Brownies, no doubt due to their high chocolate content, are generally loved by everyone. What is it about chocolate? Is it the ensuing relaxation from its high magnesium content, or just the mere addictive qualities attributed to chocolate? Probably, all of the above. The creative ways of using chocolate are endless.
There are also a hundred different ways of making brownies, gluten free or otherwise - and we have a few options up our sleeves!
In one of our earliest blog posts, we highlighted a commercially available gluten free mix, which is free of any grains and just uses whey powder in lieu of flour. Fabulous!
One of our favorite brownie recipes would have to be this one, a little bit like cake with that rich, melt in your mouth chocolate experience, topped with a hint of matcha. Following our Japanese Food Culture series, we wanted to create a favorite Western desert with a little hint of Japan, combining the two cultures. Matcha powder, a green tea, can be found in most Asian food stores (some regular grocery stores with an Asian food section, also carry it). Some of the matcha powders can be pricey, but we located a much more affordable option by Yama Moto Yama.
It is certified gluten free without any artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives. It is available in both unsweetened and sweetened with stevia varieties. Surely you have heard of the much lauded health benefits of green tea? We gave this matcha powder a try and really loved the results. Since we only topped our brownies with matcha, it gives the less adventureous souls out there an opportunity to create either your own gluten free topping, i.e. frosting, or select our other option, a white chocolate frosting.
We never use white sugar, also reducing the overall amount, and replacing some of it with coconut sugar, known for its much reduced glycemic index. Except for the use of a little butter (which could be replaced with vegetable shortening, if necessary, although we generally never use it. Coconut oil might be another substitute).
We love these brownies not only because they are very easy to make, but they turn out consistently well each time we make them, and allow for a multitude of different toppings, or frosting. They take only 30-35 minutes to bake, which is so welcome during the heat of summer – around here it has been consistently in the mid-90′s F every single day, and turning on the oven, for any reason, takes some serious convincing. With some sacrifce on our part we present you with this fun recipe.
You will need the following ingredients for our gluten free brownies:
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/4 mochiko, or sweet rice flour
- 1/3 cup sucanat, or organic evaporated cane juice
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. gluten free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. Himalaya salt
- 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp. coconut milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- macha powder, by YamaMotoYama
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips (frosting option)
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
In a double boiler, over low heat, melt 2 ounces of chocolate together with the butter, stirring frequently. Set aside and let cool slightly.
Grease a 8 x 8 x 2 inch brownie pan and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, top with the milk vanilla extract and egg. With a hand mixer, beat at low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Then add the lightly cooled and melted chocolate/butter mixture. Continue to beat at high speed until everything is well incorporated and creamy.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, letting it sink into the batter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a wooden pick, inserted into the center, comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Let cool in the pan.
When completely cooled. Decide which topping you would like to use. You can also divide the brownies in half, top one with matcha and drizzle the other with the white chocolate.
For the matcha option, place the matcha powder in a sieve and dust the top of the brownies with matcha. For the white chocolate option, melt the white chocolate chips, over very low heat, in a double boiler. Pour into a little plastic bag, cut a small hole in one of the corners, and slowly drizzle the chocolate in irregular lines over the top of the brownies.
Cut the brownies to the desired size (we cut it into 16 pieces) and serve with your favorite beverage. Perhaps some chilled coconut milk?
Author Information: Inge and Gillian Harris