Sunday, May 8, 2011

Decadent Fudge Brownies

I'm not going to lie to you. These are NOT healthy brownies.  There are no black beans hidden in them to give you a protein boost; there's no banana or applesauce to replace the fat.  No cocoa powder to cut some of the calories, and no agave nectar to replace white sugar.  These are full-on chocolate fudge brownies.  If you're looking for a healthy brownie, you may want to excuse yourself and find a different recipe.

But for the rest of you, these are probably exactly what you're looking for.  They are chewy, fudgey, and dense.  They taste illicit.  And they are addictive.  I brought them to a dinner party with three friends, and we scarfed them down as if we hadn't just eaten a full meal minutes before.  We looked up at each other at one point, and one of my friends said with wide eyes, "I think I just ate four of those.  And not four small ones, either."  By that time, I think the rest of us had lost count of how many we had eaten.  That should probably tell you how fantastic these are.

I tend to like my brownies extra-fudgey and underbake them a bit to get that texture (just by a few minutes), but you can bake these a bit longer if you want to try for a more cake-y texture (although I have not tried it myself).  Either way, this is one recipe that mimics its gluten counterpart to a tee, and in my opinion, may even surpass it.  And it's appropriate for moderate to hardcore chocolate fans. 

Decadent Fudge Brownies
Makes a 9 x 13 inch pan

4 oz.(1 stick) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, sliced into 1-inch pieces
8 oz. Trader Joe's Pound Plus 72% Chocolate
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond flour

1/8 cup sorghum flour
1/8 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Optional toppings to swirl into batter:
4 tbsp. creamy peanut butter (optional)
4 tbsp. Marshmallow Fluff (optional)
4 tbsp. blackberry or raspberry jam (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil or spray with cooking spray.

Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted.  Alternatively, place them in the microwave for 2 - 4 minutes, stirring frequently to break up the clumps of chocolate.  Let cool for 10 minutes (til they are about at room temperature).

Stir the sugar into the melted chocolate until combined. Stir in the eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Whisk in the vanilla. 

In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, and salt.  Gently fold the mixture into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth top.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and pres lightly into the batter.  If you want some extra special brownies, swirl in Marshmallow Fluff, peanut butter, and/or jam with a knife.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, anywhere from 35-45 minutes (I baked mine for 39 minutes or so). Start checking them after about 30 minutes to gauge how quickly they are baking so you don't overbake them.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.  Slice and serve once cooled.  Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze; reheat before serving.  Delicious served with vanilla or peppermint ice cream.

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