Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies

This summer was pretty awesome.  Let me tell you about it.  I applied for and managed to successfully land an internship with the NYC Department of Buildings to work as a graphic arts intern with the Community Partnerships Division (they handle all the mayor's special projects).  These special projects included Urbancanvas, a project that is meant to help beautify construction sites by installing artwork on temporary construction protective structures (If you're in the NYC area, the specific projects I worked on are located on the MTA 2nd Avenue subway line construction sites, so check them out!); urbanSHED, which has the idea of replacing all of the city's unsightly wood and steel sidewalk sheds with completely new steel and polymer structures (they look SO GOOD); and NYC Cool Roofs, a project that promotes the cooling of NYC's rooftops by covering them in a white reflective coating to lower cooling costs and cut energy usage. Pretty cool stuff.

Here's some photos I took during my internship (please disregard the poor cell-phone quality of these images).

A roof I helped coat in the Bronx

This is what the proposed urbanSHED would look like...pretty cool!
Columbia University's Manhattanville construction site...this site was ENORMOUS, and there will eventually be even more construction across the street!
I had such a great experience this summer, that I wanted to make my boss, Rachel, something to say thanks. Rachel follows a gluten-free diet, so whatever I chose to make had to be gluten-free, obviously.  The problem was that I had never ever ever made anything gluten-free that wasn't originally gluten-free. Making things without flour seems completely foreign to me, but, I was ready to take on the challenge.  I knew there had to be something that I could make that wasn't full of crazy flours or other ingredients, so I was excited when I found this recipe that only called for almond meal.  Not too out there, and I conveniently happened to have a bag of almond meal in my kitchen.  Perfect.

These gluten-free brownies made with almond meal were delicious...absolutely delicious I thought.  They're incredibly rich and have a strong chocolate flavor, and they taste just how a "regular" brownie would taste.  I actually might make these gluten-free brownies just as often as I would make any other brownie recipe, they were just that good!  Try them out, you won't be able to tell that they're gluten-free!

Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies
slightly adapted from The Sophisticated Gourmet


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz dark chocolate (I used one with 70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly brewed coffee
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups almond meal, sifted

Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan with wax paper, leaving at least a 2-inch overhang on each side.  

In a double boiler set over low flame, melt the chocolate and the butter together, taking care not to burn the chocolate.  Once they have melted together and are completely smooth, turn off the heat, and transfer to a heat proof bowl. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla extracts, and whisk until well combined (the batter will still be slightly grainy).  Allow the mixture to cool slightly, around ten minutes, before gradually adding the beaten eggs, making sure to whisk continuously to ensure that the eggs don't scramble.  Mix in the almond meal until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, and bake just until the top looks set and feels soft to the touch, about 30 minutes.  Don't bother with a cake tester, because since the brownies are very fudgy, the cake tester will not come out clean, even if they are done. Allow the brownies to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

*How to get perfectly cut brownies:  To ensure that you get very clean-cut brownie squares, freeze the entire brownie cake on a sheet pan for about 20 minutes. When you're ready to cut, use the sharpest knife you have (not serrated) and after each cut, wipe the knife clean with a warm and damp dish towel.


  1. Can I ask - are these brownies soft or more dense? I am looking for a fluffier gluten free recipe... but these look so good I may try them anyway :)

  2. @catssaymeow These brownies are definitely on the more dense side, but you should try them anyway! More cake-like gluten free brownies are going on my list of things to bake as of now!


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