No one needs another brownie recipe. But this one is too good not to share. I love having one of these brownies with breakfast.
If you’re hesitant about using quinoa flour, I get it. Out of the bag, quinoa flour can be a bit grassy and overly assertive. The good news is that it can be tamed.
Toasting the quinoa flour first mellows the flavor into a peanut-buttery revelation. To toast in the oven, spread quinoa flour evenly on cookie sheets and bake for about an hour at 225 degrees. Taste the flour and heat a bit longer if needed. You can also toast the flour in a skillet. Let quinoa flour cool completely before storing in an airtight container. To learn about the health benefits of quinoa, check out this excellent piece at Well-Being Secrets.
About the tapioca gel . . . there are many ways to replace eggs in baking. I’ve made vegan brownies all of the ways and LOVE the texture and taste of these brownies. Nothing against chia or flax eggs, but there is no hint of “healthy” aftertaste in these brownies. Whether you’re allergic to eggs or just want to try something different, heating tapioca starch with water is an easy way to make a gel that behaves a lot like an egg.
You know when recipes say to let something cool completely before slicing? LOL. But this shouldn’t be a problem if you stick that pan of baked brownies in an ice bath. Or chill briefly in the freezer. Because then you’ll forget about them, and will probably have to let the brownies thaw slightly before cutting.
Chewy, delectable gluten free brownies made with almond meal and quinoa flour. To make the tapioca gel, blend 1 teaspoon of tapioca starch into 1/3 cup cold water. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds at full power (in a 1500 watt oven). Stir again, then heat for an additional 15 seconds. Cook time will vary of course, so experiment a bit. Use a stove top to make the tapioca gel if you like. See notes after recipe for more.
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour, toasted
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 oz. dark chocolate, melted
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup tapioca gel (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, combine almond meal, quinoa flour, cocoa, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine melted chocolate, coconut oil, sugar, coconut milk, tapioca gel, and vanilla extract.
Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly. Spread batter in a parchment or silicone lined 8" x 8" pan. Chill batter in freezer or fridge while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.
Bake for 30 minutes. Lift brownies from pan onto cooling rack OR chill baked brownies in an ice bath/freezer. Either way, you’ll get the cleanest edges if you wait until brownies have cooled before slicing.
These brownie don't really need icing, but if you're in the mood, go for it. Make a simple ganache by heating 1/3 cup coconut milk (the creamy part of full fat milk) just to a boil. Pour hot milk over 2/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (or chips). Let mixture sit for a few minutes before stirring. Spread ganache over brownies as needed.
If you haven’t seen it yet, King Arthur Flour sells a finely ground almond flour. It’s located in the regular baking aisle at my favorite store. I’m mentioning this because so often, things are not where one expects to find them. Explore those aisles.
To toast the quinoa, spread flour evenly on cookie sheets and bake for about an hour at 225 degrees. By the way, toasting flour is nothing new. In A Tiger in the Kitchen, Cheryl Tan writes about her grandmother toasting tapioca flour before making a traditional cookie, kuih bangkit. That recipe is gluten free, by the way, and interesting because the flour is seasoned in the oven with pandan leaves. Gives me all sorts of ideas. If you don’t have any quinoa flour, use an all purpose gluten free flour blend. Pamela’s Artisan GF blend works great.
To be honest, unsweetened natural cocoa is my favorite for baking.
By dark chocolate, I mean a chocolate that you want to eat. If you invest in 85% chocolate, you can either bake with it or eat it straight in case of emergency.
Use whatever kind of sugar you like. I’ve made these brownies with coconut sugar, raw sugar, granulated . . . and each batch was divine.
I prefer using creamy coconut milk but you’ll get a good result with a coconut or almond beverage type liquid.
For the tapioca gel: blend 1 teaspoon of tapioca starch into 1/3 cup cold water. Cook in microwave for 30 seconds at full power (in a 1500 watt oven). Stir again, then heat for an additional 15 seconds. It will become bubbly and gelatinous, with a texture similar to an egg. Cook time will vary depending on how powerful your microwave is. The tapioca gel as egg/binder substitute idea is adapted from Cake and Commerce.
The idea of freezing the brownies immediately after baking comes from Alice Medrich’s New Classic Brownies.
This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays.