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  • I'm Kristen, a clumsy but determined home cook and crafter living in the Boston area with my husband, B, and I have an interest in all things food and craft.

    This blog was created to keep track of my various projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity.



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Gluten Free, Sugar Free Fudgy Brownies

I’ve been trying to make a great gluten and sugar free brownie for at least two years, and nothing that I’ve tried has been anywhere near successful … until now. Texture, texture, texture. That’s always been my problem in the past. Pasty, leaden brownies are just not good and, unfortunately, I’ve had to toss a few pans of them because they were simply inedible. I really hate wasting food.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with an ingredient called inulin, which has been incredibly helpful in giving my baked goods a texture more along the lines of something made with sugar. Inulin is one of the key ingredients in this brownie recipe.

So, what in the world is inulin*? It’s a subtly sweet fiber (about 1/10th as sweet as sugar) that can be used to replace sugar, fat, and flour in recipes, and has been shown to help the body absorb calcium and possibly magnesium. Inulin is also sometimes referred to as a prebiotic, which means that it helps promote the growth of intestinal bacteria (the good kind). So, it’s both helpful and healthful! I purchase my inulin at Whole Foods, where it can be found in the aisle with all of the sweeteners. It’s rather pricey, but it’s been more than worth it to me to get back some of the fudgy, chewy, gooey texture that is lost when I bake with my regular sugar replacements.

Okay, so these brownies are magnificent. I love them, and I don’t think that it would be an understatement for me to say that I love, love them. This is the texture that I’ve been after for so long — oh so fudgy. I think I may have even teared up a little when I tried the first one because it made me that happy. And I topped them off with a bit of flaky sea salt, which made for a fantastic, salty-sweet experience.

* If you have a sensitivity to fiber or have gastrointestinal issues with high fiber intake, please watch it with the inulin. I’ve read that it can have some pretty unpleasant side effects. Thankfully, I don’t seem to have any issues with it, though I do try to use it as sparingly as possible in recipes, just in case.

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Fudgy Brownies
makes approximately 12 brownies

Notes: I used Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Chocolate and Coarse French Grey Sea Salt in this recipe, and if you’re not sugar free, then you should be able to replace the inulin, stevia, xylitol combination with 1 1/4 cups of sugar.

Ingredients

1 stick butter, unsalted
1/2 cup inulin
1/2 tsp. liquid stevia
3/4 cup xylitol
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1 Tbsp. coconut flour
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 tsp. flaky sea salt (optional)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with oven parchment, allowing the paper to hang a couple of inches over two opposite sides.

2. In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, salt, and xanthan gum. Set aside.

3. Thoroughly mix the inulin and xylitol in a medium heatproof bowl (to prevent the inulin from lumping later on). Add the butter, stevia, unsweetened chocolate, and cocoa and set the bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate are melted and the mixture is smooth and fairly warm. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and stir in the vanilla.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture, and stir in quickly. When the eggs are well incorporated, add the flour mixture and stir until you can no longer see any bits of flour anywhere. Stir in the nuts (optional), spread evenly in the prepared pan, and sprinkle flaky salt on top (optional).

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out slightly moist with the brownie batter. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack.

6. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the overhanging parchment ends, and cut into approximately 12 squares on a cutting board or other safe, flat surface.

Posted in Alternatively Sweetened, Desserts, Favorites, Food, Gluten Free | 10 Comments »

10 Responses

  1. Jeanine says:

    Wow! Those brownies look fantastic! And to think…sugar free too. You’ve done something very amazing here. :)



  2. Kristen says:

    Thanks, Jeanine! This was one of those rare times that the stars aligned just perfectly, I think! So very happy about this one.



  3. Hannah says:

    Fascinating! I’ve never worked with xylitol before, but I’m also intrigued by the wide range of alternative sweeteners out there. At the very least, it seems like it can make some pretty darned amazing brownies- those look delicious!



  4. Premier says:

    Fascinating! I’ve never worked with xylitol before, but I’m also intrigued by the wide range of alternative sweeteners out there. At the very least, it seems like it can make some pretty darned amazing brownies- those look delicious!
    +1



  5. Sophie says:

    Waw!! I just made these tasty brownies & they were a real treat!! Thanks so much for these great & grand lovely recipes!!

    You rock!!



  6. Judith says:

    Hi Kristen,
    Thank you so much for posting all your wonderful gluten-free, sugar-free recipes, experiments and endeavours.
    I enjoy baking and recently started seeing a great guy who has to stick to a sugar-free, gluten-free diet for health reasons. He loves sweet things and cakes though so I’ve been looking for various desserts I can make for him.
    You’re fantastic!
    Much appreciated,
    Judith



  7. Kristen says:

    Thanks, Judith! I hope your guy enjoys the recipes. :)



  8. Rhoda says:

    I am new to the whole gluten sugar free diet. I am wondering if I can replace inulin with something else. I am not familiar with inulin. I can have stevia in my diet and xylitol.



  9. Ivonne Carlo says:

    Hi, I was wondering if I could use any inulin (like the NOW brand of inulin in the recipe instead of the blue agave one? These recipes look amazing! I’m glad I found your blog. Cheers!



  10. Kristen says:

    Ivonne – Any type of inulin should work!



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