Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Almond Brownies

You might be able to tell that I’ve had a few excuses to bake sweet things recently. I’m turning into a bit of a broken record! I’m sorry, dear reader, if you’re losing interest in my recent treats but I promise to change tack soon with some delicious savoury recipes soon.

For the moment though, I have to share one of my all-time favourite baking recipes. I have fond memories of it from the 21st birthday where I first tried it to receiving a photocopy of the chocolate smeared recipe which was cut out of the Guardian which I still treasure today.

The object of my affections is Allegra McEvedy’s Brownies. I’ve been making them periodically ever since my good friend gifted me with the recipe and they truly are a winner. Even better, they are gluten free which meant that I could make a batch for my dear Mama for Mothers Day*.

The brownie itself is pretty easy to make and doesn’t taste as nutty as you would expect from something that is mostly ground almonds. The texture is gorgeous too – very cakey and gooey with a crisp outer shell. Glorious! For my Mum’s batch, I added whole almonds, chopped pecans and chunks of chocolate but they’re just as delicious plain.

Here’s my adapted recipe from Allegra’s which can be found here...

Gluten-Free Almond Brownies
Makes 12

175g dark chocolate
2 tbsp filter coffee or espresso, optional
125g ground almonds
3 large eggs
200g caster sugar
90g unsalted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Break chocolate into chunks and melt with butter over a pan of boiling water then add the coffee if you're using.
 - In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs together until creamy. Stir the chocolate mixture in until combined.
 - Mix the almonds and baking powder and then fold then into the chocolatey, eggy mix.
 - Bake for 45 minutes until firm on top and it is piping hot throughout (sink a skewer into the middle to make sure). Sometimes this doesn't set completely when hot but firms up when it has cooled.
Tips: Delicious with chopped nuts or chocolate chips as mentioned above. I’ve made these with Green & Black’s Cherry chocolate which is gorgeous too – ring the changes by using your favourite chocolate.

*I have a natural contempt of such ‘Halmark Holidays’ and always feel torn – I want to show my Mum that I appreciate her but don’t want to do along with something that the card companies have invented to make money. Hence, I try to go with homemade presents where I can.

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