It was a Friday afternoon and I had just had a nice nap in the park. The house was quiet with gentle rays of fading sunlight streaming through the windows. The conditions were perfect for baking and I was hungry for a treat. My friends had just moved to the city providing me the perfect excuse for to make brownies. And these turned out to be the best brownies that I had ever made.
I started with the brownie recipe from the Silver Palette Cookbook. I learned a few years ago that to get that out-of-the-box top crunch, you separate the eggs and beat the whites until peaks are stiff. So I did that. I also learned from a pastry chef friend of mine at Jolie Bakery in SF that almond meal is an excellent sub for wheat flour in brownies. So I made that switch. The Silver Palette recipe did not call for salt, which I really couldn't identify with. So I added 1/2 teaspoon inside, and Maldon flakes on top. I also didn't (don't) have a brownie pan so I baked these little lovelies in a 10" spring form cake pan. All these changes worked really well. Here is the recipe for my finest brownies to date, and gluten free to boot!
The Best Brownies I've Ever Made (GF)
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) sweet butter
- 12 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 eggs -yolks and whites separated
- 1.75 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Rum (always put liquor in chocolate)
- 2/3 cup shelled pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp maldon sea flakes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 12 inch baking pan or 10inch cake pan.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in the top part of a double boiler over boiling water. When melted, set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Add sugar to your egg yolks and cream until thick and lemon-colored; add vanilla. Fold chocolate mixture into egg yolks and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
4. Fold in almond meal, salt and pecans, mixing just until blended. Stir in Rum until blended. Carefully and gently fold in egg whites until well combined. ( I use a wooden spoon for all of the items in this step rather than the electric mixer)
5. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 32 minutes, or until center is just set. I start checing at about 23 minutes. Do not overbake. (Remember, they keep cooking a wee bit after you take them from the oven.
6. Sprinkle Maldon sea salt flakes over the top of the hot brownies.
6. Allow brownies to cool in pan for 30 minutes before cutting into bars.
Makes 28 large brownies.
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