Gluten Free Raspberry & Pecan Brownies

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Yesterday was a truly miserable day that involved having to get off a bus ten minutes in to my trip because some eejit in an Audi TT decided to attempt to cut inside a bus while turning a corner, luckily no one was hurt but both vehicles were left wedged in place blocking traffic for hours. The rain alternated between a drenching mist and thundering downpour as I trudged home with my sneakers full of water.  What else is there to do on a dark and rainy August evening except eat meatballs, drink a good red wine and bake some brownies?

I knew I would be full from the meatballs but I wanted the meditative work of baking to help me mellow out and as these brownies require a good amount of cooling and then chilling time before eating they were the ideal thing. Fudgy and soft, way more chocolatey than the 55 grams of chocolate in the recipe would suggest, these brownies are the ultimate in delayed gratification deserts as they need to be cooled and then put in the freezer for at least two hours before you can attempt to cut them in to squares. If you wanted to serve them warm from the oven you would have to spoon them from the tray to the plate as they will just disintegrate but topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream that might not be a bad thing.

The brownies are adapted from a brownie recipe by Gary Rhodes that does not seem to exist on the internet, my sister had to send me the recipe from a cookbook and as it is one of best brownie recipes I have tried I am glad to be putting it up on the site.

 

Ingredients

55 grams of 70 % dark chocolate (gluten free)

115 grams of salted butter

225grams of caster sugar

55 grams of gluten free self- raising flour, I used Aldi’s

1 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder

2 eggs, beaten

125 grams of raspberries, quartered

100 grams of pecan nuts, roughly chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 180/ Gas 4/ 350f

Line and butter a 7” x 11”  baking tin or deep roasting tray. You can use baking parchment but I used tinfoil

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Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over lightly simmering water until both have melted.

Sieve together the flour and baking powder and stir in the caster sugar.

Add the flour mix to the melted chocolate and stir to combine.

Stir in the beaten eggs and chopped nuts,

Fold in the raspberries, some people like to leave the raspberries whole but I prefer to have streaks of disintegrated raspberry running through the brownie rather than the odd whole one here and there.

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Scrape the batter in to the prepared tin and place in the pre heated oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, the brownies will still be very soft at this stage but they will set as they cool.

Allow to cool completely and then place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Remove from the freezer and lift the brownies from the tin, place face down on a piece of fil or baking parchment and then carefully peel back the foil that lined the tin.

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Gently turn the brownies over and then slice in to squares. These are best eaten from the fridge of freezer as they will get melty and fudgy at room temperature.

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Enjoy with a cold glass of milk.

Gluten Free White Chocolate Cheesecake Marbled Brownies

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There are days for crisp green salads and  fresh fruit and then there are days when you just want all of the chocolate and having had a bit of a mad week in work I was having one of those days.  Since I couldn’t figure out what type of chocolate I wanted or how I wanted it served I decided to combine two of my favourite textures, brownie and baked cheesecake. I have seen a few recipes for cheesecake marbled brownies where there is a small amount of cheesecake batter swirled in to the brownie but because I love baked cheesecake I decided to make a full quantity of the cheesecake recipe and then dollop over spoons of the brownie batter before using a flat butter knife to create a marbled effect. For such an easy recipe you get a very impressive looking cake.

For a double hit of chocolate I made a white chocolate cheesecake and used dark chocolate for the brownie mix and the combination was definitely a winner. These do need to be chilled before they are eaten as once cold these are dense, fudgy and delicious.

I made this in a 9” by 11” roasting dish but you could divide the mixture between two smaller tins.

White chocolate cheesecake

300g white chocolate
400g full fat cream cheese
150 ml soured cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Brownie

4 ounces of butter cut
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup gluten free self raising flour, I used Aldi’s flour and it worked brilliantly but you could use Dove’s Farm

Preheat the oven to 160, 325F, Gas 3

Butter and line the base and sides of your tin with baking parchment, this will make it easier to lift the brownies out of the tin once they are baked.

Break the white chocolate in to pieces and place in a bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water until it is melted, once it has melted completely remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl whisk together the cream cheese and the eggs until smooth. I used a hand whisk, there is no need to use anything electrical for this recipe.

Next whisk in the cream cheese and vanilla and then pour in the melted white chocolate and whisk to combine.

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Allow that to sit and start on the brownie batter

Break the dark chocolate in to pieces and place it and the butter in a bowl set over a pan of lightly simmering water until both have melted. Remove the bowl from the heat.

To the melted chocolate add the sugar whisking with your hand whisk, this will give you a slightly grainy thick batter.

Next whisk in the eggs and the vanilla extract and then add the gluten free flour, whisk very gently until just combined.

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Pour the white chocolate cheesecake batter in to your prepared tin and then drop spoonfuls of the brownie mix in to the cheesecake batter. Space the spoons of brownie mix as evenly as you can so that there will be an even blend of brownie and cheesecake in each square when you slice the cake.

Use a palette knife or a flat butter knife to fold the two batters together, you want to create a marbled effect so don’t be tempted to just get in there and stir. Use the tip of the knife to lift portions of cheesecake batter from the bottom of the tin up and over the brownie mix and then gently pull the brownie mix into the cheesecake.

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Once you are happy with the look of the cake place it in your preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the centre is set.

Allow to rest in the tin for 15 minutes and then use the baking parchment to lift the brownie from the tin so it can cool on a baking rack.

Once the brownie is completely cooled use a sharp knife to cut it in to evenly sized squares. I made my squares about 1.5” by 1.5” as they are quite rich but you can cut them larger if you like.

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These are best served chilled and were nicer the following day, so keep them covered in the fridge although I imagine they won’t last very long.