These naturally gluten free flourless brownies are rich and fudgy, with a Paleo option, too. Made simply, with melted chocolate and cocoa powder, and topped with chocolate ganache.
We’ve made flourless brownies before, with peanut butter. Nut butters can be really wonderful for baking, particularly when you’re going flourless. And I do insist that, if you’re going to call something flourless, it shouldn’t have even a speck of an alternative flour (like almond flour or oat flour) or powdered starch (like cornstarch or tapioca). But I had been longing for a rich, flourless brownie with a fudgy, chewy texture, and didn’t have a competing flavor like a nut butter brings. And I was determined to use only the simplest, most basic baking ingredients. That meant no avocados, no black beans (!) and not even dates. Just chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs and cocoa powder.
I am pleased to report that these amazingly simple, naturally gluten free flourless brownies are everything a chocolate-lover could hope for. They’re rich and not too sweet, plus they’re perfectly dense and fudgy. The quick and easy chocolate ganache I poured on top just gives them that extra boost, especially for when you want to make them special enough to give as a hostess gift. Whenever anyone sees ganache (especially when they don’t know that it’s made with just two ingredients), they always ooooh and ahhhhh. Sometimes, you need a little ooooh and ahhhhh.
By the way, I have long given the eyeroll to black bean brownies. I love black beans, but in brownies? Gluten free baking is already suffering from a higher than average weirdness quotient. But I have to admit, my curiosity has gotten the best of me. I’ve started recipe testing. But don’t worry—unless they’re brownie perfection, you won’t see the recipe on Gluten Free on a Shoestring!
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar (Paleo option: replace with coconut palm sugar)
3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-processed is preferred)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the chocolate ganache 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream (Paleo option: replace with coconut cream)
2 ounces dark chocolate chips, for scattering (optional)
First, make the brownies. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan with unbleached parchment paper that overhangs the sides of the pan, and set it aside.
In a double boiler or a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter or coconut oil until melted and smooth. To melt the chocolate in the microwave, heat in 30-second increments at 70% power, stirring in between intervals, taking care not to burn the chocolate. To the melted chocolate and butter mixture, add the sugar, mix to combine well, then set the bowl aside. In a separate, large bowl, place the eggs and vanilla, and beat with a hand mixer on medium-high speed until frothy (about 1 minute). Add the cocoa powder and salt to the eggs, and beat on low speed until the cocoa powder is absorbed (about 1 minute). Add the chocolate and butter mixture to the large bowl, and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and glossy (2 to 3 minutes).
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan, spread it into an even layer and tap the pan on a flat surface to break any large air bubbles. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until set in the center (22 to 25 minutes). Do not overbake. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
To make the chocolate ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium-size, heat-safe bowl. Heat the heavy cream or coconut cream in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan just until it begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and allow the mixture to sit for about 30 seconds, or until the chocolate beings to melt. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the ganache over the top of the cooled brownies, still in the pan. Scatter with the optional chocolate chips, pressing them down gently to adhere. Refrigerate the brownies in the pan until the ganache is set (about an hour). Remove the brownies from the pan by the overhung parchment paper, place on a cutting board and slice the brownies into 9 or 12 equal parts with a sharp, wet knife. Serve chilled or at room temperature.