Gluten Free Raspberry & Pecan Brownies

VO124raspbrownies5a

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

VO124raspbrownies1a

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.

VO124raspbrownies2a

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.

VO124raspbrownies3a

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.

VO124raspbrownies4a

Enjoy with a cold glass of milk.

Advertisements

The Problem with being Celiac at a Wedding

I love a good wedding. My usual uniform is jeans, t-shirts and boots so I like an excuse to get properly dressed up. I love a room full of flowers, I love the shuffle as everyone stands and turns to watch the Bride walk down the aisle, I will pretty much always get a bit teary eyed at the ceremony, I like that everyone is happy and smiling and I love a bit of dancing. What I don’t look forward to are the deserts.

 

If you are celiac desert at a hotel wedding, even if that hotel usually caters beautifully for celiac, is often a massive disappointment. You watch everyone else being served something delightful and then three slices of cold hard melon and a single strawberry are plopped unceremoniously in front of you.

 

With all of the flourless deserts in the world I do not understand why I am always presented with a dodgy fruit salad. A good fruit salad, full of ripe, sweet, succulent fruit would be great, but I fear that what I usually get are the leftovers from the breakfast buffet. Occasionally I might get a meringue but it is usually served without cream for some reason. So there I am with a mouthful of sugar and egg dust and some frigid fruit.

 
Another option is ice cream and really I don’t want the same desert that is being served at the kids table when I am in my grown up finery and nursing a glass of red wine.
In the hopes that some hotel out there will do a bit of research and be brave with their deserts I am presenting a few ideas for easy Gluten Free deserts. Some of these you could easily make for the whole wedding party and just have the one option so the GF person feels warm and included.

 
• Cheese board and a pack of pre bought GF crackers. NO fuss involved, put some cheese on a plate, open the crackers and send it out. Job done.
• A really good pavlova filled with seasonal fruit.
• A flourless chocolate cake.
• Chocolate mousse, strawberry mousse, any kind of mousse really.
• A chocolate roulade, there are approximately one hundred recipes online for flourless roulade
• Fruit meringue roulade, flour free, light and delicious.
• Cheesecake made using Gluten Free digestive biscuits. Again half the work is done for you.
• Fruit crumble made with Gluten Free four or ground almonds and nuts. Easy and delicious for an Autumn wedding
• A ridiculously indulgent custardy bread pudding made with GF bread, perfect for a Winter wedding
• Crème Brulee
• Crème Caramel
• Eton Mess, really what could be easier or prettier.
• Lemon Posset, this seems to be on every other menu now days.

 
Now that I have covered desert I would like to mention the need for there to be some celiac option provided for the celiac guest when the tea, sandwiches and wedding cake are being handed out late in the evening. We have had as much booze, danced as hard and been up as long as all the other guests and to expect us to sit and watch everyone else sup on the evening’s refreshment while we are offered nothing is just bad hospitality.

 
One of my fondest wedding memories ifs of an assistant manager noticing that I was sitting morose and hungry and running out to the kitchen to arrange for some cheese and toast to be brought out to me, it was basic but tasty and filled the need and I was so grateful to that woman as she most likely saved me from a massive hangover.

 

 

I plead with hotels / caterers to really think about the needs of all their guests. The bride and groom are forking out just as much for my meal as for everyone else’s and she should get her money’s worth.

 

Be brave, be inventive, do your research and please make the effort.