Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gluten-Free Hazelnut Quinoa Brownies

Another day, another brownie recipe.  I've been baking up a storm for my office mates this holiday season, but have neglected the needs of some of my gluten intolerant colleagues. Oopsie. I've had some mixed results with vegan gluten-free baking.  I'm not sure if it's because I pick gluten-free recipes that rely heavily on eggs for binding or if I'm just picking bad recipes.  The last vegan gluten-free cake I made had the texture of chewing gum!  Nevertheless, I have a huge assortment of gluten-free flours that I try to use every chance I can get. 

This recipe is adapted from the quinoa brownie recipe in Bob's Red Mill Baking Book.  I just love the wide array of flours from Bob's Red Mill.  I hope to visit their Whole Grain Store and Visitor’s Center the next time I'm in Portland.  Sounds like a baker's paradise!

Makes 16 small squares

1/2 cup canola oil
4 1/2 oz. vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 egg replacements (I used 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds whisked with 6 tablespoons water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup quinoa flour
3 tablespoons brown or white rice flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (or your favorite nut)
1/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life (or just use regular-sized chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.
  2. Stir the oil with the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler or a glass bowl set over simmering water, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the egg replacements to the chocolate mixture, whisking vigorously. Stir in the vanilla and let the mixture cool until it's warm.
  4. In another bowl, mix the quinoa flour, rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and sugar.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture to form a dough and spread into the prepared pan. 
  6. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips evenly over the dough and press down using your fingers or a spoon.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the center doesn't look raw anymore.
  8. Allow to cool then cut into squares.
I'm happy to report that these were nothing close to chewing gum.  I was worried that the quinoa flour would leave a slightly bitter taste, but in the end the sugar and chocolate trumped any hint of bitterness.  (Isn't that true in a lot of situations in life?)

Enjoy!  :)