Amy Palanjian

From the Flourless Cookbook: Double Chocolate Brownies

Flourless Brownies

Photos by John Lee

It’s not all that often that I get a new cookbook and it goes into regular rotation in my kitchen. I have my go-to recipe collections and sources, and the two or three cookbooks I use most often show it. They are stained, dog-eared and one even has pages that have fallen out (and I’ve taped back in) from so much use. But I’m so happy to report that a new cookbook—Flourless: Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts, by Nicole Spiridakis (the talent behind the Cucina Nicolina blog)—has entered my kitchen and I’m not going to it out of my site.

Even if you don’t need to avoid gluten for health reasons, chances are that you probably know someone who does. And hosting meals or bringing food gifts to people with restricted diets can be tricky. This cookbook solves that problem and goes a few steps farther by offering up yummy dessert recipes—cookies, cakes, bars, puddings, and more—that just happen to be gluten free. There are no fussy flour blends, no expensive and sometimes hard to work with gums or starches, no hard to find products.

Flourless

Photos by John Lee

In short, this is a dream dessert cookbook for folks who are gluten-free, yes, but also for anyone who just likes good food.

The ingredients used throughout the book are familiar and include pantry staples such as eggs, sugar, bananas, nuts, nut butter, coconut, vanilla, chocolate, and milk. I’ve already made the Banana-Coconut Cookies, and I’ve marked so many others including Flourless Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce, Honeyed Blueberry Cakes, Milk Chocolate Pudding, Apple Tea Cake with Maple Glaze, and Almond Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies. And this recipe for brownies, which sounds so fudgy and delicious that I’m a little shocked I haven’t made them already.

Double Chocolate Brownies
Makes about 16 brownies
Because these brownies lack flour, they are more gooey than a traditional brownie, but I like them for that. It’s best to let the brownies rest for a few hours after baking—even overnight—as the longer they sit, the firmer they become. The finished product is fudgy and smooth from the melted chocolate. Cut the brownies into small portions as they are very rich.

5 oz/140 g semisweet chocolate
½ cup/155 g unsalted butter
1¼ cups/250 g packed light or dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup/50 g unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line an 8-by-8-in/20-by-20-cm square pan with aluminum foil, then lightly grease the foil with vegetable oil.

2. In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl; add the brown sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Spread the batter in the pan, smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake until the brownies are dry on top and almost firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 1 hour.

3. Gently lift the foil out from the pan after cooling to remove the brownies. Place on a cutting board and refrigerate for up to 1 hour to fully set the brownies. Remove from the fridge and, using a serrated knife, cut into 16 brownies. Serve at room temperature.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe copyright of Flourless: Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts, Chronicle Books (2014) by Nicole Spiridakis

Get more gluten-free recipes here.

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