Everyone will love these magical chestnut flour brownies.
Published by Page Street Publishing Co.
It’s always a win when an alternative flour doesn’t just match its glutinous counterpart but actually bests it. Such is the case with these brownies, which are adapted from a favorite Alice Medrich recipe. Chestnut flour gives the middles a velvety texture that wheat-based brownies only dream of, and it adds its own earthy sweetness, blending seamlessly with copious amounts of butter and chocolate. If you make these, I warn you that you may be hard-pressed to ever use a more mundane flour in brownies again. That said, buckwheat and teff flours both complement chocolate and can likely take the place of the harder to find chestnut flour here.
Like the double chocolate cookies on page 197, whipping the eggs with sugar adds lightness to the batter, making leavening unnecessary. The trick to the pretty tops is to have the chocolate-butter mixture fairly warm when you add it to the eggs. These keep well for up to several days. Turn them into a grown-up ice cream sundae topped with port-roasted strawberries and ice cream (page 164).
Makes16 small but rich brownies
Dietary RestrictionsGluten Free
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces (230 g) bittersweet chocolate (60–70% cacao mass), chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1/2 cup (50 g) chestnut flour
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) tapioca flour
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 g) organic granulated cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF (175ºC). Line an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment paper cut to fit widthwise, leaving an overhang on each side. This will make the brownies easy to remove from the pan.
Place the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over the lowest possible heat. Add the chocolate and let melt together, stirring frequently to prevent the chocolate from scorching. Continue cooking until the mixture is pleasantly warm, but not super hot, to the touch. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Sift the chestnut and tapioca flours into a small bowl and set aside (chestnut flour tends to clump, so don’t skip this step).
Meanwhile, place the eggs, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is very light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and stir in the vanilla until just combined, then the warm chocolate-butter mixture. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a flexible silicone spatula to give the batter a final stir by hand, scraping the bottom of the bowl and making sure all the flour is incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Bake the brownies until the top is puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 24–30 minutes, taking care not to overbake. Let the brownies cool completely, then use the parchment handles to lift them out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Use a sharp chef ’s knife dipped in hot water and wiped clean between each cut to slice the brownies into 16 squares.
The brownies keep well, airtight at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Reprinted with permission from Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours by Alanna Taylor-Tobin, Page Street Publishing Co. 2016.