The brownies taste best to me after a half-hour in the refrigerator, but you might like them better at room temperature. Fans of dense, chewy brownies will love them straight out of the freezer.
Baking the brownies in individual tins gives each piece nice chewy edges—along with built-in portion control.
A note about Gluten-Free Flours: When I was writing Vegan Chocolate, I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Mix. It works great. It does contains contain bean flour, and while the batter smells kind of “beany”, the odor bakes out. It is very important to read the label on that gluten-free mix and check whether xanthan gum is one of the ingredients. If it is not listed, add the optional quarter teaspoon of xanthan gum (or guar gum) to the recipe.
Update: I was sent a bag of the newer Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour from Bobs Red Mill to try. While I was already a fan of their All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix, I was astonished by the ever better, really excellent results I got using this new 1 to 1 flour. In fact, after doing a few more tests, all of which were equally excellent, I wrote to the pastry chefs at GoogleYouTube in San Bruno CA and Google LA and asked them to use that flour to make the swap outs for the gluten-free Chocolate Tortes to Live For that I’d be demonstrating at the respective events a few months ago.
Gluten-Free Brownie Bites
Makes 24 Mini Brownies
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons /103grams gluten-free all-purpose baking mix
- 1/4 cup / 25 grams Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup / 50 grams organic granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons / 32 grams organic whole cane sugar, ground in a blender until powdered
- 3/4 teaspoon / 4grams aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum (if needed, see headnote)
- 1/4 cup/ 60 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup 60 ml any nondairy milk
- 1/4 cup 60 ml Homemade Sweetened Prune Purée (recipe follows) or a 2-ounce jar of organic baby food plums or prunes
- 1 tablespoon / 15ml pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon chocolate extract (optional but recommended)
- 1/4 cup / 46 grams mini gluten-free vegan chocolate chips
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 ̊F / 160 ̊C. Oil the cups of one 24-cup or two 12-cup mini muffin tins or use a non-stick cooking spray.
- Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. To measure the baking mix, put a flat-sided, dry 1/2-cup measuring cup on a sheet of parchment. Spoon the flour into the cup, filling it to overflowing. Level the flour by gently sweeping a knife or offset spatula across the top. Do not pack or shake the cup. Put the baking mix into the strainer. Measure the additional 2 tablespoons of baking mix in the same manner, using metal measuring spoons, and add them to the strainer. Use the parchment to pour the excess mix back into the bag.
- Add the cocoa powder, granulated sugar, whole cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the strainer. If your mix does not include xanthan or guar gum, add the 1⁄4 teaspoon now. Stir with a whisk to sift into the bowl. (If any small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the mixture in the bowl.) Whisk to aerate the mixture.
- In a small bowl, whisk the oil, nondairy milk, prune purée, and vanilla and chocolate extracts until thoroughly combined. Immediately pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until no traces of dry ingredients are visible. Expect the batter to be thick. Stir the chocolate chips into the batter.
- Fill each baking cup about two-thirds full using a small (1 tablespoon) ice cream scoop or ordinary tablespoons. (If you are using spoons, scoop the batter with one spoon, and push it off the spoon into the tin with another.)
- Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the brownies have risen and feel set when lightly tapped. Do not overbake if your brownies are still fudgy. A wooden toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of a couple of brownies should look sticky but not wet.
- Set the pan on a wire rack. After 5 minutes, use a small offset spatula to lift each brownie onto the wire rack. (Warm brownies are soft, but should be easy to lift out from the tins.) Cool completely. For the best flavor, refrigerate the brownies for an hour.
The brownies taste great at room temperature, cold, or straight from the freezer—whatever way you like them best!
Homemade Sweetened Prune Purée
Makes About 1 Cup
- 1/2 cup / 3 ounces / 85 grams pitted dried plums (prunes), coarsely chopped
- 1 cup / 240 ml boiling water, or more as needed
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml pure maple syrup, Grade B or dark amber
- Put the prunes into a small saucepan. Pour the boiling water over the prunes and let them soak for 5 minutes. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Check the prunes. They are ready to be drained when they are very soft. Simmer as long as it takes to get the prunes to an almost falling-apart stage. Note that the length of cooking time and amount of water is variable, depending on the dryness of the prunes.
- Set a small mesh strainer over a heatproof cup and drain the prunes. Reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid to make the purée.
- Purée the prunes, the maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid with an immersion blender in the saucepan or in a blender. Add more of the cooking liquid, a little at a time if needed, until the purée is absolutely smooth with no bits of prune skin. The finished purée should be the consistency of a thick mayonnaise.
Refrigerate the purée for up to 1 week in a covered container, or freeze for up to 2 months.
From Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, © 2013 by Fran Costigan, Running Press. Photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky