Better late than never. At last, the posting for our gluten free version of the Best Ever Brownies, which we actually managed to make a couple of days ago for a birthday celebration, but didn’t have time to actually post.
Brownies have a special place in our hearts. In our own personal experience, we have been welcomed to several homes, including our current one, by some special neighbors bearing flowers and a beautiful plate of brownies. In fact, upon moving in to my very first apartment in this country, near San Francisco, my new neighbors, whom I had never met before, left a basket filled with brownies alongside a beautiful bunch of flowers by my doorstep. I was stunned – this had never happened to me before but highlighted forevermore, the incredible generosity of Americans. I will never forget that, nor any of the other experiences, of a similar nature, as the years have gone by. Although, the question is worth asking, is it that obvious that my family and I adore chocolate? Perhaps, there is an invisible sign above the door? Just wondering!?
Over time, we have tried many different brownie recipes, both fudgey and cakey. We love both, but prefer the cakey variety best. Baking gluten free, there is always an element of surprise. Combine that fact with living at high altitude and extreme low humidity, and some interesting results can emerge. For instance, this particular recipe required an additional 30 minutes of baking time. It may have had something to do with the fact, that we used a chocolate whey protein powder, something we have successfully experimented with several times in the past, and have found it to be an excellent gluten free flour substitute in a brownie recipe. It does, however, require a longer baking time. Our blend for this recipe involved a combination of chocolate whey protein powder (3/4 cup), brown rice and tapioca flour (1/4 cup each). No gums, or other stabilizers whatsoever. As usual, we cut down the amount of sugar by half, using 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (blended with the melted chocolate) and 1/2 cup of sucanat (whipped with the eggs). We also took the liberty of adding 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the dry ingredients and used 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 oz. of bittersweet chocolate. Other than that, we followed the original recipe precisely.
After the recommended baking period of 25-28 minutes at 350° F, our brownies were not just fudgey, but were nowhere near done. After testing them even 10 minutes later, they were still way too liquid but began to show the first signs of rising. And, voila, after 58 minutes total, a toothpick inserted in the center, finally came out clean. We should also mention, that the batter rose somewhat unevenly, with the center rising higher than the sides. We let the brownies cool in the pan, before slicing.
A short while later, we were able to enjoy them with a favorite cup of coffee. Right away, they were given the “most favorite brownie ever” label by everyone. While not being as fudgey as the original recipes calls for, they were still extremely moist with that rich decadent chocolate experience. The addition of walnuts only enhanced this recipe, creating a combination of flavors that was unbeatable. We definitely give this recipe a thumbs up, and deem the multiple steps necessary well worth the effort.
If you are interested in making this recipe yourself, please check Monica’s website A Beautiful Mess, who is our host this week for the original Baking with Julia recipe. If you are planning to make these brownies gluten free, just follow our substitutions mentioned above.
To all of our readers, we wish you and your loves ones a very Happy Thanksgiving.