Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fudgy Rich Chocolatey Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Low-Carb Brownies

Just in case you need to be sugar-free AND gluten-free, here is a recipe that is sure to please.  It will surely please you, the sadly deprived baker (although you cannot possibly feel deprived when eating one of these luscious, moist, chocolatey treats.)  And it will just as surely please anyone else who eats one, whether or not they have to abstain.

Last night I made the maiden batch of these brownies for a school potluck.  (Naturally, I ate one first to make sure it was of the highest quality.) It was immensely gratifying to be able to offer one to a friend at the potluck who is actually allergic to sugar, as well as to those who are gluten intolerant; something for everyone!

And as with all of my recipes, it is super high-protein and super low-carb.  How satisfying is that?

5 oz sugar-free, sweetened dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter

1/2 cup erythritol
1/3 cup xylitol
7 tiny scoops stevia extract powder

2 TB unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pinch xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB quinoa flour or gluten-free baking mix
2 TB soy protein
2 TB unsweetened, unflavored whey powder
1 TB almond meal

1 cup walnut meats - optional

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and put rack in the lower third of the oven.

2. Line a 9" square baking pan with foil, letting the ends of the foil run up the sides and hang over the edges of the pan.  Do not butter or flour the pan.

3. If using walnuts, spread them on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until lightly toasted and
 fragrant, 7-10 minutes.  Cool them and chop coarsely.

4. In a small bowl, combine all the sweeteners and whisk to combine.

5.  In another small bowl, combine the flours and salt and whisk to combine. 

6. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the chocolates and butter and melt over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.

7. When melted, remove mixture from the heat, and stir in the sweeteners and vanilla, until well-combined.

8. Stir in the applesauce, then stir in one egg at a time until well-combined.

9.  Stir flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until well-combined.

10. Add the walnuts, (if desired) and stir well.

11. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, on top of the foil, using a spatula to scrape all of it out of the pot and into the pan.  Spread evenly in the pan.

12. Put pan on a rack in the lower third of the oven and bake until the surface is glossy and smooth, and a toothpick comes out fairly clean from the center, about 40 minutes.  (A few crumbs may stick to it; that's okay.)

12. Cool brownies in the pan, on a rack.  Use the foil to remove the whole batch from the pan when cool.  Cut into squares of the size you desire (keeping in mind that these are rich.)

Brownies will keep in an air-tight container for several days.  Well, theoretically.  

Notes:  You can get pretty darned good sugar-free dark chocolate at Trader Joe's, sweetened with maltitol.  This has become my go-to baking bar, because the price is very good for decent chocolate.  Bob's Red Mill makes all of the other flours, and you can buy them in a well-stocked health food store.  (We can buy them in bulk at Berkeley Bowl or Berkeley Natural Grocer.)  If you want to, you can substitute 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour instead.

Sweeteners:  Erythritol and xylitol are sugar alcohols; low-glycemic, low-calorie, sweeteners suitable for use by diabetics or those with metabolic disorders.  You can easily buy xylitol  at a well-stocked grocery or health-food store.  Erythritol is more readily available on-line.  Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the stevia leaf.  It is readily available at grocery stores, including at Trader Joe's.

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