Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Best Ever Gluten Free Brownies: Guest post by Laura-Kate Rurka

Today I welcome back one of my favorite bakers. My two worlds collide again--mystery and chocolate. I met Laura-Kate Rurka at Left Coast Crime  several years ago. We found we had a lot in common--crime novels, molas, and chocolate--but her baking was an added bonus! Laura-Kate often attends Literary Salons I host at my home for visiting and local mystery writers -- and she usually bakes something fabulous, often featuring chocolate. In between bouts of baking and ferrying her three children from one activity to another, Laura-Kate carves out a little time to work on her novels. Thanks, Laura-Kate, for  bringing these fabulous brownies to the Colin Cotterill Lit Salon last week--and for sending this post!

Laura-Kate Rurka:
Best Ever Gluten Free Brownies

I don’t even want to tell you the secret of these brownies. I’m afraid if I do, some of you will turn away in disgust. Instead, let me tell you how good they are, melt-in-your-mouth, almost more of a truffle than a brownie and so rich, the smallest square will do, even for a dessert fiend like me. Are you cranking up the oven yet? Yes? I can tell you the secret then; they’re gluten free, but trust me, you won’t miss the flour. As a bonus, they’re also unleavened, perfect for Passover, or anytime really. Nigella serves them with a hot chocolate sauce, which to be honest, I’ve never tried. It’s hard to imagine making them any more decadent than they already are. Still, I’ve included the recipe in case you’re feeling wicked.

Recipe from Nigella Lawson


For the brownies:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)
2 sticks of butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup caster’s (baker’s) sugar (I’ve made them with regular granulated sugar and it worked just fine) 3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups almond meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill, but I believe Trader Joe’s carries a version. Just make sure it’s made with blanched almonds)
1 cup chopped walnuts (I prefer mine without, but the original recipe does call for them)

For the Hot Chocolate Sauce: 
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp instant espresso powder
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp golden syrup or light corn syrup (you can find Lyle’s Golden Syrup in some areas of the U.S., but I’m sure corn syrup will work just as well)

For the brownies:
1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan.
2 Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and let it cool a little.
3 Beat the eggs into the pan along with the almond meal and chopped walnuts. Turn into a 24cm / 9 inch square baking tin or, most sensibly, use a foil one. (I like to line the bottom of the pan with parchment so I can remove them after they’re cool and cut them neatly on a board).
4 Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, by which time the top will have set but the mixture will still be gooey. Once cooler, cut carefully, four down, four across, into 16 squidgy-bellied squares.

For the sauce:
1 Break up the chocolate and put into a heavy-based saucepan.
2 Dissolve the instant espresso powder in the water and add this, along with the remaining ingredients into the saucepan, then place the pan over a gentle heat and let everything melt together.
3 Once everything has melted, stir well, take off the heat and pour into a jug to serve.


Liz Berg said...

I'm always game to try a new brownie! I'd have to leave out the chopped walnuts due to my picky family, but I have a feeling they'd be a hit!

Vickie Fee said...

My husband is GF, so I'm always excited to find a good recipe! The GF brownie mixes I've bought have been pretty disappointing