I did mention back when I did the gluten free brownies and the gluten free vegan brownies that I’d be back. Having gorged myself on various iterations of gluten free choc chip cookies (vegan and regular) recently, I needed a cookie break. Naturally, I turned back to brownies. Gluten free AND nut free brownies.
Using almond meal as a gluten free flour in brownies is all well and good. Until, that is, you find yourself gluten free AND nut free. So today we’re talking gluten free nut free brownies, and we’re also talking brown butter in brownies. What a time to be alive.
If you’ve ever browned butter, you’ll be aware that it is potentially the best tasting ingredient on the market. With five minutes of your time and a single ingredient (butter) you can transform an ordinary baking fat into something entirely magical. If you’ve never browned butter – whoah boy, today is the day I convert you.
These brownies are gluten free and nut free, but also FODMAP friendly and low in lactose. They’re absolutely not sugar free, but the best things in life aren’t, so!
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR GLUTEN FREE NUT FREE BROWNIES
- Firstly, try to get as good quality ingredients as you can afford. Given that brownies are basically chocolate and butter, it makes sense that the better those ingredients, the better they will taste.
- Don’t skip the salt! My advice for basically every dessert recipe, but nevertheless. The salt tempers the extreme sweetness involved in a brownie and adds a nuanced level of flavour. Salt is well known for enhancing the taste of chocolate, so don’t skip it. Note that the salinity of sea salt flakes and table salt is different – I’d add 1/2 teaspoon (so half the amount) table salt, if that’s all you have.
- Weigh your brown sugar and your flours. Accuracy is as boring as my spiel about salt in dessert, but it is key.
- Browning butter is an important step in giving these brownies an extra kick of flavour. I’m going to be pleasant and give you some options, though, so read the brown butter section below if you’re umming and arring.
- I use Lindt couverture dark chocolate, which I buy package free (think of the Amazon) at The Source Bulk Foods. Their website suggests its a 72% chocolate, but I’d aim for something 60% or higher. There is a cup of sugar in this recipe, so if you use a super sweet chocolate, the result will potentially be unbearably sweet.
BROWN BUTTER NOTES
- If you have never browned butter before, here’s a quick tutorial. Also, see above for a picture of the rough colour you want your brown butter to be. The depth of the brown is an indicator of how much liquid has been burnt off, so it is important.
- Personally, I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to add extra flavour to your brownies with the brown butter. If you’re that guy, however, this article suggests that browning butter reduces the liquid content by 15%. As a result, you need to slightly increase/decrease the other liquids in the recipe if you use/don’t use brown butter.
- If you really desperately don’t want to brown butter, I would suggest removing the tablespoon of milk from this recipe to compensate, and potentially adding 1/2 tablespoon extra tapioca flour. I haven’t tested this, it is just a suggestion. That I don’t suggest you take, because brown butter is life.
Gluten free, nut free brownies (with brown butter, double chocolate and sea salt flakes)
- 1 24cm x 24cm baking tin
- 200 g dark chocolate I used Lindt couverture from Source Bulk Foods
- 175 g butter dark browned (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon fresh espresso
- 1 tablespoon milk or water
- 2 tablespoons Dutch Processed cocoa
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 3 extra large eggs
- 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
- 1/2 cup (70g) reasonably well packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (30g) + 1 tablespoon brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup (25g) tapioca flour
- Grease and line a 24cm x 24cm baking tin. Set aside. Measure and weigh the brown rice flour and tapioca flour into a small bowl, mixing to combine. Set aside. Can you tell I like the abruptness of the term ‘set aside.’
- In a small saucepan, brown the butter until it is dark golden. See introduction for tutorials on how to brown butter, if you’re not familiar. Browning butter changes the water content, so you can’t simply substitute regular melted butter in this recipe. See notes if you want to go rogue.
- Once the butter is sufficiently brown, transfer it to a medium sized heat proof bowl – I use metal. Add the chocolate to the butter.
- Add the milk/water and espresso to the old brown butter pan. This has the double benefit of picking up any leftover brown butter bits, and warming the milk so that it doesn’t seize up the chocolate mixture later. Warm, and decant into a small bowl.
- Now half fill the old old brown butter saucepan with water, and place it atop a low heat. Double boiler style, place the heatproof bowl of brown butter and chocolate over the water. The steam from below will cook the chocolate gently so theres no chance of burning it. Allow it to cook until the chocolate is all completely melted.
- Around about this time, start preheating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, or 356 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Back to the chocolate. Add the espresso and milk mixture, the vanilla bean paste and the sea salt, stirring to combine. Next, sift in the cocoa powder (this helps prevent large clumps of cocoand continue stirring until combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a while.
- Attach the whisk to your kitchen mixer (you can do this by hand but it will be a little painfuand crack the 3 eggs into the bowl. Measure in the sugar, and beat on a medium high speed for around 5-7 minutes. The mixture should look pale, light and fluffy.
- Checking that the chocolate mixture has cooled sufficiently (it will scramble the eggs if hobegin to pour a thin stream of the mixture into the eggs while the mixer is running on a low speed. Continue until all the chocolate is incorporated – it should be shiny, smooth, and reasonably dark chocolate-y in colour.
- Add the flour to the batter while the mixer is turned off or on a very low speed. This will prevent a flour explosion. Once all the flour has been fully incorporated, turn the mixer off.
- Pour the mixture into the lined baking tray, and place into the oven. Cook for around 15-20 minutes, or until the sides of the brownie look firm, but the centre still squidgy. Allow to cool before cutting or doing anything wild, as we’re dealing with what is essentially molten chocolate and butter. Mama needs time to chill.
- I like to top the brownie with a lil sprinkle of sea salt flakes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.