Brownies. They’re an American staple, and one of my favourite baking pastimes; mostly because they’re something I can make without following a recipe (it’s all in my head by now), and also because I almost always have the ingredients in my kitchen cupboard. I used to make a nice fluffy, cake-y version based on mum’s recipe, up until my family was forced to change to a gluten free diet about 6 years ago. I’ve since had to break off from the original recipe with a few tweaks of my own.
The very first time I tried the brownies with gluten free flour, it was an utter disaster! Crumbling everywhere, gritty rice flour and incredibly dry. It took me lots of trial and error to find the perfect blend (and brand) of ingredients to suit my taste buds. Then I moved to Luxembourg and had to start all over with testing ingredients, but I’m happy to say that I’ve succeeded in a lovely brownie recipe that even my non-coeliac friends rave about.
These brownies are gooey, rich and chocolatey without being over-the-top in flavour. I like to alter the amount of cocoa powder used, depending on my mood and the richness of chocolate I’m craving. I’m also quite picky with the brand of baking chocolate, and have never found a good bittersweet one in Luxembourg; however the best thing I could find is Jacques brand of baking chocolate. It’s the most similar to what I used to use in America.
For the last tips, I’ve tried to make the brownies using coconut milk, but I find they simply don’t bake very well. And the brand of gluten free flour is incredibly important! Schär and Hammermuhle brands make them too cake-like (which is fine, if you’re going for chocolate cake), but I prefer Dove’s brand of white flour. In order to keep them from crumbling everywhere, I add about a ½ tsp of Xanthum gum per cup of flour.
But no more talking, let’s get started!
(Makes 5 servings)
½ cup/4oz unsalted butter
2-3oz Jacques baking chocolate
1 tbsp milk (reg. milk is best, cashew or soya also okay, NOT coconut milk)
2-3 tbsp 100% cocoa powder, to taste
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup/8oz white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup/8oz Dove’s gluten free flour
¾ – 1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp Xanthum gum
¼ tsp salt
Optional: 2-3 tbsp orange peel, ½ cup caramel pieces, white chocolate chips, or nuts
- Melt the butter and milk in a saucepan on medium low heat, then whisk in the cocoa powder until combined. Stir in the chocolate on low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and sugar.
- Beat the eggs in a separate bowl until fluffy and gently stir into the chocolate mixture. Sift the flour, baking powder, xanthum gum and salt together, then fold into the chocolate mixture. I often add more baking powder when I want fluffier brownies, however be careful not to add too much or they don’t bake properly.
- To change up the flavour, I like to add orange peel or white chocolate chips, some walnuts or even caramel pieces, depending on my mood. I’ve even drizzled berry preserves over the top for something different. Just have fun mixing it up!
- Heat the oven to 180°C, butter an 8in pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Let cool, then serve fresh with a cuppa coffee (or tea, if that’s your thing!). My brownies keep on the counter for about 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Let me know what you think!