These brownies are dedicated to Celia from figjamandlimecordial who came up with the original recipe which she developed for her friend Pete, who is a coeliac.
A while back the clever Celia posted about her delicious gluten free brownies that she made that were to be a fantastic Brownie in their own right, not just an OK substitute for 'normal' ones. So often us InTolerants are left out, and end up with the fruit plate or something else not quite as exciting as the 'normal' dessert options.
I love Celia's recipes so I made these, and guess what, they WERE fantastic! I played around with the recipe just a bit by putting some cherries in the bottom of the dish, and serving them with some vanilla ice cream with caramelised cherry balsamic vinegar swirled through. WOW! I also served up some cherry wine on the side for sipping, and I assure you dearest Readers, I was one happy little chef.
As you can imagine, any good brownie should be slightly gooey and incredibly rich. As such having leftovers is to be expected and I either freeze them or share the love by scattering them around at work. It always surprises me that these other chefs are astonished when presented with a great gluten free dessert. I'm astonished that they're close minded enough to be astonished in the first place! Needless to say, they all loved them.
This led to a discussion about InTolerance cooking in general, and how hard it was - in their minds- to cater for it. The others thought that dairy free would be the hardest to deal with, but I decided to set them straight. I had to use the brownie as my example, they had all just tasted it to rave reviews, so they would have something to compare my dairy free one to as well.
1/2 cup of oil, use hazelnut, ricebran or nut or neutral flavour
250g Sweet William Chocolate, It's dairy, gluten and nut free
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chestnut flour, if you have nut issues, use a plain gfree blend
1/4 cup of good quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup of raspberry jam
3/4 cup or so of raspberries
1. Preheat oven to 175*C
2. In a medium saucepan, place the oil and chocolate and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Take off the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined.
3. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Sift in the chestnut flour and cocoa all at once and stir until you can feel the mixture go stiffer and get nice and shiny instead of grainy
This is how Celia describes it "The batter starts out grainy and fairly loose. As you beat it by hand, it will initially feel like nothing is happening, and then it will suddenly feel a bit stiffer – that’s when you’ll know a state change has occurred. This might take one minute, or it might take several. Stop occasionally to check how it’s going. Unlike true fudge, it’s not a huge “snap”, but the texture will definitely change noticeably – it will feel stiffer, look smoother, and pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan."
4. Tip and smooth about half the batter into a lined pan. Scatter the raspberries on top and dollop on some of the jam. Put the rest of the mixture on, dollop on the rest of the jam and 'swirl' it through the top layer with a skewer. Smooth the top.
5. Bake for 25 minutes until just firm. I let the brownies cool overnight in the fridge before trying to get them out and slice them. They are very sticky and waay to gooey otherwise. Once sliced, let your brownies come back to room temperature before eating them. This way you get the most out of all the fantastic flavours.
And what did my fellow chefs think?
"Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! "
They were even more blown away with this recipe. The result was to whet some appetites and hopefully open some minds. You can have great results without using any gluten or dairy at all. or compromising on flavour or texture.
Some of the boys bravely came back for seconds, something you may or may not choose to do, based on whether or not you love a good sugar rush!
So dearest Reader, do you have any great tips for InTolerant cooking?