These brownies turned out too beautifully not to deserve their own write-up. They rose gloriously, their texture was light and airy, they just were not and never could be fudge-y brownies, and side by side against those decadent morsels they didn’t stand a chance, at least not for this chocoholic. However, as time went on and I found myself creeping into the kitchen to take “just a taste” of a brownie before breakfast, in the middle of the afternoon, or as a pre-bed snack, these increasingly became the brownies that I reached for. Maybe because they were a little less decadent and I felt a little less guilty about eating them, or maybe just because I swear every day these get a little bit better.

Using my earlier criteria for brownie judging, in my book these brownies would score a 7 on taste (they weren’t rich enough), an 8 on texture (I think I slighly overbaked them, making them a little dry), a 9 on appearance and a 9 on cut-ability. They were also definitely better on the second day. But, really, the most important thing to mention here is that you would never guess these were gluten-free, which is more of an accomplishment when you are going for cake-like brownies than when you are striving for fudge-y ones.

Also, if you are a cake-like brownie lover, I would love to hear about your favorite recipes, or even just what makes a perfect cake-like brownie – is it the airiness? Or the subtler chocolate flavors? Is it the texture? Or the fact that you don’t feel sick afterwards from the extreme richness of the fudge variety?

Cake-Like Brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup teff flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line an 8 inch square pan with foil. Grease the foil with cooking spray or butter.
3. In a small bowl combine flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.
4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir over very low heat until the chocolate is melted.
5. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.
6. Mix in the sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
7. Add the vanilla and mix.
8. Stir in the flour mixture and nuts if using.
9. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

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