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Chocolate Brownies

As I sit writing this I’m listening to the food programme on Radio 4.  The subject is comfort food and the increase in our love for it during times of personal strife, and, nationally, times of austerity.  Comfort food is accessible food; food that no one needs to teach us to love.  Sure, we grow to enjoy the salty tang of capers and anchovies and we can develop a passion for curly kale and smoked salmon, but true comfort food comes naturally to our palates, it makes us feel safe and reminds us of a time when all was well with the world.  Some of the best meals to share with friends and family are comfort based: a glorious Sunday roast with all the trimmings, a slow cooked casserole, a hearty soup with crusty bread, a celebratory cake, light and fluffy and rich with icing, even a ladleful of baked beans over crisp toast, they each bring pleasure and comfort equally.   With Valentine’s Day just around the corner thoughts of loved ones are hard to ignore.  I for one am not interested in the frills and fancies of Valentines, I’d rather show my love consistently instead of through the fuss and schmooze of plastic hearts and flowers.  That being said, I love to give gifts, to find or make the perfect card for someone and most of all, I love to cook for people. 

This Valentine’s I plan to cook for my loved one: Blood Orange Champagne Cocktails, a Chorizo and Prawn Tomato Stew with Homemade Olive Foccacia and, if we have room for it, a slice of sweet, indulgent and delicious Chocolate Brownie with a little shot of espresso to finish.  It’s a simple but indulgent menu and preparing and cooking it may well be my favourite part!  I say, take your pleasures where you can, and so this Valentine’s make something you love for the people you love and let bringing them pleasure be the ultimate treat.

I like to serve these brownies squares as they are with a cup of strong black coffee but you could easily up the pleasure levels and offer it with a creamy chocolate sauce.   Quite simply, melt 100g dark, dairy-free chocolate in a bain marie and, once smooth and melted, stir in 200ml of oat cream and mix gently until combined and warmed through.  Pour the sauce over the warm brownies and serve.


Makes 12 brownies

You will need a 7 inch square baking tin for this recipe

170g Doves Farm gluten free self raising flour

3 tbsp cocoa powder

170g soft light brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp ground flaxseed

230ml rice milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil

A very small pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180c and grease and line the baking tin.  Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the brown sugar and flaxseed until evenly mixed.  Pour over the oil, vanilla extract and rice milk and stir together until smooth and glossy.  Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until just firm on top.  Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for 10 minutes before serving or transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

You can also find this recipe at Cybele Pascal's Allergy - friendly Friday.

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Reader Comments (16)

Tried this last night and was delicious! My friends could not believe that it was dairy free. Thank you!

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

These are really great, I have a yeast intolerance, so I had to substitute the Vanilla extract for fresh Vanilla in water, but all the same tasted really wonderful.

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMina

Hi Laura, so glad you enjoyed them :)

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

Hi Mina, I'm so glad you liked them. I'm really interested in what you said about your yeast intolerance and not being able to have vanilla extract. I am yeast intolerant but can tolerate mushrooms and sugar and vanilla extract. Do you have trouble with it because it's fermented?

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

Oh wow! We had a difficult time leaving these to cool on the rack as the aroma of chocolate was almost too much to bear, but boy was the wait worth it! Absolutely delicious. Don't think they will last much past tomorrow. Thank you so much for inspiring recipes. It was easy to follow and I am no baker but turned out beautifully. My husband is intolerant to yeast, dairy, amongst other more obscure things and shopping, cooking and eating is a nightmare. He is in seventh heaven this evening and keeps disappearing into the kitchen! I wonder why? Peanut butter cookies and chicken and coconut curry next! Then on to your Gourmet book! Regards

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Forrest

Karen, I'm delighted they've gone down so well in your house and a well-fed man is a happy man! I do hope you enjoy the recipes and the book, too. There's lots more to come!

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

These were absolutely delicious! Every time I walked past the cooling rack, I kept cutting a chunk off so by the time it had cooled, there was just one brownie left. Oops lol. Guess I'll have to make them again ;). I've just bought your recipe book and I'm so excited at the prospect of having fajitas thanks to your tortilla recipe and all those desserts! Mmmmm
Thanks again for bringing baking back into my gluten/egg free life :)

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

Dear Kerry
Thanks for your comment and I'm so pleased you loved the brownies - I have been known to 'test' them quite regularly! Enjoy your fajitas and do enjoy the book. P.s if you're looking to get proper Masa Harina for the tortillas you can get some of the really good stuff here Happy Cooking!

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

One of my boys' favourite recipes - and mine too! So easy but so delicious X

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGill

One of my boys' favourite recipes - and mine too! So easy but so delicious X

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGill

Hi Gill, so pleased that you all like them. They're so quick and simple to make - it's one of their beauties! Thanks for commenting.

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

My first recipe from your website and yummy:) I'm 16 and have been gluten, dairy and egg intolerant for 3 years and this is the best cake recipe I've found-it's really easy to make and tastes great too. Thank you and I shall be trying lots more of your recipes in the future!!

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Hi Emily, thanks for your comment and I'm so pleased that you've enjoyed them. Well done you too, for being so charge of your own diet and health. It can't have been easy starting from just 13 so I take my hat off to you. Hope you enjoy lots more recipes from the blog and do check out the book if you get the chance. Happy cooking!

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

I am thoroughly enjoying reading through your blog and taking note of your wonderful recipes. I am running into a bit of an issue when you choose a name brand item for your recipes, however, being in the US, (ie Doves Farm gluten free self raising flour.) Do you figure any gluten free self raising flour would work? I mean, I'm sure you do, but this is all fairly new to me, and I would hate to try a recipe with some other brand, and have it not turn out due to lack of quality ingredients. I don't yet have a preferred brand of gluten free self rising flour, I am more gathering recipes at this time. Again, completely enjoying your blog! Thanks so much for writing!

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpixiek

Hi Pixie
Thanks for your comment, I'm so pleased that you're enjoying the recipes. I'm sorry that you can't get hold of Dove's Farm, I would recommend that you replace it with your favourite brand of gluten free plain or self-raising flour. I know that Bob's Red Mill is highly rated and I feel sure that it would work just as well, though it may change the taste a tad as his flours tend to contain pulses as well as alternative grains. It may just be a case of experimentation but I feel sure any gluten free flour mix that you choose will work technically well. I do hope this helps and if you find a brand you love do let me know.
Happy cooking.

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

Can't wait to try this recipe!

January 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWarwick Wendy

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