Monday, August 27, 2012

Best Gluten Free Brownies (Not Kidding)

 True story:  A dear friend of mine is allergic to wheat.  Like seriously allergic to wheat.  It is pretty easy to have him over for a dinner party but I always feel at a loss when it comes to dessert.  A few weeks ago we had a big lawn party and I decided to go crazy and I bought a very expensive gluten free cake from a local, fancy bakery that specializes in gluten free and vegan desserts.  My husband picked up the cake and once he had it home, I eagerly opened the box to discover.....they had decorated the cake with Oreos.  Really, people?  I tell you 8 times the cake needs to be gluten free and you decorate it with Oreos????  In the end we were able to serve him a big piece from the top part not covered with the cookies, and the cake tasted delicious and not too un-cake-like at all but I am still ticked off about the lack of oversight in a $50 cake.

I had been meaning to perfect a gluten free dessert on my list of 38 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 39 and this was the final straw that made me actually do it!  I decided to stick with one of my all time favorites: brownies.  I had seen and baked brownies and chocolate cake with black beans before and I decided to mess around with some recipes online.  Mostly they all come out tasting like black beans, or as my husband puts it, "Like some weird hippy thing--" and not at all like delicious brownies.  With a little experimentation, this batch earned his stamp of approval. 

Best Gluten Free Brownies

1(15.5 oz) can rinsed black beans
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons oil
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee
pinch salt
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon ultrafine baker's sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 oz. 70% Cacao bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (Or the best bittersweet chocolate you can find)
1 Tablespoon cocoa nibs (see note at end)

Heat oven to 350F.  Grease one 8 x 8 baking dish. 
Combine all ingredients except 1 oz chopped chocolate and cocoa nibs in bowl.  Blend well with immersion blender.  Alternately, you can blend it all up in a food processor.  Either way, make sure those beans are pulverized.  Stir in chopped chocolate and pour into prepared pan.  Sprinkle batter with cocoa nibs. 
Bake 30 minutes and just try and let it cool before you eat them.  Cuts easily with butter knife. 
Note: Cocoa nibs are the shelled cacao beans that have been roasted and broken up but are unsweetened and without extra added cocoa butter.  Some are labelled Cacao nibs. They are crunchy and have a subtle coffee bean flavor.  You could skip this or add nuts instead, but I like the extra flavor punch they give to baked goods.  I used Theo's Organic Cocoa Nibs.

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