I've been playing around quite a bit with a brownie recipe that I found online recently, as I pointed out in our last post about brownies. The recipe is credited to Katherine Hepburn, who is perhaps one of the most prolific movie stars of all time. Well, was one of the most prolific movie stars of all time. She passed away about ten years ago at the impressive age of 96. She won four academy awards for best actress (a record that is still unbroken), and probably led the way for the 'modern woman' by way of being a strong and independent individual who dominated the public spotlight without conforming to the Hollywood standard for how a lady should act while simultaneously retaining her femininity. Surely you must have heard of her, and even more likely you've seen her in one of her many roles. So, what does this all have to do with brownies?
Absolutely nothing. I liked the framework of the recipe because it uses simple, whole ingredients for the most part. Real chocolate, butter, eggs, and not much else aside from sweetener. The sweetener doesn't have to be processed sugar, as I established in my Jaggery Brownie experiments, and even the flour isn't a necessary component of the recipe. You'll need some sort of flour-like substance, but given how little of the body of these brownies depend on the actual flour (1/4 cup for the whole recipe), the door is really opened for trying substitutions.
The substitutions that I made use of this time were of a granulated unrefined sugar (sucanat) for the prescribed sugar, and coconut "flour" and cocoa powder to replace the wheat flour. This would also make the brownies free from gluten, which isn't an enormous concern of mine but is a very trendy food component to avoid these days as well as being an actual dietary concern for a small portion of the population. More appealing to myself is the reduction or elimination of processed flour from our food. I've been doing most of my roux with fresh spelt flour, which has a nice body and good flavor for that, but I didn't want any of that flavor to come out in these brownies. I do use the term "coconut flour" rather loosely, as aside from being a fairly dry powder it does not perform admirably in any other format that I have tried it in thus far (thickening sauces, creating a roux, etc..) I had heard that it was pretty decent for baking some quickbreads that don't need much body, so it seemed like a good choice here.
So, gather up your ingredients. The sucanat was a first for me. It's not crystallized, but rather coarsely ground:
|Much drier than jaggery, but still with a strong flavor of molasses.|
|If I had a personal logo, this might be it.|
|Approaching the boundaries of food porn...I love it.|
|Ingredient megaphoto...because I wasted all of that space earlier on egg pictures.|
|It's brilliant, really...more chocolate!|
|It's not completely melted yet if there's a chocolate island in your pan.|
|Milk is a natural addition to this party.|
- 1 cup Sucanat
- 2 eggs
- 8 ounces of butter
- 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut flour flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (fine dry)
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- Melt chocolate and butter in saucepan that is large enough for all ingredients. Remove from heat.
- Combine eggs, jaggery, and vanilla. Temper and then incorporate into the chocolate and butter pan. Whisk in the coconut flour and salt. Stir thoroughly to combine all ingredients.
- Pour into a buttered and cocoa-ed 8" x 8" baking dish and bake at 325F for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.