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Salted Chocolate Chewy Brownies w/Ganache
For years I have had requests to be active again in the gluten free world. When we sold our first edition book, it was in the top three gluten free cookbooks on Amazon and available in most libraries across the country.
Life intervened and I had to pull back for awhile but now we are bringing it back with …a 4th edition INSTANT download book that is like no other ebook I have seen.
By selling it on our own site we were able to develop an amazingly interactive ebook that you can navigate easily. Click to jump to a recipe, scroll through a season or category, or simply print. We aren’t selling it for a buck or two because it took great care to develop this more user-friendly ebook. (Though it is affordable at $19.99 for over 174 recipes of family meals and sweets) and you get it instantly. It’s easy to share with 2 friends too.
Recipes & Weekly Photographs a la Julie & Julia
As we poured through updating some of the baked good recipes I kept drooling over the recipes that I had not made in a long time. So in the spirit of Julia & Julia I am going to make them each week and photograph them for you. I am sure my family will be very happy. Today we are starting with a chocolate fix.
I Need Your Help—Thank you in Advance!
If you are so inclined, I would love your help to re-establish my brand. These days that means subscribing to our website so posts go straight to your in-box. Social media has become the driving force of search engine rankings so whether you love Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Instagram if you will Like my pages or Pin my photos or Retweet or Share my photos or posts I would GREATLY appreciate that. Just click on icons at top of page and in the sidebar.
In return I will be photographing all these fabulous chef and family recipes from our newest version of Cooking Gluten Free! so you can see exactly what it looks like. (the chef recipes are from some of America’s finest such as the late Charlie Trotter, Suzanne Goin, Kathy Casey, Michael Kornick, Bob Kinkead, Gerry Hayden, and Cook’s Illustrated/Americas Test Kitchen, all early pioneers in helping me bring truly good food to your table– long before gluten free was a household name. The dinner recipes are timeless and the baked good recipes incorporate all the tricks I have learned over 17 years.
Now let’s get to the business of chocolate…..
Gray Sea Salt
Years ago we took our kids to a remote location on the Sea of Cortez near Loreto- Baja California Sur, Mexico. Little did we know how far from a normal vacation it really was, the photos online were gorgeous but when we got there we learned rattle snakes were everywhere. It ended up being one of the best vacations we have ever taken, and while there we gazed across the Sea of Cortez to the Isla Carmen (our daughter Carmen thought this was pretty cool). In the nearby town they sold sea salt from the Isla Carmen which we use for this recipe but gray sea salt is widely available now in many grocery stores.
Salted Chocolate Chewy Brownies with Ganache
This brownie is a chocolate lovers dream, use the finest chocolate you can afford for the ganache. I use bakers chocolate for the brownie to save money and fine Belgium chocolate for the ganache. Aftering eating a few of these with the sea salt on top I recommend smearing some caramel on top of the brownie, then add a layer of ganache and top with a little sea salt, you need the gooey sweet to counter the salt. For a version the kids will prefer: add a little peppermint extract to the ganache and some nicely crushed candy cane for garnish on top.
Makes 16 brownies (2-inches square)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup Multi Blend Gluten-Free Flour Mix
½ teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
Ganache and Garnish
4 ounces high-quality dark chocolate
½ cup heavy cream
gray sea salt for sprinkling and caramel
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Line the bottom with parchment and then butter the parchment.
Melt butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat, whisk in cocoa powder and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar vanilla, and salt until thoroughly blended.
Whisk in warm chocolate mixtures then stir in flour and guar gum until just combined. Pour ½ the batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with optional chocolate chips. Pour the last ½ of batter over the top of the chips, covering completely and scraping the bowl well.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Set the dish on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Run a knife between the walls of the dish and the baked brownie mixture and invert onto a flat surface to release. Peel off the parchment and place brownie sheet on the rack to cool completely.
When completely cool, place brownie sheet on a cutting board. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping the knife between cuts to ensure smooth, clean edges. Brownies can be frozen in individual serving sizes; wrap each tightly in plastic wrap, then seal in a large freezer bag.
Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl and heat cream to a simmer in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate, cover and let sit for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. (at this point you can add a little flavoring to the ganache if you wish by using a few drops of flavored oil found in chocolate making shops such as The Chocolate Man Smear caramel on top of a cut, cooled brownie followed by warm ganache then sprinkle with gray sea salt.
Another holiday variation: whisk in 1/4 teaspoon mint extract to ganache, and drizzle on top of brownie, sprinkle with crushed candy canes instead of sea salt.
Now that you have your chocolate fix, get ready for your gorgeous holiday cookie platter.
Gorgeous Holiday Cookie Platter
Mix and match to create your own lovely display of cookies, get your holiday cookie recipes here
The cookie above is an old fashioned mincemeat filling (in this case chopped raisins)
Macaroons dipped in chocolate
Ready to start baking?