These Chocolate-Espresso Puddles are one of my favourite speedy bakes and are perfect for using up spare egg whites (particularly when you are unsure how ‘pure’ they are). After posting a recent photo of them just out of the oven on Instagram and getting requests for the recipe, I am sharing this fudgiest of cookie treats with you, my lovely readers…. and even better, they are not only gluten free, but dairy free too.
Shortly before I made them, Mr GF had thrown together a lovely Carbonara which had used a handful of egg yolks. He had placed the whites in a bowl in the fridge, but when interrogated, confessed that whilst cracking the eggs, a yolk had broken and he could not be sure that it had not contaminated the yolk.
Whilst Mr GF couldn’t understand why this was a problem, the bakers amongst us know that the teensiest bit of yolk in the white means that the egg white can no longer be used for meringue, macaron or any other recipe that requires a stiff whip. These Puddle Cookies on the other hand, don’t need treating with kid-gloves, so are perfect for when ‘mistakes’ have been made in the egg-cracking department.
I confess, the recipe is not a Gluten Free Alchemist one, but is adapted from a non-espresso version that I was given by Adriana Rabinovich when I attended a gluten free baking course of hers a couple of years back. In turn, the sheet she gave me with the recipe, references ‘101Cookbooks.com’, so I guess it probably has a long history before it reached my greedy kitchen.
If you haven’t been on a course by Adriana and you need some tips and tricks for gluten free baking, then I would wholeheartedly recommend attending one. Although we didn’t make the ‘Puddles’ on the course, she served them to us with coffee at break and with just one bite, I was addicted and demanding the recipe.
Having made them many times, I think that they do require a little experience to get baked to perfection…. Baked too long they will be overly-crisp and crunchy… If you bake them too little, they are too soft and will fall apart on lifting from the tray. Both ‘mistakes’ are still equally yummy, but are not the intended result.
Cooked precisely, they should be a little crisp on the outside with a soft, chewy, slightly gooey interior, that sends you into the sort of blissful enjoyment that you never want interrupted. The darkness of the chocolate should fill your nose with a pungent aroma and the flavour should be deep and rich from the cocoa, with a hint of espresso bitterness as it spreads across your taste buds.
Believe me, it is worth working on perfection! You just need to know your oven and keep a check on them…
Tempted? You should be… These Chocolate-Espresso Puddles are sublime and ridiculously moreish, but because I am so generous, I am also sending a batch over to the following linkies… (well it would be selfish not to share… wouldn’t it?!)
Chocolate-Espresso Puddles (adapted from a recipe from Adriana Rabinovich) – Makes about 25 to 30 cookies)
10g instant espresso powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 175 C/325 F/Gas 3 and base-line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
- Place the ground walnuts, icing sugar, cocoa, espresso powder and salt into a bowl/airtight container and mix/shake together until well-blended.
- Place the egg whites into a separate large bowl and whisk lightly until slightly frothy.
- Add the dry ingredients and the vanilla to the egg whites and beat together with a wooden/silicon spoon until the mixture comes together evenly.
- Leaving plenty of space between each for spreading, place spoonfuls of the cookie batter onto the baking trays.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies should look glossy and slightly cracked on the top when done.
- Remove from the oven when baked. As they start to cool, gently lift the bases from the baking paper. If they are difficult to remove, pop them back in the oven to cook for a little longer. (You want to get the baking just right… If you over-bake them they will be too crisp. A perfectly-baked puddle should be crisp on the outside with a fudgy middle).