Wednesday 30 November 2011

GF Donna Hay Brownies

In this day and age, it is useful to have an simple, foolproof, gluten free cake that will wow and amaze.  For those of you still struggling for ideas, may I suggest this brownie?  It works for me.  It is fudgy, intense and melts in the mouth.

I don't take credit for it.  It was Donna Hay's recipe and mum was clever enough to substitute GF flour (Orgran) for the regular flour.  Since my sister and niece were diagnosed as celiacs, my mum has been great at experimenting with gluten free baking.  She has found that you can't always just substitute gf flour for regular wheat flour.  It works sometimes.  Especially when there is very little flour in a recipe.  Such as brownies.

Donna Hay calls these standby brownies.  The ingredients are pantry staples.  I have seen cocoa brownies on blogs quite a few times but never tried them until now.  They are brilliant.  So soft.  So rich.  So delicious.  I was so impressed with them when my mum made them at a family dinner, I had to get the recipe. 

I first baked them for afternoon tea at a work meeting.  I baked them early in the morning.  Sylvia was fascinated by them as I cut them up before heading to work.  So interested in them that she nibbled on the small piece I gave her to taste and then lay on it as she reached across to take another piece.  Could that count as evidence that they make you crazy with desire?

I made the recipe again on the weekend for the cake stall at the weekend fete.  I wanted something easy, impressive and suitable for restricted diets.  Most of them sold, and I was a little relieved to have a few leftover that I could take home.  I have a feeling that these brownies will become a favourite GF recipe.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: On the way to make burgers I discovered a mash!
This time two years ago: Mexican Lasagne and our Jetset Baby
This time three years ago: Leftover Cream and Paprikash

GF Standby Brownies
slightly adapted from Donna Hay
Make 16-25 depending on how small you cut them

150g butter
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
3/4 cup (75g) cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 cup (75g) gluten free plain flour (or regular wheat flour)

Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).  Melt butter with sugar and cocoa together over a low heat or in a microwave (I did the later).  Mix in vanilla and eggs, whisking well.  Add in flour and stir well.  Spoon into a lined 20cm cake tin.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until centre is just set.  Cool in the tin.  Dust with icing sugar if desired.  Cut into squares to serve.

On the Stereo:
We bring you a king with a head of gold: Dark Britannica II - Various Artists


  1. These look delicious and perfect for me. I like how they have come out so nice and even, mine often sink in the middle. Looks fab

  2. I have virtually no experience with GF baking, so I am definitely tucking these away as a stand by. You have also reminded me that I need to experiment more...with the apparent increase in gluten avoidance I'm sure it's only a matter of time before someone I know cuts it out.

  3. Lovely. Always good to have a stand by recipe that you know is going to wow- plus be diet friendly for certain people. Yum!

  4. These look great! It's interesting that you say that GF flour doesn't always work in a straight substituion from wheat flour - I had wrongly assumed it would, so that's a good tip. I will stick with proper GF recipes when baking for GF friends in that case.

  5. I'll be interested to compare this recipe with my family's standard brownie mix, which is also cocoa-based and I used to make so often as a teenager that I knew it by heart. We use gluten-free flour with it too.... shall try and remember to check tomorrow!

  6. I didn't know you have celiacs in your family! My parents have both switched to gf a couple of months ago, and it helps with my dad's severe bowel issues. I'm going to send this recipe to my mom because she likes to bake and now looks for gf recipes. Thank you for sharing! :)

  7. It's rare to see such fudgy gluten-free goodies! These look awesome!

  8. I don't have many GF sweet cakey recipes to hand, so this is appreciated and bookmarked for the day I need to make them. I love how you've sliced them too, incy wincy bites.

  9. They look perfect - fudgy and moist, but not wet. I'm not a fan of all the wet brownies you see around. Good to have an adaptable GF recipe!

  10. These look like such perfect fudgey brownies!

  11. Only six ingredients! Fantastic! I'd like to help you clean that knife in the second picture... yum!

  12. Haha Sylvia is so cute leaning on them while reaching for another! I love a good gluten free brownie! :D

  13. It is very tempting recipe! I love chocolate! Photos from the Rose-class!!!

  14. Thanks Katie - it does hold its shape well - good for impressing people who don't understand that slumping in the middle is often the sign of delicious gooiness

    Thanks Kari - I have a few people around me who don't eat gluten - and gf baking is quite tricky but there are some great recipes around

    Thanks Brydie - I love donna hay's name standby brownies - because it sounds like they are just waiting in the pantry for the right moment

    Thanks Cakelaw - that is the experience that my mum and I found - gf flour will work as a substitute in most recipes but it works much better in some than others

    Thanks Hannah - would be interested to hear how it compares - I have also tried regular brownies and substituted chickpea flour which worked very well - I think brownies are one of the easiest gf bakes because they don't need much structure

    Thanks Kath - hope your parents enjoy it - GF baking is a challenge but gets easier - I don't do it regularly because I don't need to but occasionally I do it for family and friends and it does make life easier to understand it a bit more - will put a link on this post to my GF post

    Thanks Joanne - fudgy brownies are a wonderful thing aren't they!

    Thanks Shaheen - hope this hold you in good stead when you need it - they are quite rich so small bites are enough - though I cut them a bit bigger for the fete because I didn't want to look stingy

    Thanks C - I've made some brownies that are a bit moist which seems to happen when there is less butter and chocolate - these are quite soft - probably due to no chocolate but they are soft in a really good way

    Thanks Ashley - indeed

    Thanks Sumaiyyah - the short ingredient list also makes them easy - esp compared to a lot of gf baking - sorry not to share the knife - it was all mine :-)

    Thanks Lorraine - it would have been cuter if I didn't have to wash her top :-)

    Thanks Elyk - if you love chocolate you will love this recipe

  15. Those do sound just crazy easy! And they look lovely. Nothing like a standby brownie to save the day! :)

  16. These brownies rock! I made them & everyone loved them!
    MMMMMMM,..;thanks again! Success indeed! :)

  17. Oh this DOES look great! Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely be making these (I do love a Donna Hay recipe!!).

  18. I have made these many times for my niece and Nephew and brother in law who are all celiacs. They always turn out lovely and it’s nice for them to enjoy a sweet treat. I actually make a chocolate icing with pure icing sugar not icing mixture as that isn’t gluten free and it makes them extra fudgy and yummy!

    1. Thanks anon - chocolate icing sounds great - I usually buy the icing sugar mix but I buy the one that I know is GF.


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