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Gluten Free Brownie Guest Post

February 20, 2010

Hi Everyone! I was lucky enough to have Cara from Cara’s Cravings offer to write a guest post for me while I am off with my college friends. Cara has an amazing blog, with beautiful, delicious, and healthy recipes that leave my mouth watering.  She was thoughtful enough to suggest some recipes that go along with my gluten-free diet; what a great friend! I hope you all enjoy her not one, but two amazing brownie recipes! I’m just sad that I wasn’t with her to eat them :) Thanks, Cara!!!

Hello Yumventures Fans! While Sophie is out and about in the city today, the last thing she wanted to do was leave you without something to make you taste and think. So I offered to share my own yumventure, and I’m so happy she agreed! Sophie and I met just a couple weeks ago and one of the first things I learned about her was that she follows a gluten-free diet. I do not, but one of my best friends does, so I’ve done a bit of dabbling in gluten-free cooking and baking. I quickly promised Sophie that I’d share some of my learnings and recipes with her. So I figured this was the perfect opportunity to treat you all to not one, but two terrific gluten-free brownie recipes.
 
 
Ironically, neither of these recipes resulted as a goal of coming up with something gluten-free, but both just happen to satisfy that criteria. I discovered the first recipe a little over a year ago while flipping through  Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express: Good Food Fast. It has a simple list of ingredients that includes almond meal instead of flour. With Passover right around the corner, I knew I had the perfect excuse to make these (given how indulgent they are, I needed a good one!) I had done a bit of baking with almond meal and knew it resulted in baked goods that are both unbelievably dense and chewy yet tender and moist at the same time. These brownies are no exception. My family, who have all tasted more than our share of matzoh meal and potato-starch brownies over the years, quickly claimed these brownies to be the Best Passover Brownies Ever. Wait, scratch that. These were actually the Best ANY Kind of Brownies Ever. And since they also happen to be gluten-free, that automatically extends to the title of Best Gluten-Free Brownie, Ever! Another bonus is that these are so simple to make, requiring easy ingredients and just one pot (yes, a pot, not a bowl.)

Now let’s say you’re a gluten-free gal or guy with a chocolate craving. You might see the ingredients and have no qualms about making these – a brownie should be a brownie and you expect to indulge. But maybe you’re trying to watch that waistline a bit or stick to cleaner, wholesome ingredients. Shouldn’t you still be allowed a rich chocolate treat? Of course! That’s where black beans and avocados come in. No, I didn’t suddenly switch gears to Mexican food. I’m still talking about brownies, I promise! These brownies were the product of several rounds of experiments in my kitchen, with the goal of creating a brownie lower in sugar and fat that would satisfy any chocolate lover’s cravings. If you’re put off by the amount of butter and sugar in the first recipe, perhaps you’ll be open to the healthy substitutions in the second. Trust me (and my husband, the taste-tester-extraordinaire), you will not be disappointed! 

 
Whether you eat gluten-free, healthy, or neither, we’ve got brownies for you. So go ahead and have your chocolate, and eat it too!
 

 

Nigella Lawson’s Flourless Brownies
slightly adapted from Nigella Express: Good Food Fast

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups almond meal (can be purchased, or you can grind your own in a food processor)
1 cup chopped walnuts (I’ve always omitted these and never felt anything lacking, so these are optional)
pinch of salt (not included in original recipe, but added for good measure!)

Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8×8 square baking dish with parchment paper.

Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in sugar and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Cool for a few minutes, then stir in the eggs and almond meal. Finally, fold in the walnuts, if using.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until just set on top (mine take a little more, about 33 minutes.) Let the brownies cool completely (it doesn’t hurt to make them ahead and refrigerate overnight) before slicing.

Black Bean and Avocado Brownies
From Cara’s Cravings

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/2 of a ripe avocado (60gm)
6 tablespoons cocoa powder (30gm)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons white sugar (75gm)
2 teaspoons instant espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper.

Combine black beans, egg substitute, agave syrup, and avocado in food processor. Blend for a few minutes, until completely smooth. Add remaining ingredients and continue blending until fully combined, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Spread into parchment-lined baking dish. Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the brownies comes out clean.

These are best if you let them sit overnight before slicing and enjoying!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2010 8:40 pm

    I am really interested in the the avocado and black bean brownie recipe. I’ll be trying that some day soon. Thanks Cara – nice job guest blogging!

  2. February 22, 2010 4:42 pm

    Nigella Lawson never disappoints! These look amazing..so rich and thick despite being gluten-free.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. February 22, 2010 5:02 pm

    Sophie, thanks for your sweet comments,always :)

    Cara
    Nice work!
    I am posting in about an hour a raw vegan chocolate mousse w/ avo’s being the start of the show, cocoa powd, and agave. Anyway the 2nd brownie recipe looks very intriguing. I have seen/heard about black bean brownies but I have heard from brownie lovers they are just “okay”. Not amazing.

    I love that yours have NO banana which tends to overpower.

    I am going to save this and try these as I am vegan And GF and although I am high raw,I love brownies. I also make raw brownies with walnuts, agave, and cocoa powder. and dates.

    Novel comment. Write me if you have any other info bout the black bean brownies!
    xoxo

  4. February 23, 2010 9:32 am

    These brownies look so dense and delicious!!! YURM!

  5. March 2, 2010 2:41 am

    Very interesting post thank you for sharing I just added your website to my favorites and will be back :) By the way this is a little off subject but I really like your blogs layout.

  6. January 5, 2013 10:11 am

    Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest
    authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site discusses a
    lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by
    the way!

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