I originally posted this Gluten-Free Brownies recipe when we were just days away from the release of my very first ebook, Eat Cake Naked: aphrodisiac desserts to heat up your love life. My co-author, Delahna Flagg, and I felt the world was ready for a preview. We chose this chocolate chunk brownie recipe for its simplicity and the way it illustrated our point of view on what makes an aphrodisiac recipe. And in retrospect, I think it’s fair to say we were right, since this recipe has gone on to become one of this website’s most popular dessert recipes.
Eat Cake Naked is the first baking book dedicated to improving your romantic life. For this book, I not only looked at the history of aphrodisiacs. I enlisted a nutrition expert (Delahna) to write it with me.
What we’ve created is an entire menu of desserts that incorporate the latest superfoods known to ignite the flames of passion…and they’re not just desserts to find you romance. These are the kind of recipes you’ll want to reach for every time you make dessert. (I do!)
Delahna and I believe that we’ve really created a book of desserts that work for you but without sacrificing flavor. Still a skeptic. That’s why I’ve offered this teaser recipe for free. I truly believe that my chocolate chunk brownie recipe will make a believer of anyone who tries this simple, made-from-scratch brownie recipe.
How to make gluten-free brownies
Making a brownie gluten free is relatively simple. You don’t exactly make them flourless brownies, he way you would a flourless chocolate cake. What I did was to replace the white flour with chickpea flour, also called garbanzo bean flour. It is a nutrient-dense flour made from ground, dry chickpeas. You can make your own at home with a Vitamix blender or a grain mill. But I prefer to just buy the packaged Bob’s Red Mill organic garbanzo bean flour.
The ground chickpeas not only add great weight and texture to the batter but they bring a faint, earthy note that helps keep the brownies from becoming too sweet. Of course, that’s what they do to the flavor profile. From a health standpoint, they add protein and fiber where there would be none if you use bleached, white flour.
Why I call these my Love Slave Chocolate Chunk Brownies
In the cookbook, I call these my Love Slave brownies. That’s because you’re as good as guaranteed to make someone your love slave for a batch of these brownies. That’s because this brownie recipe is like no other. It calls for several out-of-the-ordinary ingredients beyond the chickpea flour. And, as you’ve probably guessed, they’re all aphrodisiac.
For starters, there’s tangy, dried cherries soaked in balsamic vinegar. The cherries help give the brownies moisture and an added chewy texture as well as their sweet tang. Then there’s the walnuts for crunch and to keep the brownies from tasting too sweet. Of course, walnuts are also among the world’s greatest aphrodisiacs. And do I even need to highlight the signature ingredient? Chocolate, as I’m sure you already know, is an aphrodisiac of ancient repute. But by using dark chocolate, this chocolate cherry brownies recipe increases the aphrodisiac benefits. That’s because the darker the chocolate, the greater the antioxidant content. You can learn more about all the health potential of dark chocolate in my dictionary of aphrodisiac foods.
To make gluten-free vegan brownies
One final note about this brownie recipe, it’s one that can easily be tailored to a plant-based lifestyle. The most important step is finding an outstanding vegan chocolate to use for the chocolate chunks. Once you have the right chocolate, just use a vegan butter substitute in place of the butter, use a plant-based egg substitute, or replace the eggs with silken tofu if you prefer. (One quarter cup of pureed tofu is equal to one egg.) Lastly, make sure that your sugar is vegan-friendly, (in other words, a sugar that isn’t processed with bone char).
- 1/2 cup dried dark cherries
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup high-fat cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup roasted walnuts chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup garbanzo flour chickpea flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 lg eggs
- 5 oz dark chocolate baking chunks substitute dark chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Roughly chop the dried cherries into halves or quarters. Put them in a small bowl and bathe them with the balsamic. Let them rest while you make the brownie batter.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until you have a smooth river of chocolate goodness.
Stir in the vanilla and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the walnuts, sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the chocolate mixture.
Crack the eggs one at a time into a separate bowl and add them to the brownie batter. Stir until just combined.
Strain the balsamic from the cherries then fold the cherries, along with the chocolate chunks, into the batter.
Pour the mixture into a greased 8-inch x 8-inch pan.* Note: the batter will be thick.
Bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is just set. Be careful not to overbake—these are ultra-ooey, gooey brownies.
10. To cut, dip your knife in hot water then cut through the brownies. This will help prevent sticking, as these brownies are super moist and luscious.
*If you’re planning to serve the brownies at a party, instead of greasing, line the pan with parchment, making sure to leave it hanging over two opposite sides, as though you’re making handles. (Because you are.) When the brownies have cooled, transfer the pan to the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove pan from the freezer and carefully lift the parchment like two handles and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. The time in the freezer will have helped the brownies firm up long enough for you to cut them neatly without totally freezing them.
Love the recipe? Get the whole cookbook! Eat Cake Naked is available for download from Amazon and all other major ebook retailers.
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