Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Chocolate-Banana-Coconut Brownies - gluten free


Who can resist brownies? Soft, gooey, chewy chunks of chocolatey deliciousness. Well these take brownie heaven one stage further and are the most delicious way to use up those bananas which otherwise would be destined for the bin. Forget banana bread (lovely though it is), chocolate-banana-coconut brownies are the way to go!

This week I ended up with several over-ripe brown bananas in the house. I could sense trouble was brewing............ wasting bananas is not the done thing under our roof. So I thought I had better find a way to use them........ and quick!


I didn't want to make banana bread, but I did really fancy brownies.......... So why not combine the flavours? For additional interest and texture, I decided to add coconut, which turned out to be a really good decision.

The resulting bake is extra moist and gooey from the banana, but not in any way 'runny'. Made with chocolate rather than cocoa, it is dark and decadent and very very chocolatey. The combination of brown sugar and coconut palm sugar gives a further natural depth of flavour and some lovely caramel notes.


This brownie is a wonderful combination.......... the rich coconut and creamy banana adding a very distinct tropical fruitiness which perfectly off-sets the chocolate. As you bite, the chocolate and banana mingle beautifully together and then the shredded coconut comes through........... tiny chewy coconutty bits, sitting alongside melty chocolatey chunks.

They are amazing on their own........ Truly yumcious and very very moreish. But they are also delicious with custard or ice cream if you want to turn them into more of a dessert.


My daughter has decided they are even addictive.......... Mmmm, I'm not sure my eight year old should be consciously aware of the language of addiction just yet. The idea of brownie detox sounds quite scary!

I am entering these delicious brownies into two challenges this month :


The 'No Waste Food Challenge' being hosted by Chris from Cooking Around The World on behalf of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. It is always a good thing to find new and interesting ways of using up food before it ends up in the composter or walks out of the door and bananas are the worst offenders for turning from yellow to brown between visits to the fruit bowl. These brownies are definitely worth mashing them up for. Trust me...... once you have tried one, there is no escape from the hold they have on you!


I am also entering them into 'We should Cocoa', being hosted by Laura over at 'I'd Much Rather Bake Than...' on behalf of Choclette of the Chocolate Log Blog. The secret added ingredient this month is coconut. I love coconut (although I probably don't use it enough in my cooking). I have memories of drilling and hammering coconuts from the fair when I was little, just to be able to pick off enough flesh to feed a mouse with more effort than climbing Mount Everest. Ok...... maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but there was a LOT of effort for very little reward and I think it is now associated in my head with being a demanding ingredient.

Thank goodness for processing! It seems you can now get pretty much every element of coconut helpfully harvested and divided to bring us (very conveniently) anything from coconut milk, cream, butter, flour and coconut palm sugar to chunks, strips, and dessications of dried flesh. Not to mention the amazing works of matting and incredible beauty products that are made out of it. It is easy to see why it is considered such a wonder-plant in so many parts of the world.

These brownies use coconut palm sugar and shredded coconut, both of which add unique elements to the bake and are significant to the final flavour and texture produced. I have a funny feeling that they may just become one of the most requested cake-bakes in our house!


Chocolate-Banana-Coconut Brownies

Ingredients                                    

180g good quality dark chocolate - cut into pieces
175g unsalted butter
75g coconut palm sugar
75g soft light brown sugar
100g gluten free plain flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (if not already in your flour mix)
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
50g ground almonds
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
30g shredded coconut
2 very ripe bananas - mashed
2 large eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g milk chocolate chunks

Method

  1. Base line a 23 cm/9 inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  3. Melt the chocolate, sugars and butter in a large non-stick saucepan on a low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
  4. Weigh and mix the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, almonds, cocoa and coconut in a bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
  5. Mash the banana in a separate bowl and then add to the chocolate mixture, beating in with a wooden spoon/spatula.
  6. Add the dry flour mix to the chocolate batter and mix thoroughly.
  7. Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract in a bowl and then also add that and the chocolate chips to the chocolate mixture, beating well with the spoon until completely combined.
  8. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and spread and smooth the top evenly with the spoon.
  9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. When baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  11. Transfer the brownie to a cutting board and slice into pieces. Enjoy warm or cold.

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated

10 comments:

  1. The brownies look as well as sound very delicious. Great use of those bananas. Thank you for joining the No Waste Food Challenge.

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    1. Thanks Chris. They are very yummy! Thanks for hosting!

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  2. These look amazing. I tried experimenting with coconut brownies before and they got good feedback but they were nowhere near as good as these! I know where I'll come when I need a recipe to try again! Thanks so much for sharing them with We Should Cocoa.

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    1. You're welcome Laura. The banana made them extra moist and just tasted wonderful with the coconut!

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  3. You are right brownies are always difficult to resist and if they look as nice as these it is even harder! Delicious! I love your recipes!

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    1. Thank you Alida. I've been nosing through yours too. There are quite a few recipes I have bookmarked to try and make gluten free!

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  4. Wowsers! You've done such a good job at describing these that I have already bookmarked them. I've made banana blondes and coconut brownies, but nothing like these - yet. Thank you for submitting them to We Should Cocoa - a most delicious entry.

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    1. Thanks Choclette. They are definitely a spectacular combination. But beware...... they are very addictive!!!!

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  5. These look amazing - and I love the addition of coconut to a brownie. I love the addition of coconut to most things!

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    1. Thanks CC. I know what you mean. Coconut does add a flavour and texture which is unique and quite delicious. I think (having rediscovered it) I will be having a bit of a coconut revival in my kitchen!

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