Happy Thursday Dusty Readers.
At 3:30am I woke up and music started running through my head and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. Mitra shimmied her way up the sheets, rested her head on my arm, contorted her body in the way dogs do when they demand a rubbed belly, and proceeded to snore in my face, once again proving that dogs are often more logical than humans in that when they feel something, they act on it.
I felt tired, but couldn’t fall back to sleep.
Then this video popped in my head. An hour later (after I had turned on my window fan, expelled the streetlight glow with the lowering of a blind, tied up the hair that was making my neck warm on my pillow and checked my email on my iPad) I was still awake. And while I didn’t run to the kitchen to make beer brownies at (now) 4:30am (though I’m pretty sure all of these things are in my cupboards), the recipe and this video were on the brain.
Because around a year ago I made a series of five demos for what I was/am calling The Dusty Baking Show. It was a project mulled over with an ex-boyfriend who is an incredible filmmaker. And when we broke up I was determined to make the demos anyway and not let a little heartache stop my work from progressing in a positive direction (it didn’t – a little dust in the heart is good for productivity).
Looking at it now, I wish I’d maybe put a little more makeup on. Or gotten a touch more sleep before shooting. Or pointed out that beating eggs and sugars together isn’t “creaming” when your fat is bubbling away on the stove.
But I also sorta don’t. Because my intentions with musing on what my presence could be with gluten-free baking on film was primarily to be accessible. To look like me on any given day when I’m typing at my computer in my room and don’t need to be all makeup-y and put together. To not edit the silly things I say in my kitchen (and silliness evidently happens a lot in 7 minutes).
A year after making this video, food is my day-to-day way of making a living, whether I’m writing about it for Easy Eats or Serious Eats, or in a fancy kitchen as a private chef. But re-watching this while New York City sleeps reminded me of why I love it most when barefoot, in my kitchen, with a few ingredients and a little inspiration. This recipe was originally titled Boyfriend Breakup Beer Brownies because I made them on the spot for Lil’ Sis when she had literally just gone through a breakup and I happened to be home. I didn’t use a recipe, just grabbed from the pantry and went to it. A few weeks ago Lil Sis moved south – I wish I could say “moved south for the winter” – and part of me wishes she were here, at 4:53am, so we could head into the kitchen together and make brownies.
I hope you enjoy my dusty little video, with the incredibly lovely Tamishia Harris behind the lens. After this series (which I’ll continue posting in the coming weeks) I shot a 10-recipe gluten-free series for EHow: Food. Check that out too if you want some slightly more refined Jacqueline in the kitchen. Until then…
Boyfriend Breakup Beer Brownies (Gluten Free)
- 8 Tbsp / 1 stick unsalted butter
- 10 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill in the original incarnation and now use this as my go-to brownie flour blend: 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup quinoa flour, 1/4 cup arrowroot starch, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
- 1 Tbsp mesquite flour (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark gluten-free beer (Green’s Double Dark rocks my world)
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 8″ square pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together flours and salt.
Melt butter on stove. Whisk in cocoa powder. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together eggs and sugars on high speed for about 1 minute. Add beer (and drink the rest from the bottle, no matter the time of day) and beat for about 30 seconds until frothy. Slow mixer to medium and beat in melted cocoa/butter ingredients.
Stop mixer, add in dry ingredients, and beat until incorporated.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the center of the pan is slightly fudgey but the outsides are firm. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing and devouring, preferably while watching a really funny movie.