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This year the Avid Bakers aspire higher baking education by delving into Christina Marsigliese‘s blog. Though her recipes might be “scientifically sweet”, they are not overly sugary – a great plus in my opinion!
I find Christina’s scientific approach interesting – she explains, why she adds certain ingredients, and what their properties are. For example, using powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar makes the cake batter moister because it dissolves faster into a syrup.
But the concept of gluten and dairy free brownies, baked without butter or oil, almost kept me from joining our April project.
My first thought was: “Yuck!” Even my favorite vegan cupcakes (Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World), are made with canola oil.
Luckily, the promise of “fudgy”, and my curiosity won me over – the Fudgy No-Butter Brownies are among the best (and fudgiest!) brownies I’ve ever tasted.
Christina emphasizes on the importance of using the ingredients her recipe specifies – they are there for a reason: natural cocoa for a more intense chocolate-y experience, salt to enhance the flavor, and an extra egg white for structure.
And, though the brownies are not made with butter, they are not really lacking fat: almond meal, the gluten-free substitute for wheat flour, contains enough oil for a smooth bite.
The brownies are really easy to prepare – Christina could have also added no-fuss to her description!
|Fudgy, fudgier, fudgiest – among the best brownies I’ve ever made|
The only changes I made to the original recipe: the addition of a bit espresso powder – to boost the flavor even more – and a crunchy almond topping instead of more chocolate pieces. The batter is really loaded with chocolate, and doesn’t need more.
My brownies needed quite a bit longer baking time: 40 minutes (instead of 25 – 30).
FUDGY NO-BUTTER BROWNIES (adapted from Christina Marsigliese’s blog “Scientfically Sweet“)
300 g/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
56 g/ 2/3 cup natural cocoa powder
200 g/2 cups almond meal
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso powder
142 g/2/3 cup good quality bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I used Guittard)
almond slices, for topping
Preheat oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Line an 8 × 8-inch/20 x 20-cm pan crosswise with 2 stripes of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides.
In large bowl, sift confectioner’s sugar and cocoa, then stir in almond meal and salt, until combined.
|Add wet ingredients eggs, egg white and vanilla|
Add eggs, egg white, water and vanilla, and mix until batter is thick and smooth. Fold in chocolate.
|Fold in chocolate|
Transfer batter to prepared pan, using rubber spatula to smooth the top. Sprinkle with almond slices.
|Ready for baking|
Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until a shiny crust forms, and a needle comes out clean except for a few moist chocolate bits (my brownies needed 40 minutes).
|Easter – and still no sign of spring 😦|