Posts Tagged ‘chocolate brownie’

Gluten-free double chocolate brownies

So episode two of the South African Bake Off has passed and this week’s inspiration is the tray bake, which to me means brownies. Not sure if I would attempt a wildlife scene or spaza shop made entirely with gluten free biscuits (and to be honest, plain biscuits are not really my thing). And brandy snaps… well never eaten one. So the tray bake it is, enter page 105 of “Flourless” and gluten-free double chocolate brownies.

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Ingredients (makes 16 brownies)

  • 140 grams semi-sweet chocolate
  • ½ cup/155 grams unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ cups/250grams light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup/50 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

Heat oven to 180 degrees. Line a 20-by-20-cm square tin with foil, then lightly grease the foil with vegetable oil.

In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl; add the brown sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. Stir well to combine.

Spread the batter in the pan, smooth with a rubber spatula.

Bake until the brownies are dry on top and almost firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 1 hour.

Gently lift the foil out from the pan after cooling to remove the brownies. Place on a cutting board and refrigerate for up to 1 hour to fully set the brownies. Remove from the fridge and, using a serrated knife, cut into 16 brownies. Serve at room temperature.

The note with the recipe says to let the brownies sit after baking, even overnight, as the longer they sit the firmer they become. After a little nibbling after one hour (I have little restraint when it comes to such matters), two hours and then overnight, I must concur that they do need to be left to rest for quite a while as they become a great deal easier to cut. These brownies are rather decadent, very fudgy, very rich, but very worth it.

(Following each week’s episode of the Great South African Bake Off, I am making a recipe from the fab recipe book “Flourless” by Nicole Spiridakis, inspired by one of the tasks the bakers are set. The next episode focuses on meringue bakes which means macarons #challenge).

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Gluten-free coconut flour brownies

As promised I have begun to bake my way through the pile of gluten-free cookbooks I seemed to have acquired over the past few months. I have a soft spot for chocolate (maybe you had noticed) and so I had to begin with brownies. Enter gluten-free coconut flour brownies.

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¾ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 76g unsalted butter melted, ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk or other milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius.
Grease a 20 x 20 x 5 cm baking pan, or line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides.
Whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, maple syrup, butter, milk and vanilla.
Add the cocoa mixture to the egg mixture and blend well using a mixer or food processor. Let the batter sit for a few minutes and mix once more.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over bake – brownies are always better a bit moister than dryer.

Now… I have baked my fair share of gluten-free chocolate goodies, but with this recipe I am not 100% convinced. Not sure if it is the coconut flour or the cocoa…. either way I would not kill for these brownies. Jamie Oliver chocolate pots I would kill for. Gluten-free chocolate torte I would kill for. These do not have quite the chocolate intensity or fudgy richness that makes the “moment on the lips lifetime on the hips” worth it.

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I took this recipe from the healthy coconut flour cookbook with “more than 100 grain-free, gluten-free, paleo friendly recipes for every occasion”. Often my flour of choice for baking is almond flour. Coconut flour is a much lower calorie option than almond flour (but then I think to myself I am not consuming almond flour every day). Almond flour also has a rather high omega 6 to omega 3 ratio and has become a little expensive, so I am open to switching to coconut flour if it tastes just as good. Emphasis on the “if”.

So… let’s give another recipe from this book a chance next week. I won’t write coconut flour off just yet…

 

Fudgy gluten-free brownies

I found this brownie recipe here at the gfreefoodie (recipe courtesy: Ghirardelli Chocolate). I am always on the lookout for recipes that are flourless or use almond/coconut flours, so time to bake!

gluten-free brownies

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole almonds or 2/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet 60% Chocolate Chips (use what you can find locally)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup walnut or pecan pieces, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (that’s about 162 Celsius) with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Line an 8×8-inch metal baking pan across the bottom and up two opposite sides with parchment paper. If using whole almonds, add them to a food process with the rice flour and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. If using almond flour, mix it with the rice flour.  Set aside.

Place the chocolate, butter and salt in the top of a large double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Add the almond and rice flour mixture and stir until moistened, and then mix briskly about 40 strokes. Stir in the walnuts or pecans if using.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the brownies are slightly puffed all over and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out moist but clean. Cool the pan on a rack. Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the brownies. Lift the edges of the parchment paper to remove the brownies. Cut into squares. Eat!

Girl wants cake!

So it’s Friday afternoon and I feel the need for a cup of tea and a piece of cake or maybe a brownie. This does not happen often but when it does I need to act! Not the easiest thing to track down after lunch, a gluten-free brownie, and due to some current food issues it also needs to be corn and seed free. I like to give myself a challenge.  But never fear the brownie was found and life carried on. I made a quick trip to the Fresh Earth food store in Emmarentia where I quickly had in my sticky hands a chocolate brownie (and maybe an almond square as well) meeting all the food exclusion requirements.  Happy days.

So yes you can have your cake and eat it too!  And I may have grabbed a little bar of vanilla chickpea fudge on the way out – never had this before and bizarrely it tasted like peanut butter (which cannot be a bad thing really).  Made with chickpeas, fresh vanilla and raw organic sugar I nibbled on this for the rest of the weekend – a rather nice smooth and creamy sweet treat!

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I was actually not alone on the Friday mission – a work colleague (let’s hear it for Natalie)was on the hunt for Life Bake Grain Free Toast  – not for those who cannot eat seeds as the ingredients read linseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, water, psyllium husk and sea salt. But for those seeking paleo options she judged this to be delicious – that said always read the small type as “not suitable for celiacs”.

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If you have never been to Fresh Earth they have all kinds of dried and fresh food ( gluten-free, vegetarian, preservative free etc), supplements and vitamins as well as a vegetarian café serving gluten-free and  vegan menu choices   – burgers, wraps, gluten-free pizzas, sandwiches and more… plus a nice range of freshly baked cakes, biscuits and the ever important brownie.  Visit the store at 103 Komatie Road, Emmarantia, Johannesburg.