One of my nieces has some health problems and as a result of that lives a gluten-free existence. She's home from college this weekend and since I love to bake and I love her, I decided to make something decadent that she could actually eat.
I'd never attempted a gluten-free baking before so I did some research. I wanted to bake something that had actual flavor and texture and since she loves chocolate, I settled on brownies with a ganache frosting. Again, because I like to bake and I'm pretty good at it, I hybridized a bunch of recipes I found and came up with a gluten-free brownie that had not only my niece, but everybody else clamoring for more.
I can handle myself in a kitchen, but a food stylist I'm not. Here's a photo of my finished recipe never the less:
Here's what I whipped up:
2/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup rice flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup crushed walnuts
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line an 8x8-inch metal baking pan across the bottom and up two opposite sides with baking parchment.
Take almond flour, mix it with the rice flour and set aside.
Place the chocolate, butter and salt in the top of a large double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl and let cool for 5 minutes.
Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Add the almond and rice flour mixture and stir until moistened, and then mix briskly about 40 strokes. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for around 30 minutes or until the brownies are slightly puffed all over and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist but clean. Cool the pan on a rack. Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the brownies. Lift the edges of the parchment paper to remove the brownies. Cut into squares or leave them intact if you want to frost them.
I'm sure they'd be perfectly fine without any frosting, but I wanted to give them an extra kick. For reasons I'll never understand, a lot of people think ganache is difficult to make but really, it's a snap.
Take a cup of heavy cream and bring it to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat before it has a chance to froth up. Add nine ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips and whisk until the chocolate's completely melted and you've achieved a uniform consistency. That usually takes two to three minutes. You now have a ganache. In its current form, it will be a very thick liquid and when it sets it'll have the consistency of fudge.
To turn the ganache into a frosting, whip it until it gets the consistency of frosting. That will take about ten minutes with a mixer or about a half an hour if you're using a hand whisk.
Frost the brownies then set them in the fridge to let the ganache firm up a bit before you cut them into squares.
These things are by no means low calorie, low fat or low anything else. But they're very good and they're gluten-free.