I was testing brownie recipes a few months back, and walked away from the experiment with a new favorite foolproof brownie recipe. The winner was the recipe from everyone's favorite boujee San Francisco bakery, Tartine. It calls for 1 lb of chocolate, which makes for a very chocolatey and moist brownie. My only critique was it was a bit too sweet for me. However, a likely explanation for the intense sweetness is the chocolate I use. The 1lb bar of 70% dark chocolate from Trader Joe's is probably much sweeter than the fancy high end bitter sweet bars the recipe developers at Tartine are likely using. So for that reason, I've cut the sugar from the original recipe in half. If you use a super bitter baking chocolate, you may want to increase your sugar to 2 cups.
While I'm making changes, I thought I might as well try to make these gluten free. Some of my favorite people can't digest gluten and brownies are a great candidate for
de-glutenification because of their dense and tender texture. So after a few tests, I came up with a pretty delicious recipe that is worth sharing!
I find it quite nice to mix up the toppings in my brownies. So in the photos, what I've done is divided the batter evenly between 3 loaf pans, instead of using just one 9 x13 pan. This way you can easily play with different flavors and toppings without cross contamination. The brownies in the photos were topped with almonds, hazelnuts, and swirled with some tahini and sesame seeds. Fresh blackberries or raspberries, walnuts (classic), craisins, peanut butter swirl, cocoa nibs and shredded coconut are other ideas. You could also make a ganache or caramel to add on top, once cooled.
Gluten Free Tartine Brownie Ingredients
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I've used Trader Joe's 70% Dark Chocolate 1lb bar)
1 cup of America's Test Kitchen Gluten Free all purpose flour mix (or your favorite GF Flour)
2 very overripe bananas (about 200 grams)
5 large eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a shot of espresso (optional) about 7 tablespoons
Toppings of your choice (optional)
America's Test Kitchen Gluten Free all purpose flour mix
24 ounces (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup) white rice flour
7 ½ ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour
7 ounces (1 1/3 cups) potato starch
3 ounces (3/4 cup) tapioca starch
¾ ounce (1/4 cup) nonfat dry milk powder or soy milk powder
For the GF flour, measure all the flours into a large mixing bowl. Whisk and mix the flours until they are well mixed and homogeneous. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for 3 months. (Original recipe here)
Gather the necessary equipment: stand mixer or hand mixer with mixing bowl, 9x13 pan or 3 loaf pans prepared with parchment paper, measuring cups and spoons and 2 medium bowls, double boiler (a medium sized sauce pan with 3 inches of water and a heat proof bowl that fits on top snugly without touching the water below), sieve or flour sifter, rubber spatula, a fork.
Prepare your baking pan(s) with parchment paper so you can easily lift your brownies from the pan when they're baked. Do this by leaving 3 inches of extra paper on the sides, like little handles for lifting.
Preheat your over to 350 F.
Beak up the chocolate. I've started doing this by hand because chopping chocolate is an annoying job and tears up your hands if you do too thorough a job. So now I just break it into manageable chunks that fit in the bowl of the double boiler, it will melt eventually, no rush.
Set up the double boiler. When the water is simmering, add the butter and chocolate chunks and leave them to gently melt. Give it a stir from time to time to test that it's completely melted. If you're using the shot of espresso, add it now. As soon as everything is melted, turn off the heat.
Smash up your bananas in a small bowl and mix this into your melted chocolate.
Measure out 1 cup of GF flour into a bowl. Have your flour sifter on standby.
In your standing mixer with the whisk attachment or hand mixer and bowl, add the eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla. Beat the egg and sugar mixture for about 4-5 minutes, until a lot of air has been incorporated. You will know you have incorporated air into the mixture when it appears foamy (a dense foam with tiny bubbles), has become a pale yellow/brown color, and has about quadrupled in volume.
Do this step after all the above steps are complete and your oven is at 350'. If it sits for more than 1 minute, you will lose much of the air you have worked in and you will need to whip it again for another few minutes to get the air back.
In three stages, add the melted chocolate/banana mixture and the GF flour into the whipped egg and sugar mixture. Sift in roughly 1/3 cup of flour, and pour in 1/3 of the chocolate/banana mixture into the foamy egg sugar mixture and fold them in using a rubber spatula. Work gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Sifting in the flour will help prevent lumps of flour as you gently mix.
Pour the brownie batter into your prepared baking pans and sprinkle on your chosen toppings.
Bake at 350' for 25 minutes, or until your home smells chocolatey.