Gluten-Free Brownies

It seems like everyone knows someone who isn’t eating gluten these days, and I’m not just talking about the sufferers of Celiac’s disease. In the states it’s turned into a full-blown diet trend: grocery store shelves are packed with “Gluten-Free!” products and tabloids reveal growing numbers of  “Gluten-Free!” celebs. Don’t worry, I’m not jumping on that train. I have no intention of giving up gluten-filled pasta or pizza or cupcakes. I do believe, however, that our modern diets contain far too many refined starches and white flour, and it’s no surprise we’re seeing a rise in gluten sensitivities. I try to mix it up when I can, eating alternative grains and a balanced diet… and these brownies. Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not even going to try to tell you these brownies are “healthy.” They are packed with sugar, butter and chocolate, and they are dangerously addictive. Almond flour gives them a fudgey texture and irresistible chew that left me wondering if they weren’t actually better than the original, gluten-filled version. After intensive analysis and a long internal debate (I ate three of them for dessert, in the name of research) I decided they weren’t better, just deliciously different. I won’t be making them again for a while though, because while there is room in my heart for more than one brownie recipe, I’m not sure there will be room in my blue-jeans if I keep doing all this “research.”

Gluten-Free Brownies

  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 stick + 6 tbsp butter (200 g)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (150 g) almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 3/4 cup (100g) chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 340°F/170°C. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on both sides.

Combine the chocolate, butter, salt, and sugar in double boiler. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Stir in the vanilla, and then add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick and well blended, stir in the almond flour, then beat vigorously for one minute with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick stuck into the center emerges only slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely, then lift out the foil and peel it away. Cut the brownies into 16 or 25 squares.

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