Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gluten Free Sugar Free Hazelnut Brownies

Just recently I finally had the chance to go back and cook the outstanding hazelnut brownies I made over the winter, this time adjusting the ingredients for baking with agave nectar.  I didn't think it was possible but they were made even better this time around.  Cooking without sugar made them richer and moister, not to mention much less likely to be crumbly and fall apart.  It was a pleasant surprise.  The only problem with this recipe really is to try not to eat them all in one sitting.  They are very much worth the effort of making hazelnut flour which I will admit is no small task.  And even sugar free they still pair amazingly well with my vegan variation on David Lebovitz's Pear and Caramel Ice Cream with Raspberry Topping.

Gluten Free Sugar Free Hazelnut Brownies
6 tablespoons butter
3 ounces dark unsweetened baking chocolate
3/4 scant cup agave nectar
1 whole egg plus 1 egg white
1 and 1/4 cup hazelnut flour

pinch of salt
3 tablespoons brandy

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with butter.

Combine the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally. When chocolate is just about melted, remove from the heat and continue to stir until smooth.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in agave. Then beat in the egg and egg white one at a time. Gently stir in the hazelnut flour (make your own by toasting, removing the skin from and grinding the nuts in a coffee/spice grinder until very fine), salt, and brandy. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until just barely set in the middle, about 20 minutes. If in doubt under cook them slightly rather than over cooking them.

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