Sunday, 28 March 2010

Gluten-free Brownies

It was my sisters, boyfriends birthday this weekend, but making a cake for him isn't so easy because he's a coeliac, so can't eat anything with wheat or barley (there had to be something wrong with him but at least he's not a vegetarian). There are plenty of gluten-free cookbooks available but some of the recipes are really longwinded and after wandering around the shops looking for all the ingredients for a recipe I had found I quickly realised that this special cake was going to cost a fortune. I started to wonder what would happen if I gave him a normal cake and just told him it was gluten-free, would I kill him? How much damage could a bit of flour cause? After wrestling with the potential consequences in my mind I decided it was probably best not to finish off my potential brother-in-law and went home to wing it and try make something up. I already had buckwheat flour in the cupboard, which is naturally gluten and wheat free, and thought that its sweet and nutty flavour would marry particularly well with chocolate so decided to knock up some brownies. He can still stick a candle in one if he wants. The brownie rose a lot in the oven but having no gluten to hold the shape, it sank back down quite a bit. Overall I was quite proud of what I had made. They were rich with the distinct subtle tones of the buckwheat with slightly chewy edges.


100g buckwheat flour,
100g unsalted butter, diced,
100g caster sugar
150g of chocolate, broken into small pieces,
2 eggs lightly beaten,
50g cocoa powder,
1tsp bicarbonate of soda,

Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5. Place a glass heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Chuck the butter and chocolate into the bowl and leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Once the butter and chocolate has fully melted and blended together, stir in the sugar and once combined, add the beaten egg, sifted cocoa and buckwheat flour and add your teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Grease and line your baking vessel with greaseproof paper before scooping all your brownie mixture into it and popping it in the oven. Bake for between 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the baking tin for 5-10 minutes. Lift the brownie out by the edges of the greaseproof paper and leave to cool completely, I then put mine in the fridge for half an hour for it to firm up before cutting it into portions and peeling the greaseproof paper off the back, and dusting with icing sugar.


  1. I used to make the best gluten-free brownies (Holly doesn't eat the wheat either) but I've lost it big style lately.

    Have you experienced this? You'll be really good at cooking a certain meal, for ages, then one day you'll make a bad one and never be able to get it right ever again. No recipe changes, no ingredient changes, nothing. You do exactly the same thing, it's just not right any more. It's happened to me with a few things, stir frys, home made chips - both one-time staples of my repertoire, almost completely abandoned because I just can't get it right any more. And the wheat-free brownies have gone the same way.

  2. He James,
    Yeah I know what you mean, I have that sometimes. I don't know if its me being complacent or overly confident but its rubbish when it happens. More often than not its with baking too, the tiniest thing can throw the process out which can be so frustrating. Hope your good.