Some time ago, one of my girls was complaining that she couldn't make/get a decent brownie. "A nice gooey brownie" is I believe what the request was (although I'm sure she didn't realize it was a request). Determined to help her out, and perhaps because I wanted brownies myself, I decided then and there to make brownies she would enjoy.
My original version of this particular brownie didn't turn out well. I believe I described it as "fried fudge", but the truth is it was more like fried fudge swimming in a puddle of oil.... After playing with the amount of oil, the amount of sugar and flour, the amount of cocoa, hoping for some kind of change, I posted to the Allergies forum letting them in on the fact that I was working on gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free brownies. I got several responses but one in particular about brownie mixes flopping without eggs gave me my "aha!" moment. To you I say a big THANK YOU, dannic.
For those who aren't aware, gluten free baking is more akin to a science experiment at times than actual baking. At least, it is to me. :D Did I mention I hated science? Anyway, one of the interesting properties of eggs is that they're an emulsifier. For those who aren't aware of what emulsifiers are and do, a simple description is that they allow water and oil to mix and stay mixed. The emulsifying "agent" in eggs is called lecithin. Soy and butter are also rich in this emulsifier. This is what makes soy, dairy and egg free brownies so difficult. There is not, to my knowledge, a non-soy, non-dairy egg replacer which simulates this particular property of eggs. Until now.
It should be noted that I generally try to stay away from any kind of equipment which people may not have, such as a blender or mixer. However, this particular recipe requires a blender.
Excuse me a moment while I put away my horn. ;) Anyway, I know what you're all really here for is the brownies... I have to say, these aren't perfected yet (when are any of my recipes actually perfected?) but they are good enough and I can't make my girls wait any longer. So here you go:
1 cup Jacqueline's Gluten free flour mix
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ozs oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds soaked in 6 ozs water (at least one hour, preferably a day or longer)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (that's 350 for you Americans).
Place the sunflower seeds and water, vanilla, oil and salt in a blender container and liquify. You want the resulting liquid to resemble milk with no discernable "floaties" but appear to be one liquid.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa. Pour the sunflower seed mixture into the flour mixture and stir well with a spoon, making sure there are no hidden pockets of flour. Using a rubber spatula, pour and scrape all of this mixture into an 8" square pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. When you think it needs about 5 more minutes (A toothpick inserted in the center comes out sticky but not gunky), remove from the oven and allow to cool. Slice into squares (or just grab a fork) and enjoy!
In the Thick of It
2 weeks ago