So here’s the real post for the Gluten-Free Brownies. Sorry about my little joke on April Fool’s but hopefully this makes up for it.
OK, so first of all, let me say that this is not going to become a gluten-free blog. I promise. If you love your wheat, I am not abandoning you. And neither of us is gluten-intolerant. It’s just that, well, there are a lot of gluten-intolerant people out there. And if you are one, and especially if you are vegan as well, this is not a friendly world to live in. So we’re just looking out for the GFV community. And there’s a surprisingly big one in Asheville.
And we’re participating in a Bakesale for Japan tomorrow at Bake it Pretty, and I really want to be sure that the gluten-intolerant people that come will have something to eat. So there. Anyway, let’s make brownies.
To make Gluten-Free Brownies, you’re gonna need:
6 ounces vacuum-packed silken tofu (1/2 block of Mori-Nu should do)
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup canola oil (I didn’t say this was health food)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup cocoa powder (regular, not Dutch process)
2 tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips, divided
So then you:
1. Heat your oven to 325ºF. Really aggressively oil a 13×9 pan. You don’t want your brownies to stick, do you?
2. Puree together your tofu, almond milk, oil, and vanilla until it is totally smooth. This will take longer than you think. Say, three minutes.
3. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Now really vigorously whisk in the sugar. Mmmmm. Sugar.
4. Now you have to sift. Not everything, though. I’m cruel, but I’m not that cruel. So sift just the cocoa on top of the liquid mixture. Look, I had to do it too:
5. Now add all the other ingredients except the chocolate chips. Use a strong spoon or something to really beat the whole thing until it is really smooth and combined. People will tell you to not overmix brownies. These people are stupid and should be avoided. Go ahead and mix until there’s no lumps. I promise.
6. OK, so everything’s all combined, so now we need to add the chocolate chips. Go ahead and pour about half into the batter, and fold to combine. Now pour your brownies into the prepared pan. Keep in mind that Gluten-Free stuff often keeps the shape of the batter after it’s baked. So, really smooth your brownies so they won’t look all gross when they come out of the oven.
7. Now you want to pour the rest of the chocolate chips over the top of the brownies. That guarantees that they will look delicious when they come out of the oven. Oh, but make sure you press them gently into the batter, or they won’t really sink down much on their own. I forgot to do this, and I regretted it later. So there.
8. So you’re going to bake them for around forty-five minutes. At the forty minute mark, start checking them. GF stuff can be a little temperamental, so check often. They are done when ABSOLUTELY NO crumbs stick to a toothpick inserted into the very center of the pan.
So here’s a confession: I don’t really like gluten-free stuff very much. I feel like it almost always has a gross-ish, grainy texture. When Jason and I lived with my best friend Rachael (who is gluten-intolerant), we did a whole lot of GF vegan baking, trying to find the right mixture of flours and xanthan to reduce that graininess. And I think that these brownies are the most successful attempt we’ve ever made at gluten-free brownies. I have often served them to people who didn’t know they were gluten-free, and they are always a hit. So if you need something that will be gluten-free, but also please a large group, these are the way to go!