Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gluten Free Brownies

The almond flour in these brownies makes for a dense crumb, exactly right for brownies and, it is subtly sweet and rich, so you can get away with using less sweetener and fat.  If you have reservations about the almond flour, substitute part of the flour called for with another gluten-free flour (quinoa, millet, etc.) or a flour mix (such as Bob's Red Mill).

Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour is readily available, and produces an exceptable product - however, the texture is improved by using a more finely ground blanched almond flour (such as Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour available on-line).

(Note: do not substitute almond meal for almond flour.  Almond meal is made from unblanched almonds)

3 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of xanthum gum (optional)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil (or olive oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Prehear oven to 350 degrees and oil an 10 x 7 inch glass pan.

Whisk together dry ingredients, breaking up any lumps of almond flour or cocoa. 

In a separate bowl whisk together remaining ingredients.  Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir well. 

Spoon batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes (test with a toothpick).   Frost cooled brownies with Chocolate Ganache.  They are also really good without the frosting.

This batter can also be baked in 12 paper-lined muffin cups.  Bake about 25 minutes.  Allow to cool about 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a rack.  Use the chocolate ganache to frost.  (or use your favorite frosting)

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces good dark chocolate
(add a small amount (1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and/or chili powder) - optional

Bring the milk to a simmer.  Meanwhile, break the chocolate into pieces and put into a bowl. When the milk comes to a simmer, pour over the chocolate pieces and add vanilla. This will melt the chocolate. Stir until it is smooth.  Cool in the frig or in an ice bath.  The ganache is quite liquidy at first, but will thicken as it cools.

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