5 ounces Belgian dark chocolate (I used Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup butter or vegan margarine such as Smart Balance
2 organic happy free-range eggs
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 rounded cup almonds, processed into a fine meal
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup extra semi-sweet chocolate chips for the top, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with foil and lightly oil the bottom.
Using the microwave, melt the dark chocolate and butter in a large (microwave safe) measuring cup. Stir together to combine. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs on medium high till frothy. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg-sugar mixture a little at a time - incorporate it slowly- and beat well for a good minute. The chocolate will look smooth and glossy.
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond meal, rice flour, fine sea salt and baking soda; whisk together. Add the dry flour mix into the chocolate mixture and beat well for a minute. Add the vanilla, beat another half a minute or so. You now have your brownie batter. If you are adding nuts, stir in the nuts by hand and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan [this brownie batter is much thinner than any brownie mix batter I've tried- don't worry, it's going to be wonderful]. Shake the pan a little bit to even out the batter.
Layer the semi-sweet chips all over the top of the batter and press them in slightly, if adding. Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 33 to 35 minutes, or until the brownies are set. Don't overcook. (Err on the side of gooey, if you must- that's what I do; I find gluten-free brownies taste better slightly undercooked and soft in the middle than over-cooked and crumbly.)
Cool on a wire rack; and remove the brownies from the pan by gripping the foil edges. Chill before cutting. We saved out two squares, and wrapped the rest for freezing. These brownies were outstanding slightly chilled. Intense, chocolaty and tender. This is a fabulous recipe. And I have to Clare to thank for it.
Makes 9-12 servings (we cut nine medium squares).