Gluten-Free Meringue Brownies
Gluten-free recipe number two (see Gluten-Free Deluxe Chocolate Cake), this time using a plain flour substitute. The “Plain White Flour Blend” that I am using is a mixture of rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat flour and contains no gluten. The problem with this flour is that it is much more powdery and dry, making the final product more likely to have a strange, chalky texture. Let the journey into the unknown commence…
This recipe is a simple, stripped-down one that contains no fancy touches and no complex ingredients. It can be elaborated in a number of ways by adding nuts (almonds or pecans), spices (allspice or mixed spice) or dried fruits (cranberries, sultanas, glace cherries) into the meringue or the base, but I wanted to get back to basics for a change and keep it a pure indulgence.
The recipe makes about 28 intact brownies but I would suggest doing half the recipe; I needed to use up eight egg whites from Tour de Fruits et de la Crème hence the large volume.
Ingredients: (Ounce to Gram Conversion Chart)
8oz Plain White Flour Blend (Gluten-Free)
14oz Caster Sugar
½ tsp Salt
4oz Butter (soften in a microwave for 10-15 seconds, full-power)
2tbsps Golden Syrup
2tbsps Milk (I used Semi-Skimmed)
8 Eggs (just the egg whites needed)
3tbsps Cocoa Powder
2oz Dark Chocolate (break into small pieces)
Into a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour, 4oz of the caster sugar and the salt. Whisk together to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cut the butter into small cubes and then rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips until fine “breadcrumbs” are left (see Mincemeat and Apple Pie, Almond Tart etc.).
In a small bowl mix together the golden syrup, milk and water and then add to the breadcrumbs. Stir together with a spoon and then bring together into a paste with your hand. Wrap the paste in Clingfilm and then chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
Line whatever tins you want to use with grease-proof paper. I had a 18cm (7 inches) square tin and two 18cm diameter round tins, lined the same way that a loaf tin and round cake tin are lined respectively (see Mama Molloy’s – The home of home-baking).
In a large glass bowl whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until soft peaks form (meringue holds its shape when you draw the whisk out). Note that whisking eight egg whites is a little unmanageable, so again, I would suggest doing half of this recipe.
Whisk in 5oz of caster sugar until the meringue is smooth and shiny (stiff peak stage). Add another 5oz of sugar and the cocoa powder and gently fold into the meringue mixture with a metal spoon until fully combined and the meringue is a uniform colour.
Pre-heat the oven to 120oC (250oF, Gas Mark ½).
Take the biscuit paste out of the fridge, split into three and press into each of the lined tins with your fingers. Get the paste as thin and as even as possible.
Top with the meringue, smooth off as best you can and bake for 50 minutes.
Turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool in the oven for at least 2 hours before taking out. Remove the cakes from the tins.
In a small glass bowl set over a small pan of water on a low heat, melt the chocolate. Drizzle over the cooled cakes to decorate. Allow to set, cut into squares and then eat.
If you’re not bothered about gluten-free, use normal plain flour and don’t bother with the golden syrup, milk or water and just bring the dough together by compressing it in your hands.
I intend for the next gluten-free recipe to not involve any chocolate as I am sure there are lots of sensible people out there who are gluten intolerant and not obsessed with chocolate (most likely not female then) so it’s only fair that I cater for these people too.