Amazing Chocolate Brownies, gluten-free
Inspired by various sources
Makes 16 – 25 Brownies
The dark muscovado sugar, along with the chocolate (there are a couple notes on chocolate at the bottom of this recipe) is part of what makes these brownies so darned good. If you can’t find dark muscovado sugar, I suspect an equal amount of dark brown sugar serves as a good substitute. If you have neither on hand, simply up the amount of granulated sugar to 1 cup / 200g.
I adore the combination of macadamia nuts and pistachios in these brownies.They’re pricey, but they’re worth it. The macadamia nuts I used were already dry roasted, if the one’s you have aren’t, simply toast them in a dry pan over medium-high heat for a couple minutes until you can smell their nutty aroma. The pistachios were lightly salted, which I think works really well in these brownies. 1 cup / 90g of any of your favorite nut, or a combination, will work wonderfully, just be sure to lightly toast them in a dry pan over medium-heat for a couple minutes. It makes all the difference.
If you don’t have almond meal on hand, simply process 1¾ cups / 145g almonds in a food processor until they resemble sand; be careful not to over-process them because you’ll soon have almond butter! After the mixture is processed, I like to run it through a medium-meshed sieve, just to make sure there are no stray chunks of almonds left in the mixture.
1 cup / 225g / 8 oz Unsalted butter, cubed
8 oz / 225g Good quality dark chocolate, at least 62% – 70% cocoa solids, chopped **
¾ cup / 150g / 5.3 oz Granulated sugar
¼ cup / 50g / 1.76 oz Packed dark muscovado sugar
⅛ teaspoon Fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) Pure vanilla extract
3 Large Eggs, briefly beaten
1 ¾ cups / 145g / 5.1 oz Almond meal, passed through a sieve
½ cup / 45g / 1.6 oz Macadamia nuts, chopped
½ cup / 45g / 1.6 oz Shelled pistachios, chopped
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and pre-heat oven to 350ºF/ Gas Mark 4 / 180ºC. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or baking parchment, being sure to leave an overhang around each side.
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter and the chocolate together on low heat (I don’t bother with a double boiler with these brownies; as long as the butter and the chocolate are melting together on a low flame, the chocolate won’t burn, but if you’re wary of burning your chocolate, feel free to use one).
Once the chocolate and the butter have melted into a smooth amalgamated mixture, whisk in the sugars, salt, and the vanilla.
Allow the mixture to cool for 5- 10 minutes. just until your finger can stay in the mixture for several seconds without being burned. The mixture will be granular, but once the eggs are added, everything will smooth out.
Add in the beaten eggs, stir vigorously.
Mix in the ground almonds, followed by the macadamia nuts and pistachios.
Place in foil or parchment-lined baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top looks light in color, and feels soft to the touch. (Kamran Note: Using a cake tester to judge doneness for these brownies will serve absolutely little to no use; the cake tester will come out wet, even if the brownies are done.)
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, then place in the freezer for 15 minutes for easy cutting. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.
Enjoy at room temperature with a glass of milk, or frozen with some ice cream! These brownies will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 week.
** I’ve tested this recipe with quite a few brands of chocolate- Valhrona, Callebaut, El Rey, and Scharffen Berger. My conclusion- the better the chocolate, the better the brownies will taste. I must encourage you to spend your money on good-quality chocolate, and buy what you can afford. I find El Rey is probably the most affordable on the list, followed by Callebaut and Sharffenberger. Valhrona is pricey, but it’s worth every penny. I can go on-an-on about how much I dislike the taste of Ghirardelli dark chocolate (their chocolate chips are good, though), but I won’t. If you swear by Ghirardelli, use it, just don’t tell me about it. I’m sure that any of the chocolate brands listed above can be found at a Whole Foods.
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