Gluten Free Double Chocolate Espresso Brookies

These are my proudest creation to date so far…I think. There’s a high probability I say that about every recipe that I break out of my comfort zone with. I am highly critical of myself and always doubt my abilities, so when something turns out that was a complete and utter experiment, my mind is slightly boggled. And when I say ‘complete and utter’ experiment, I truly mean that. I didn’t adapt a recipe. I didn’t just use a ready made gluten free flour blend. I didn’t even look at another gluten free flour blend recipe.

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I’ve been making and baking things for a while now, and can roughly guess what will work, and what won’t. I have knowledge of traditional methods stored in my nonsensical brain, and I know rough quantities needed to make various things in the traditional manner. I’ve watched my Mum cook for years from when I was a small child to now, and I’ve soaked up information from her like a sponge: pastry, roux’s, basic cake batter, brownies, casseroles, custard..you name it, she’s made it, and I’ve watched! I’ve also read (yes, read…don’t judge me) an endless number of cook books, foodie magazines and watched I-don’t-know-how-many cookery shows. But I also have knowledge from my own experiments. Some of the things I’ve tried….I’m not even going to begin how disastrous some things have turned out like!

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The first time I baked with protein powder, or rather, the first time I tried to bake with protein powder. It. Was. Horrendous. Absolutely terrible – no other way to describe it. Dry. Denser than a brick… Burnt. Ugh. Horrendous. Anyway. I’ve played around with so many random, different ingredients that I’ve got to know how the majority of them will work within a recipe, how different ingredients react. For example, brown rice flour will give a drier texture when baked. Coconut flour requires a lot of moisture. Flours with very little to no gluten can give a crumbly consistency once baked as the gluten protein acts as a binding agent. Egg also gives structure and acts as a binder. Which is why gluten free vegan recipes are particularly difficult – the two conventional binding agents are missing.

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Anyway, in my typical fashion I am rambling. I’ve never made a proper gluten free flour blend before. Why did I try gluten free, you ask? Well, you might’ve gathered, I like to experiment and play. That’s where the majority of my enjoyment with baking comes from. I like learning, pushing the boundaries, testing my knowledge and capabilities, and consequently gaining more in the process. You can never, ever stop learning. I like using my brain in a logical manner to work out what will and won’t work – which is why when things do turn out, like this recipe, I feel so proud of myself. Like proof to myself that I can do things and I am capable.

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I was originally going to make them vegan, but the ingredient that I was asked to experiment with (Artisan du Chocolat’s new Espresso Spread) contained cream. So obviously not vegan. Hence why I went down the gluten free route instead. And the outcome was delicious. Rich, chocolatey, soft and gooey on the inside, crunchy and crisp on the outer. YUM. Did it work first time? No no no, no it did not. Initially they turned out bitter and burnt, and nowhere near sweet enough. Adding more sugar would obviously make them sweeter, but also help prevent the chocolate in the cookies from catching and burning as it did initially. Not helped, admittedly, by my choice of using coconut oil over butter!

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Ingredients:

  • 30g brown rice flour
  • 20g sorghum flour
  • 16g cornflour
  • 20g ground peanut flour (or ground almonds)
  • 24g cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp xantham gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 20g coconut oil
  • 40g dark chocolate
  • 40g Artisan du Chocolat espresso spread
  • 80g sugar (I used half coconut sugar, half granulated)
  • 20ml milk
  • 1/2 (24g) medium egg, beaten
  • 30g dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the gluten free flours, xantham gum and baking powder.
  2. In a saucepan, gently melt together the chocolate and coconut oil. Stir in the espresso spread and sugar, and mix to combine until fully incorporated. Allow the mix to cool slightly, stir in the milk, followed by the egg. Add the chocolate mixture to the flour blend and bring together into a dough. Toss in the chocolate chips and work into the mixture. Wrap in cling film and allow to sit for at least half an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160C. Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Press down the edges to mould into a cookie shape with a dome, as shown in the above images. Bake on a baking tray for 8-12 minutes, depending on how soft you want them, removing from the baking tray 6 minutes through baking to prevent the bottom of the cookie from catching.

 

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