I am not much of a Valentines person. I have nothing against the holiday, or the people who celebrate it, but after the excitement of childhood classroom Valentines exchanges, I have never enjoyed it as an adult. I have seen some absolutely amazing Valentines recipes around the blog world in the last couple of weeks, and I also knew that my coworkers would never let me forget it if I failed to bring in something for the holiday. Since my presentation still is rustic (to put it nicely) I decided to focus on Valentines flavor instead of any kind of decorations.
Strawberries and chocolate together scream Valentines day. I decided on brownies because they work really well gluten free, and I really didn’t want them sitting at my desk all day without being able to eat them! These are fantastic brownies, with a deep chocolate flavor, fudgy in the middle, and the chewy crackle on top that I haven’t been able to achieve in a brownie up to this point.
I adapted these from a regular recipe, and as with all brownies, the small amount of flour makes them work just as well without gluten. If you want them to be standard brownies, just replace the gluten free flours with 1/2 cup all purpose flour.
I used strawberry jam because I had it on hand, but if you have another frosting recipe that you are comfortable with, by all means, use it! If you do use the jam, you may want to add some food coloring to make it a more vibrant pink. I didn’t because I don’t really like using food coloring, so the frosting is not a very pretty pink.
Gluten Free Cocoa Brownies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 8×8 pan
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/8 cup sweet rice flour
1/8 cup potato starch
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a double boiler. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
1/2 stick butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup strawberry jam or jelly
In a medium bowl beat the butter with a hand mixer, gradually add in powdered sugar. Mix in strawberry jam or jelly until well combined. Moisture levels may very with the strawberry jam, so adjust with more or less powdered sugar as needed.