Thursday, July 7, 2011

Grain-Free Brownies!!

Yesterday was Eric's birthday. Happy Birthday!! Since we've gone primal, we were going to pass on birthday cake. (We've both tried cheating with grains and have regretted it a lot.) But he found a brownie recipe that I decided to try. It called for rice flour, but I substituted coconut flour instead. The recipe does call for brown sugar, and I used it since I had it on hand, but honey or agave could be substituted to make it more primal-friendly.

Since I have had lousy results with baking since cutting out grains, I was worried that these wouldn't turn out well. But they did! They were slightly fudgy and moist and chocolaty. Delicious, except they were too salty. So here's the recipe after I swapped out the rice flour and cut back on the salt.

Grain-Free Dark Chocolate Brownies
Makes 8 x 8 pan

5 oz dark chocolate, chopped - I used 90% dark
1/2 c unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 oz almond meal
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 c chocolate chips (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Take a 12" long piece of foil and fold it lengthwise so you have a 7 x 12" rectangle. Line 8 x 8" pan with foil, leaving the excess foil hanging over the edges of the pan. (This creates a sling. You'll use the excess foil as handles so the brownies lift easily from the pan.) Spray or butter the foil and exposed sides of the pan.
Combine chocolate and butter in medium bowl. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave. Stir until smooth and set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer, beat eggs until frothy. Add brown sugar and beat until combined and no longer grainy. Slowly add chocolate mixture to eggs. When thoroughly mixed, add vanilla.
In medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add to mixer bowl and beat until well combined. (Since there's no gluten to worry about, you don't have to worry about over beating quite so much.)
Fold in nuts and chocolate chips if using.
Pour batter into pan and spread evenly with rubber spatula.
Bake 32-35 minutes.
Cool before removing from pan using foil sling and cutting into 1" squares.

I found these to be sweet enough without the chocolate chips. In fact, I may cut back on the sugar next time. They are also very rich and very filling. I ate too much because they tasted so good and ended up with an upset stomach. Beware when eating goods made with almond and coconut flours. They are much more filling than those made with regular white or whole wheat flours.

You change the flavor by decreasing the vanilla to 1 tsp and adding 1-2 tsp of peppermint, almond or some other extract.

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