Chewy Gluten-free Brownies

I’ve made these brownies multiple times now, yet never had I tried them gluten-free.  Odd, because the standard recipe makes 24 brownies, more than I can eat all by myself.

Brownies are one thing that really works out well gluten-free.  They don’t have need leavening, and because they’re so fudgy they stick together without any gluten at all.  Plus, really chocolatey brownies cover up any off-flavors in flours, even if you decided to use something like chickpea flour or amaranth.

Blurry, as expected, but I love the color of the leaves

Giving you this recipe tweaked for gluten-free isn’t really necessary, because there are a plethora of flour blends you can use in brownies.  I just ended up using quinoa because I’d heard it worked well with chocolate.  Sure, you can still taste it a little in the finished product, but I don’t think it detracts.

Now, the reason these are so chewy is because they are a product of Cook’s Illustrated who figured out a few years back that chew is in the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat.  Thus, using the correct proportions of butter to oil is essential.  Do not substitute applesauce or banana puree, or try something strange with these brownies because that’s not the point.  They are perfect the way they are, and making them “healthy” would ruin them altogether.

Chewy Gluten-free Brownies
Adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated March/April 2010

1/3 cup dutch-process cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. oil
2 egg yolks
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup almond meal
3/4 tsp. salt
-or 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour to replace the preceding 3 ingredients if you can eat gluten
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease enough parchment paper to line a 9 by 13 pan, with ends sticking out so that you can remove the brownies.

Whisk quinoa flour, rice flour, almond meal, and salt together in a medium bowl.  Whisk cocoa, espresso powder and boiling water together until smooth.  Then, whisk in chopped unsweetened chocolate until melted.  Add butter and oil and whisk.  It will look curdled, but because the eggs are emulsifiers they will bring it together upon their addition.  Add eggs, and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in vanilla and sugar.  Then, whisk in the gluten-free flours and the chopped chocolate.  If you make this with wheat flour, fold it in so you don’t over mix, which will overdevelop the gluten and lead to toughness.  Whisk or fold in the chocolate, depending on your flour.  Pour into the pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 30 minutes.  If you use a glass pan, remove them after cooling in the pan for 10 minutes so they don’t overcook with the residual heat.  If you don’t, let them cool in the pan for an hour and a half.

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About Madeleine C.

Hi I'm Madeleine and I am an avid cook and baker! Between school, homework swimming, and everything else in my life, I really enjoy cooking! I am 15 (now 16) years old, and have two brothers, both of whom have celiac disease along with my father. For this reason, I often make gluten-free things that will satisfy them as well as those who can readily consume gluten. I enjoy making the complex and the simple, and enjoy a challenge while cooking. That's just about it!