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Nutterly Scrumptious

Since I started my 'bake from home' business, I've had quite a few orders for gluten-free tray bakes. Naturally, I gravitate towards brownies. There aren't many people who don't like chocolate so it's a fairly safe bet, and it's so easy to substitute the flour with ground almonds. That is true of any cake really but don't forget, nuts are oily so you could have a very greasy cake if you don't take that into consideration.

I don't think I've ever made plain brownies before. Not since I've started baking professionally anyway. I always like to add something a bit different in. One of my favourites is strawberries. As soon as they are in season, I am eating them, baking with them, juicing them, you name it. I love fresh strawberries.

Anyway, back to my original point, with coeliac disease now being recognised and treated properly, more and more places are making allowances for gluten-free bakes and cakes which is fantastic. I make cakes of many flavours, as you may have guessed, so when I get an order for a gluten-free brownie, I feel like I need to jazz it up a little bit. I mean chocolate is good, but chocolate with a fruit or a nut is even better.

Seeing as strawberries are not yet in season (regardless of what supermarkets are selling you), I added tahini to my last batch of brownies and I was most definitely not sorry. These ones were gluten-free and the recipe I'm about to post is also coeliac friendly, but if you want a gluten-full brownie, just use plain flour instead of ground almonds. Mind you, I think the almonds and the tahini go really well together so I don't know why you'd want to put flour in instead.

Gluten-Free Tahini Brownies

  • 175g dark chocolate

  • 175g butter

  • 225g caster sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3 eggs

  • 100g ground almonds

  • 25g dark chocolate powder

  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

  • 3 tbsp light tahini

Preheat an oven to 200 degrees C. Over a bain-marie, melt the butter and chocolate together. Once it's completely melted and glossy, set it aside to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together using an electric whisk until light and fluffy. You will see the eggs go from yellow to pale yellow to off-white. Once they get to that stage they will be thick and fluffy - that's what you want.

Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, continue whisking the eggs and drizzle the chocolate in with them. Be sure to scrape all of the melted mixture into the bowl to get a properly chocolate brownie. Keep whisking until the mixture is a uniform chocolate colour.

Sift the baking powder and powdered chocolate into the bowl. You can sift in the almonds as well if you like but it's a brownie not a macaron - life is too short. Add the almonds (however you please) and fold everything until it's all well combined and you can easily scrape the sides of the bowl.

Grease and line a square brownie tin and pour the mixture in, making sire it's level on top. Drizzle over the tahini. Using a toothpick, swirl the tahini through the mixture making a nice marbled pattern.

Bake the brownie for 30-40 minutes. I like mine so that a skewer comes out clean, they will still be gooey because of the wet to dry mix ratio but I like them fully cooked. Let them cool completely before you portion them up. You can serve them as they are - delicious - or with vanilla ice cream and sesame brittle (see tahini and caramel loaf) - oh so decadent.


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