Saturday, 4 August 2007

Gluten free goodies!

One of the joys of experimenting with gluten free baking is that you have to make a few batches of things until you find the best one! My first attempt at chocolate brownies was a bit rubbish. The mix wasn't thick enough so the chocolate and nut pieces sunk to the bottom and started to burn. Also, it felt a bit greasy. However, they are still very edible! My second attempt included cocoa powder (to make the chocolateyness more obvious), rice flour (to absorb some of the fats) and instant coffee (to make the chocolate taste richer). It seemed to work. The second batch was much better. I think a true test of a successful baking attempt is, would you feed other people with it? The second batch passed that test, they are my dessert contribution to Sunday Lunch tomorrow. They do contain nuts, so The Fiance can't try them, I'll need to bake something for him too.

Something else I found out - although you might already know this, I'm new to gluten free. When buying stuff like corn meal and ground rice, the ethnic foods section of your supermarket will have them for cheaper than the "wholefoods" or home baking sections... I don't know why that is, but it's good to know.

My Chocolatey Brownies

100g slightly salted butter
200g caster sugar (I used unrefined sugar, and it worked well)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g ground almonds
30g rice flour
2 tsp baking power (make sure it's gluten free)
5tbsp cocoa powder
2tsp instant coffee granules
50g plain chocolate, chopped up small
50g walnuts or pecans, chopped up small

Melt the butter and add it to the sugar, eggs, vanilla, almonds, rice flour, baking powder, cocoa and coffee. Beat together until smooth and glossy (an electric mixer makes quick work of this). Stir in the chocolate and nuts (you can do this by hand, or with the mixer on the lowest setting).
Pour into a 20cmx20cm baking tin, lined with baking parchment (it's not necessary to grease this, but you can if you want) and spread out. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C, for 25mins. The brownies should be a bit sticky.
This will make 9-12 squares

You can serve these warm with ice-cream or cream, or eat them cold as a snack.

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