Over the past few Christmases I have posted a large variety of recipes, ranging from traditional Mangalorean to contemporary, sweets, savories et al. I totally love this season and I am thrilled that we are inching towards Christmas. However, as much as I love to indulge and let people around me eat out of my hands (literally!) I receive a lot of mails asking me for healthier recipes. When I come to think of it, while the healthier lot enjoys all kinds of sinful stuff what do those with dietary restrictions do? I personally know many people who have a various reasons why they want to keep it simple during the festive season and so this Advent season and the run up to Christmas I am going to try and post as many recipes that can be easily tried and enjoyed by people with special dietary needs. I do hope you enjoy these recipes.
Let's begin with these gluten free brownies. A lot of my friends and family battle with food intolerances, gluten being the most common ingredient that they avoid. Keeping that in mind I present to you these delectable quinoa brownies. Quinoa (pronounced as 'keen-wa') is a grain crop that is cultivated for its edible seeds and is one of the most popular alternatives to wheat. Owing to its various nutritive benefits it has, over the years, been elevated to the status of being a 'superfood'. Quinoa was considered as sacred by the Inca empire and perhaps today is one of the most sought after pseudo grains (although it is technically not a grain it is cooked and eaten like one). It is GMO-free, gluten-free, high in fibre and protein and is mostly organically grown.
I had picked up a bag each of whole quinoa and the flour and I've been experimenting with them ever since. You will be able to find it in most supermarkets and health stores but is slightly expensive.
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Prep time: 15 mins | Bake time: 25-27 mins | Yield 16 small-medium squares
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter
- 8 small squares (50 grams) chocolate (milk or dark chocolate)
- 3 small eggs (or 2 large ones)
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) soft brown or caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup choco chips (optional)
- 1 teaspoon coffee extract (optional) * see notes
1. Line an 8x8" square baking tin with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2. In a heatproof bowl add the butter and the chocolate squares and melt them (using the double boiler technique or a microwave using 20 second intervals)
3. In another bowl beat the eggs and sugar well and add the melted chocolate mixture. Add in the vanilla extract, coffee extract (if using), salt , flour and cocoa powder. Mix well
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 25-27 minutes or till the top springs up lightly when touched. Remove and let the pan cool for about 10 mins
5. Gently turn out the brownie onto a wire rack and cool completely before cutting it into 16 equal pieces. Serve with chocolate or coffee ice cream.
If you don't have coffee extract you may use 1 tablespoon of (freshly brewed and cooled) strong coffee