Sunday, May 12, 2013
Earlier this year I went on a gluten-free diet to see if it would relieve my IBS symptoms, and it did--within a few days. Here are a few of the other things it helped that I was not expecting: migraines, muscle aches, fatigue, anemia, joint pain, and abdominal weight gain. After two weeks it was clear that this was the diet for me.
Curiously, after a few days without wheat and other gluten-containing foods my cravings for bread, crackers, pasta, cake, etc. were minimal, as if an addictive cycle has been broken. Since I now believe that less gluten is better for everyone, I have decided that whatever I cook for my family will be g-free. That motivated me to figure out gluten-free baking since I can't expect my kids to do without bread, crepes and cookies.
It takes a bit of experimentation to find recipes and ingredients that work but this brownie recipe is a revelation. I can honestly say that it is as good as any wheat-based brownie. You could serve this at any family gathering and no one would know the difference.
I am very excited about this book and can't wait to try more recipes!
Adapted from Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free by Karen Morgan
Makes 24 brownies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
4 oz Baker's unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 oz Nestle Semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup glutinous rice flour (despite the name, it is g-free)
1 3/4 tsp xanthan gum (or guar gum)
1 tsp salt
5 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degree, rack in the center position. Line the bottom of a 9x13" pan with parchment paper and either butter or use a gluten-free vegetable oil cooking spray to grease the sides.
In a large glass bowl, melt the butter and chocolate (one minute in the microwave on high) and stir until all the lumps are gone. Whisk in 1 cup sugar. Reserve.
In a small bowl whisk together the almond meal, cornstarch, tapioca flour, rice flour, xanthan gum and salt. Reserve.
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar for 3-4 minutes until light yellow and frothy. Stir half the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, then add in half the dry ingredients. Repeat with the remaining eggs and flours. Stir well with a rubber spatula. Fold in the vanilla.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges are dry and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack before attempting to remove them from the pan. When cool, run a knife around the edge and tip out the brownies carefully. Cut into small squares (these are rich!)
Store in an airtight container, or freeze.