Fudgey Gluten-Free Brownies

Recently I had a small potluck with some friends (because we needed lots of food to keep ourselves alive while watching an entire season of Lost) and a friend of mine who can’t eat gluten came. I knew I wanted to make a dessert, and I had been craving brownies for a few days. I decided to de-glutenize a recipe I’ve been using for ages. I got this recipe from the vegancooking livejournal community and it’s been a hit with plenty of friends as well as a whole lot of people at my college back when I was the vegan baker for the cafeteria. It’s great because it doesn’t require Earth Balance, or even chocolate, just a ton of cocoa, and it always comes out fudgey and awesome. It’s great gluten-free too– I would have had no idea if I hadn’t been the one to make them.

First, a few notes. I used Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour. I’ve tried a few gluten-free baking mixes and this one is definitely the best. Feel free to try something different but I make no guarantees it will still turn out well. Also, I added the xanthan gum as a last-minute thing because the recipes on the back of the Bob’s package all called for it, but I have no idea how necessary it is. If you try the recipe without it, let me know how it goes. I also doubled the recipe from the original because I was feeding a few people.

The last note– this is important. If you are baking for someone who can’t have gluten, it’s good to find out about the extent of their gluten intolerance and exactly what they can and cannot eat. For example, some people cannot handle the very small amounts of gluten in some types of vanilla extract, but for some that’s not an issue. Some people can’t eat foods made on the same equipment as gluten-containing foods. Also, read labels for everything! Weird things can have gluten. For example, did you know that Vitasoy Soy Milk contains barley extract, which contains gluten?

Anyway, here’s the recipe.

Fudgey Gluten-Free Brownies (based on cas_one’s recipe from the vegancooking lj community)

Mmmm blurry

Mmmm blurry

1 cup canola oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
Pinch salt
2 cups water

Preheat oven to 375.

Blend the oil and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla. In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa, xanthan gum and salt. Dump the contents of one bowl into the other bowl and add the water. Mix it all up. It should make a pretty stiff batter. Put batter in a greased 9×9 (or slightly bigger) pan. Bake for around 20 minutes, until it doesn’t look totally molten.

After the brownies cool, you can top them with chocolate ganache.  I use the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which you own, right?  If you don’t, I’ll give you the recipe to tide you over as you wait for the book to arrive in the mail.

Rich Chocolate Ganache Topping (also doubled to cover all those brownies)

1/2 cup soy milk
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 8 ounces chocolate chips
1/4 cup maple syrup, or brown rice syrup (what I used)

Bring the soy milk to a gentle boil. Immediately take off the heat, add the chocolate and syrup, and stir until it’s smooth. Let it cool to room temperature and then frost your brownies.

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One response to “Fudgey Gluten-Free Brownies

  1. That’s awesome the gluten free brownies turned out so good! You were smart in adding the Xanthan Gum. This is needed to help with the texture and rising of the baked good. It is a baking aid which kind of acts like the gluten replacement. Usually for brownies about 1/2 tsp per cup of gluten free flour would be required.

    There are companies which produce a water-based vanilla extract which can work for a gluten free diet. I actually think it produced a better tasting vanilla as well.

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