Gluten Free Brownies

I am very aware that brownies are a staple of gluten free baking and another recipe is probably not required. However, I am going to pop my recipe here so I don’t lose it in the future and because I like it – it has a crispy top, a squidgy middle and only requires cocoa powder and not melted chocolate (which doesn’t always have a long shelf-life in my pantry, whereas cocoa powder does). AND a gluten eater asked me if I had written down the recipe, which kind of trumps any other reason when it comes to gluten free baking!

This makes about 16 pieces, depending on how big you cut them. I made these in a square pan of about 22 cm by 22 cm – if your pan size differs just adjust the baking time accordingly. The cup measurements below are based on a 250 ml cup as equal to 1 cup. Feel free to add chocolate chips, nuts or whatever else inspires you after making the brownie batter but before putting it in the pan to bake.

What you need:

3 medium to large eggs

1 cup of white sugar

½ cup of brown sugar

½ cup of butter, melted

¼ cup of neutral oil (I use light olive oil)

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

½ cup of tapioca starch

½ cup of rice flour (brown or white)

¾ cup of cocoa powder (I like the Avalanche brand the best)

1 tablespoon of baking powder

¼ teaspoon of salt

What to do:

1. Line a baking pan with baking paper and turn the oven on to 150°C fan.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, white sugar and brown sugar until very light and fluffy. I do this with the whisk attachment for my stand mixer, with it on high for at least 5 minutes. This is the key to the crispy, meringuey topping.

3. Add the melted butter, oil and vanilla essence to the beaten eggs and sugar and beat again briefly to combine everything without knocking all the air out of the eggs and sugar.

4. Sift the tapioca starch, rice flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the bowl. Carefully fold everything together to fully combine all the ingredients.

5. Tip the brownie batter into the lined baking pan and spread into the edges and corners of the pan. You’ll need to do this with a spatula or spoon as the batter is very stiff.

6. Roughly smooth the top of the batter and place in the middle of the pre-heated oven to bake for about 40 to 50 minutes. When done, the brownie will have risen high and pulled away from the sides of the pan and will feel springy but solid if gently pressed on top. If you feel any liquid below the surface of the brownie, put it back in the oven for a few minutes and then check it again.

7. Once done, remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack before cutting and eating. It is normal for the middle of the brownie to sink back down – this doesn’t affect the taste at all!

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