Gluten-free Valhrona chocolate brownies

Living in Paris, I’m surrounded by sweet temptations every day. Passing by all the magnificent patisserie windows is at the same time mouthwatering and so inspiring. I wish I could try everything but I can’t as most of the beautiful desserts contain gluten. I’m learning to bake gluten-free and will soon gather the courage to tackle more technical desserts like eclairs and fancy cakes but till then, I’m having lots of fun transforming my favorite recipes for simple things like brownies and cupcakes into gluten-free, lactose-free and in general healthier versions of the original recipe trying out different types of white sugar substitutes.

Today, I was craving chocolate. And the only way to bake with chocolate is to use Valhrona chocolate. I use almost all types of their chocolate, from 70% guanaya chocolate to their delicious jivara white chocolate. After trying Valhrona, I could never go back to other baking chocolates. No way, out of the question. I took my favorite brownie recipe from the Fashion Cooking blog site and adapted it to be gluten-free and a bit healthier. But I did not touch the chocolate, that’s sacred!

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For the brownies (makes 16)

200 g of 66% or 70% Valhrona chocolate for baking
100 g of salted butter, choose a bio butter
3 eggs, room temperature
120 g coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla exract
2,5 tablespoons rice flour
0,5 tablespoons almond meal
Optional: 125 chopped pecans or a  good pinch of salt flower to sprinkle over the top

In a bain marie, melt the chocolate and salted butter. Set aside and let cool.

With a self-standing or hand mixer, beat the eggs, vanilla extract and coconut sugar on high speed until they double in size and you get a very airy and light mixture. Decrease the speed to medium and slowly pour in the cooled, melted chocolate mixture and mix well. Add the rice flour and almond meal and beat at slow speed for a few seconds until well blended. If desired, add the roughly chopped pecans and fold them in with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into a square brownie pan, lined with parchment paper. If desired, sprinkle with salt flower on top, if you didn’t add the pecans. Bake at 175°C for 20 minutes. Cool down on a wire rack before cutting the brownies into squares or rectangles.

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