Gluten, dairy and nut free.
Looking back over my brownie recipes, I was surprised to see that I've never made a basic gluten and dairy free brownie. I've made one using coconut flour and oil but wanted a recipe just using the standard sort of baking ingredients which most cooks would have available. The only 'speciality' ingredient is a commercial gluten-free flour mix - I use Dove's Farm.
I decided on one of my favourite recipes, which uses oil instead of butter and substituted the gluten-free flour mix for the flour in the recipe. I would usually add a flavoured chocolate, or nuts to this recipe, but as I wanted to be sure it was allergen friendly, I stuck to adding more of the same 70% chocolate which I'd melted for the brownie batter - making sure it was dairy-free.
250g plain 70% chocolate
120ml sunflower oil
130g caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
105g plain gluten free flour
Pre-heat the oven to 180C, fan 160C and line a 20cm (8") square brownie pan with non-stick baking paper.
Melt 150g of the chocolate in a medium sized bowl, over a pan of simmering water. Chop the remaining 100g, as finely as you like, and set aside - I like to keep about half the chocolate in quite big pieces.
When the chocolate has melted remove from the heat and whisk in the oil.
Beat the eggs, both sugars and vanilla extract together, in a large bowl, until lighter in colour and increased in volume - depending on the power of your whisk this could take from 3 to 5 minutes.
Fold in the chocolate and oil mixture.
Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in, then fold in the chopped chocolate.
Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes - a test probe should still have a few damp crumbs sticking to it.
Cool completely before cutting into pieces of your chosen size.
I think my opinion about these brownies was influenced by the fact that I don't need to eat gluten or dairy free. I could definitely taste the difference between gluten-free flour and regular wheat flour - it wasn't unpleasant, just not as good - but if you've no choice, it's something you obviously learn to live with. (My gluten and dairy-free friend had no complaints!) My biggest gripe was that although the brownies looked moist and fudgy when freshly cut, they dried out around the edges after a couple of days. This obviously isn't a problem if they're eaten fresh, but not so good if you're expecting a batch to last a few days for a smaller family, or just one person in the household. They were actually better eaten warm, as a dessert, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream - not something I treat myself to very often!