Gluten free mocha brownies

The only thing better than a chocolate brownie is a mocha brownie!  Of course, if it is done in one bowl, it is even better!

Mocha brownies

 

250g butter chopped,

1 cup caster sugar,

1 cup dark brown sugar,

4 large eggs,

2 tbsp expresso powder – place in a 3/4 cup measure and make up the rest of the cup with cocoa powder,

1 tsp xanthan gum,

2 cups flour,

1 tbsp cream.

Chocolate coated coffee beans and icing sugar to decorate.

Preheat a fan forced oven to 180 celcius and grease a 20 X 30 cm slab pan.  (I sprayed it with plenty of olive oil spray, and the brownies came out without a drama).

Melt the butter in a large, microwave safe bowl.  Try it for 30 seconds first, then shake, if not melted try another 30 seconds.  Mix in sugars, then eggs one at a time, mixing well between each egg to make sure the mixture comes together well.  Add the dry ingredients slowly, mixing to ensure they don’t go lumpy, then add the cream at the end and mix through.  Spoon into dish and cook for 20 – 30 minutes – check with a skewer, you want the skewer to come out clean, but don’t overcook the brownies or they will be more like cake than chewy, gooey brownies.

Turn out onto wire rack to cool, and straight away, using a sharp knife, gently mark out the squares you will cut, and place a chocolate covered coffee bean on each square, you do this while they are warm so that the chocolate melts a bit and the bean sticks to the top of the brownie.

 

Allow to cool about 10 minutes, then transfer to a board, using the pre marked lines cut through, dust with icing sugar and serve.  Brownies are best warm, but if you let them go cold they are still tasty.  Enjoy.

Gluten free biscotti

I thought I would try my hand at biscotti, but that gluten free flour presents a challenge!  As the cooked biscotti cake is crumblier than one made with regular flour, I had to cut the biscotti thicker than they should have been, so mine aren’t quite as crispy as I am sure they are supposed to be, but they still taste fine dunked in a nice coffee!

 

Biscotti

 

If you want to toast your own almonds, place them in a single layer on a baking tray and cook for 8-10 minutes in an oven preheated to 170 celcius (fan forced) – but I cheated and bought ready toasted ones!

 

3 eggs,

1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract,

1 tsp almond extract,

3/4 cup sugar,

1 tsp xanthan gum,

1 tsp baking powder,

2 & 1/4 cups gluten free plain flour,

1/4 teaspoon salt,

1 cup toasted almonds, chopped.

 

Preheat fan forced oven to 170 celcius, prepare a baking sheet with a sheet of baking paper.

Beat eggs in bowl with extracts, add dry ingredients gradually, mixing well to ensure mixture is not lumpy, add almonds.

Turn mixture out onto lightly floured board, knead and shape to a log and slightly flattened (it should be tear shaped rather than round).  Bake for approximately 30 – 40 minutes, or until firm to touch.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for approximately 10 minutes (keep the baking sheet with the baking paper on it).  Ideally you should cut the log into 1cm slices, but if your cake is crumbly you will need to cut it a bit thicker.  Arrange slices on baking sheet and place back in oven for up to 20 minutes, until the surface appears firm and dry, remove the sheet from the oven and turn all the slices over, put back in the oven for up to another 20 minutes, until the surface is dry.  Cool, then place in an airtight container until required.

Creme De Menthe Tart – Gluten free and just in time for St Patrick’s Day!

I know Creme de Menthe isn’t Irish, I probably should have made something with whiskey, or Bailey’s, but hey – it is green!

 

Creme De Menthe Tart

 

This will serve four, and uses the same tart shells as in the lemon curd tart recipe here.

 

For the custard:

1 cup milk;

1 tbs sugar;

1 tbs cornflour;

1 egg;

2 tsp Creme De Menthe;

A few drops of green food colouring.

Icing sugar & chocolate niblets to decorate, or whatever you like.

 

Once the tarts have baked and cooled a little, put 3/4 of the milk on to come to a boil.  Blend cornflour with 1/4 cup of the milk, mix in the sugar, alcohol and egg.  Once the milk is just boiling, pour over the cornflour mixture and mix vigorously.  Return the whole mixture to the pan and stir until the custard has thickened.  Add food colouring if you like to get the colour right, or you can leave it off if you prefer.

Leave in the pan for a couple of minutes while you get the tart shells out of the cases and transfer them to plates.  Pour the custard mixture into the tart shells and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably four.

 

Decorate as preferred.  Caution – the acohol will probably still be active as it hasn’t been cooked very long.

Chocolate Cointreau Sauce

Remember all that lovely Cointreau that had strawberries soaking in it?  I have been trying a few things lately that have a bit of that lovely liqueur in them, but of course you could use your favourite liqueur as a substitute here.

This is quite a rich sauce but is extremely yummy on fruit, ice-cream, or you could even put a dash of it in a milkshake – just for the grownups of course!.  Just be wary, the alcohol is still active.

Chocolate Cointreau Sauce

 

I made this in a large pyrex jug, so instead of weighing the chocolate, I measured it in.  Using an eye measure with chocolate means that it isn’t precise – some of the buttons will stick up above the line, but you don’t have to be precise with this recipe.

1 & 1/2 cups good quality dark chocolate;

1/2 cup thickened cream;

1/4 cup cointreau (or substitute).

Place the chocolate and cream in a jug and place in the microwave for 30 seconds, shaking when done.  Repeat twice, then stir until the mixture is smooth.  Once smooth, add the liqueur.  If you are pouring this on a hot dessert, you can use it straight away, if using it on something like ice-cream wait until it cools a little.  You can store any leftovers in the fridge for a few days.