by reducing the sugar content to 1/4 cup from 1 cup you are actually substantially altering the wet/dry ingredient ratio of the entire recipe. You may need to play around with the ratios of the other ingredients in order to end up with the same consistency…

Camila February 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Thanks so much Jenn!! I will let you know if I end up making any adjustments and how they turn out. Your blog is AMAZING!! I am jealous you get to live in Switzerland, it is gorgeous there! =) Not to mention you have the best chocolate! 😉

Jenn February 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Aww thanks :) Yes, there is some wonderful chocolate here!! Good luck with the brownies!

Jessica January 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Hi Jenn! I found your blog recently and I’ve been following it – this is the first of your recipes I’ve made! However, my batch came out a little salty. There is the obvious possibility that I accidently measured too much salt, but I’m also wondering if they are intended to have a little bite of saltyness in them. Also, is it possible that the chocolate had too much salt in it? The bar I used had 11mg of salt, which I don’t think is too much. So, what do you think? Did I mis-measure my salt, are these intended to be a bit salty, or could it have been the chocolate?

Thank you for all you do!

Jenn January 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Thanks Jessica – hmm I don’t remember them coming out salty (def. not intended to be) – maybe I should make them again to see if I should revise that measurement….

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