Gluten-free Dairy-free Soy-free Mexican Chocolate Brownie Recipe

February 14th, 2012 yum Posted in Almonds, Baked Goods, Chocolate, Dairy Free, Easy, JM friendly, low-sugar 14 Comments »


Happy Valentines Day from the Book of Yum!

I have a confession to make. I don’t really like brownies. I know that this is shocking, because I love (dark) chocolate and have something of a chocolate addiction that I’m trying to break. But the thing is, I like chocolate. Dark, rich, unadulterated chocolate. The bread-y cake-y chocolate thing is not really my favorite. In fact, unless it is a rich flourless chocolate cake or ganache…. I don’t even like chocolate cake. But the DH loves brownies. He loves cake-y, bread-y, sweet chocolate brownies. In all our years of being married (we will celebrate our 10th this June) I don’t think I have ever made him gluten-free brownies from scratch. I have deigned to mix up the odd batch of gluten-free brownie from a mix, but that’s it. He has never complained, but when he recently whipped up his own batch of gluten-free brownies from the Bette Crocker mix, I felt a little twinge. Why hadn’t I ever made him a good gluten-free brownie from scratch? I bake everything else from scratch, so why not that too, for a DH that has been so supportive of his gluten-free and vegetarian wife’s diet? So I resolved to remedy this error, and soon. Valentine’s Day was the perfect occasion to show my love with a little baking.

What is something your significant other likes to eat that you don’t particularly care for?

Last weekend I took Toddler Yum to Michael’s craft store to pick up supplies for making some homemade valentines for her daycare classmates. I picked up two heart cookie cutters, along with some fun stamps (including an alphabet set for stamping her name), heart ribbon, and more. I’d already bought little notepads with Valentine’s Day messages from Target, and had some scrapbook sheets at home that I planned to use as the base for the Valentines. On Sunday Toddler Yum and I got up early and spent the morning assembling valentines. We used the large heart cookie cutter as a stencil and I cut the thick scrapbook paper into large hearts. Then we taped notepads on the front of the heart and I set Toddler Yum loose with stamps, colored pencils, and crayons to decorate the back. We stamped her name on each one, and I finished the valentine with a little heart bow on the front. Toddler Yum takes her valentines to school tomorrow and can’t wait to give her favorite teachers and friends their cards!


This little craft project left me with these wonderful heart cookie cutters. I used them this morning to make Toddler Yum some gluten-free toast hearts topped with honey-almond butter spread. Then this afternoon after I made a batch of a gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free mexican chocolate brownies, I decided to use the small heart cookie cutter to cut out heart brownies. They were beautiful, and it was so much easier than rolling out cookie dough and cutting out the raw cookie shapes. Toddler Yum was so excited to see me make brownies that she opened her eyes wide and made an “oh my goodness” face with her mouth, clutching her little fists up in the air. “Two thumbs up” she said, pointing her index fingers at the sky. The DH gave these cake brownies a big thumbs up too, and so did my dairy-free mother and visiting father. “These are so much better than the mix brownies,” she said. As for me, I liked my last minute addition of cinnamon that was inspired by spicy mexican chocolate. I almost added chili powder too, but decided that the cinnamon was wild and crazy enough for our household. The DH also appreciated the zesty cinnamon in his brownie. He wasn’t quite ready to say they were better than a box mix, but he said they were “very yummy.” Being a Libra, he doesn’t like to pick favorites.

One extra cool thing about this recipe is that it is truly 100% soy-free, even to the point of being free of soy-lecithin. Unsweetened chocolate or baking chocolate is often quite pure, and doesn’t contain emulsifiers like soy lecithin. Woo hoo! I could even serve this to my profoundly soy-sensitive friend! (Oops, guess my secret plan is out since she reads my blog!)

I hope you enjoy my gluten-free brownie recipe. It was fun and easy to make, and I managed to make a rich and decadent dessert reasonably healthy, with no refined starches and limited amounts of processed sugar. Happy Valentines Day from all of us at the Book of Yum!

More Gluten-free Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes:
Easy and Allergen-free Chocolate Mousse
Gluten-free Flourless Chocolate Cake and Cardamon Rose Pistachio Ice Cream
Gluten-free Dairy-free Chocolate Cherry Cake with Betty Crocker mix
Gluten-free Dairy-free Cheesecake Pops Recipe
Gluten-free Raw-foods Dairy-free Cheesecake Recipe with Honey Lavender
Gluten-free Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Elana’s Pantry Valentines Day Recipe Roundup
Gluten-free Brownie Valentine Cake Pop Recipe
Allergy-friendly Chocolate Fondue
Chocolate Covered Coconut Cookie Dough Recipe (raw vegan, nut-free, grain-free)
Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats for Toddlers:
Gluten-free, Sugar-free Banana Coconut Cookies

This recipe was entered in Slightly Indulgent Tuesday with Simply Sugar and Gluten-free.

Gluten-free Mexican Chocolate Cake Brownie Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup organic white sugar
1/2 cup date sugar, coconut sugar, or more organic white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sorghum or rice flour
1/3 cup almond flour (finely ground, like honeyville)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
Line 8*8 cake pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease sides and bottom with a little palm shortening. Preheat oven to 350F.

Put unsweetened chocolate and grapeseed oil in a microwavable bowl or double boiler. Melt in microwave on medium power for around two minutes, checking at the one minute mark and stirring if needed. Or, if you prefer, you can melt the chocolate and oil in a double boiler bowl over boiling or simmering water until you can stir it into a creamy liquid.

Pour chocolate oil mixture into a medium bowl and add your sugar and vanilla. Let cool while you combine your dry ingredients (flours, baking soda and cinnamon) in another medium bowl. When chocolate-sugar mixture cools, you can add two eggs and whisk to combine. Stir dry ingredients and add your melted chocolate and egg mixture.

Bake in parchment paper lined pan on 350 for 30 minutes.

Let cool in pan. If you want to make heart brownies, take a heart cookie cutter and cut out heart shapes. The parchment paper lining makes this really easy. You can remove each heart with the cookie cutter and place them on a decorative plate. There will be leftover brownie scraps that I’m sure will go uneaten. NOT! Perfect for chef snacking or treating the kid or other family members with while you save the heart brownies for your valentine.

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When gardens go wild: Low Carb Pattypan Crustless Pizza Recipe

July 26th, 2011 yum Posted in Egg Free, Garden, Hide your Veggies, Low Carb, Nut Free, Pizza, Rice Free, Soy Free, Vegan Option, Vegetables, Vegetarian, corn free, grain-free, low-sugar, tapioca starch free 14 Comments »


The DH and I have always dreamed of having our own garden. It is a bit hard to do when you live in an apartment, and the only access you have to the great outdoors is on your balcony. Nevertheless, we managed to grow a few tomatoes and basil plants, and were happier because of it. When we bought a house we went a bit wild, and transformed a fourth of our back yard from a neglected underutilized corner to a bustling organic gardening paradise, complete with homemade redwood planters. Once we had the planters, we had to put something in them. We chose a wild assortment of the most exotic things we could think of- purple bush beans, dragon carrots, candy radishes, purple tomatillos, and a ton of squash and gorgeous heirloom potatoes. Ok, squash isn’t usually exotic, but it has a certain appeal to lifetime apartment dwellers because it is not generally something that you can grow on a balcony. (Amazing container gardening magic aside.) The plants were in, the DH put in a drip watering system, and then we waited for the bounty to come rolling in. And roll in it did, with pattypan squash seemingly bursting into existence on the vine right along with fourth of July fireworks.
This gave me pause. I had the basics of organic gardening thanks to reading and a class at Love Apple Farm, but one thing I hadn’t researched was when to harvest my beauties. When was I supposed to take the pattypan off the vine? I wasn’t really sure, but they rapidly grew to an impressive size that I’d never seen at farmer’s market harvest. Why did they pick them when they were so small? I felt rather proud of their size.

Then I went online to research the correct harvesting of pattypan. Whoops. Turns out if you let them get large, supposedly they get rather woody and coarse. I was disheartened but couldn’t believe they could really be that bad. People let zucchini get big, after all. Besides, looking at them gave me an idea. They were such nice, round shapes, and I was reminded of my old traditional eggplant parmesan recipe. They would be the perfect size for a personal pizza un-crust. So, I dipped them in a spiced oil and vinegar marinade and put them on the grill to soften them and add flavor. Then I topped them with a really good pizza sauce and cheese. For my dairy-free Mother, I made a few with Daiya cheese instead. The cheese melted and got all bubbly and delicious, and when I got a bite, I didn’t miss a grain crust at all! They were delicious, and the “hard” rind added structure and texture to the crust but the soft squash interior was still soft and delicious. I did notice that the larger they got, the larger their seeds were, and the center of the round was a bit softer than the rest. It could still hold up to a pizza topping, though, and was easy to eat with a fork, although I wouldn’t try to eat it with my hands just because it is a bit messier than a regular pizza.

I’ve been experimenting with my other giant pattypan and have found that they taste just as good as the littler ones. I like a sturdier squash anyway, and one of my biggest complaints over (bad) zucchini or yellow squash recipes is when they get mushy. It is hard to make these giant pattypan mushy, and they take on flavor and are just delicious sauteed in oil. I did prefer to peel them for sauteed applications as otherwise the rind is hard to eat. It reminds me of kabocha squash, actually.

So, if like me you have monster pattypan growing out of control in your garden- take heart! You can still enjoy them, in a fun way generally only possible when you have a home garden or belong to a garden co-op. You could also try mini pattypan pizzas with farmer market or supermarket babies. In that case, you would probably have to simply slice them in half and take care not to overcook them. They should be just as delicious either way!


Other Pattypan Recipes:
Fried Pattypan Squash Recipe
Pattypan Squash Recipe
Stuffed Pattypan Squash Recipe
Herbed Pattypan Squash Medley Recipe
Simple Pattypan Squash Recipe
Vegan Stuffed Pattypan Squash Recipe

Other innovative recipes using squash as a “crust”:
Butternut Squash Crust Quiche Recipe

Shared with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Seasonal Sunday

Pattypan Crust-less Pizza Recipe
Ingredients
Mutant, overgrown pattypan squash (5 or more inches diameter)

Marinade:
Olive oil
dash of white balsamic vinegar (brown is fine but will discolor your “pizza” crust)
your favorite multi-herb blend seasoning (italian or other)
salt (if not included in above herb blend)

Topping:
High Quality Pizza Sauce such as Muir Glen Organic
Grated mozzarella OR Daiya equivalent for dairy-free, vegan

Fresh basil for garnish

Directions
Slice your monster Pattypan beasts into 1/2 inch thick slices appropriate for mini-pizzas.

Whisk oil, vinegar, spices and salt together in a pie tin or other medium-sized dish with sides. Keep in mind that pattypan are like eggplant. They are greedy little sponges for oil. Make more than you think you need. Dip both sides pattypan slices in seasoned oil and reserve on a large plate.

Heat your grill or grill pan to a high searing temperature. Lightly shake off any excess oil from your pattypan slices and place them on your grill. Sear and then lower temperature to medium. Let slices soften, and then turn to sear and cook the other side. You want your pattypan tender but not mushy.

You have two options for the pizza preparation if you are using a grill. You can either place your topping on top of your seared pattypan crust in the grill, close the lid and allow the heat to melt the cheese, or you can reserve your slices and heat the topping in the broiler of your oven. The latter option will result in more browning, so I found I preferred to use the broiler. For broiler option, place pattypan slices on a baking sheet and place under broiler on high. Remove when cheese is melted and has browned. You can use Daiya cheese as a dairy-free alternative, but it will not brown in the same way so just remove when melted.

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