Monday, September 20, 2010
My wife and I have recently renovated our flat and after four months of cooking in kitchens not our own, we are finally able to do what we enjoy more than anything else, make yummy food in our own home. This past week there has been a torrent of activity in our new kitchen. Pizza with homemade Tomato Sauce, Basil and Raw, Organic Vintage Cheddar from Plaw Hatch Farm. Tortellini with Bacon, Sage, Lemon Juice, Lemon Rind and Garlic Cream Cheese. Fresh, Organic Hummus. Seeded, Whole Grain Bread. Lemon Meringue. And most recently, Spicy Dal and Gluten Free Brownies for dessert.
You wouldn't be able to tell from reading my blog, but I actually have a sensitivity to gluten and I should stay away from it as much as possible. Of course I don't, and instead I eat as much as I possibly can. My favorite foods all include gluten. Lots and lots of delicious, gooey, tractable gluten. However, on the odd occasion when I do stick to my gluten free diet, I tend to make uber-yummy food. I just can't stomach the gluten free crap sold in supermarkets. I found this Gluten Free Brownie recipe on a brilliant site called Gluten Free Goddess. I modified it slightly to include chunks of milk chocolate, instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Unless you like your desserts ultra rich, do not attempt this. It was too rich, even for me.
Ingredients (makes 9-12 squares)
5 ounces organic dark chocolate (I used 77% Green and Blacks)
1/2 cup organic butter
2 organic, free-range eggs
1 cup fairtrade light brown sugar
1/2 cup organic almonds, processed into a fine meal
1/4 cup rice flour (I like Dove's Farm, which combines white and brown rice)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk chocolate (chopped into chunks, if you're a decadent fool) or
1/2 cup extra semi-sweet chocolate chips (just a few on the top of each Brownie)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, 350 F. Cover an 8x8 inch square baking pan with foil and using your finger coat it with a thin layer of butter.
In a mixing bowl, or food processor, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the brown sugar and continue to beat until the texture is smooth and creamy.
Place the chocolate, broken into chunks, into a glass Pyrex (or similar) bowl.
Boil water in a saucepan and place the glass bowl on the top of the saucepan. This will melt the chocolate without burning it. Another way to melt the chocolate is in a microwave. But I don't use microwaves for reasons listed here. Once the chocolate has melted add it slowly to the sugar, egg mixture. Continue to beat all the ingredients for at least a minute.
If using whole almonds, blend in a food processor until you've achieved a fine meal.
Combine all of the dry ingredients: rice flour, almond meal, fine sea salt and baking soda into a bowl and whisk them all together. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture beat for at least a minute. Add the vanilla and beat for another minute or so.
Your brownie batter is now ready.
Spread the batter into your baking pan and shake lightly to even it out.
If using chocolate chips, or chunks, sprinkle them onto your brownie batter (use sparingly) and press them gently into the batter so half of them are still showing.
Place your brownies in a preheated oven for 33-35 minutes. I cooked mine for just over 30 minutes and they were a little too gooey. Still gorgeous, but they could have used a few more minutes. But don't overcook. They'll be crumbly and dry.
Cool on a wire rack and chill before serving.
And there you have it. Healthy, organic, gluten free brownies. Well, maybe not so healthy, but all the rest. Enjoy!
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