Last week my lil sis went through a breakup. A relatively sane one, sans drama, and she’s rolled with it very well. But a breakup is a breakup, with highs and lows and unanswered questions. A few months ago I went through a very hard breakup (see My Broken Heart in a Pie) and my siblings were there for me as soon as I was ready to talk to them. Upon my first trip home, they threw me a night of gluten-free beer (well, for me), board games, a bunch of bad jokes and “socials” and “waterfalls”, and the freedom to wander alone in my thoughts when I needed to.
So when Lil Sis texted me the news, I threw all the gluten-free beer I had in my fridge into a bag and headed to Connecticut. And after one or two drinks and some quiet conversation, I knew what she needed: brownies.
We rummaged through hers and my dad’s kitchens and got together some basic ingredients (including the gluten-free flour blend I stash there) and I went to work, whipping things together and giving her a little baking lesson as I went. I love brownies because of how few ingredients they require, how fast you can make them and how versatile they are – purely for emotional purposes we poured some of the dark Green’s Gluten-Free Sorghum beer I had been sipping, which did wonders in intensifying all the flavors and giving the brownies lift without and baking powder/soda.
The result? Incredibly moist, fudgy, dark cocoa brownies. Just as I want them. Easy to slice, packed with chocolate and with a slight zing from the beer. Incredibly easy to make, and from start to finish we had the brownies in about a half an hour.
She plopped a little vanilla ice cream on her slice to balance the chocolate. I love dark chocolate, and savored my sweet little piece (normally I never eat refined sugar, or much sugar in general, but desperate times…). We sipped our drinks, enjoyed some telly and as she worked things through in her head, we talked about it.
And don’t worry, both Lil Sis’ and my heart are doing just fine.
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 10 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup gluten-free beer (try to get a dark one)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour with xanthan gum (I use my cookie blend when I make these. If using a blend that doesn’t contain xanthan gum add 1/4 tsp, please and thank you.)
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a small 8×8 or so glass baking pan.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Slowly whisk in cocoa and whisk until dissolved. Then slowly whisk in beer (it will foam a bit) and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer on medium/high speed beat eggs, brown sugar and white sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very smooth and creamy.
Reduce the mixer to low speed and slowly add the chocolate mixture until combined.
Toss the salt and xanthan gum into the flour and fold into the chocolate mixture.
Pour into the pan and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out smooth.
Cool for at least 15 minutes (if you want them soft and fudgey) or completely before cutting.
As lil sis pointed out, these would be great with a dairy/gluten-free ice cream or with some fresh fruit.