About a year ago I turned my eye to avocados. Up until this point, I never cared for the slimy green fruit. Nachos have always ranked high on my list of favourite junk foods, and while I enjoyed them ‘loaded,’ guacamole was never something I’d want along with them. To be perfectly honest, I still don’t like guacamole!
What finally turned me onto avocados was a salad my cousin had made. Cherry tomatoes, avocado, lime juice, olive oil, black pepper – that’s it. And wow, was it ever delicious. Since then I’ve made it every other week or so, only I make it with the delicious addition of mini bocconcini, fennel seeds, and balsamic vinegar. This salad is incredibly satisfying and I encourage you all to try it.
But the star of this post is not salad; it’s brownies. So let’s get to it. I recently got my hands on a cookbook on all-things avocado, and it’s become my favourite free goodie as of late. From breakfast to dessert, the book, ‘Absolutely Avocados’ by Gaby Dalkin, is a colourful page-turner of tantalizing avocado-based recipes. I’ve had to adapt some to make them gluten free, as this is not a g-free cookbook, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the end results.
I’ve altered Dalkin’s avocado brownies in a number of different ways, so I’m not going to post her recipe as it appears in the book. However, the book’s been a real asset in my kitchen, so I thought I would encourage you to check it out.
For the curious minds out there, what I did to alter the book’s recipe is as follows:
- Omit butter all together! It called for 4 tbsp, but I figured the avocado would add enough oiliness. (Mini story break! Back in my ‘I don’t do avocado’ years, I had a friend who once confessed she loved sitting back to relax after work with an avocado. ‘I just love its delicate oiliness,’ she said as if she were describing some heavenly decadent chocolaty guilty pleasure. ‘Delicate oiliness’ wasn’t appetizing to my pallet at the time, and while the phrase still doesn’t make me salivate, I’ll admit avocados do have that texture and, as such, worked fine as a replacement for butter all together. So there, Eileen. I’ve come over to the dark, err…green side.)
Back to my list…
- Replace ‘normal’ flour with my all purpose gluten free flour mix
- Cut the called-for 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup
- Omit espresso powder and vanilla extract in favour of mint extract …because there’s really nothing better than mint chocolate. (Except for peanut butter and chocolate, of course.)
If you’ve followed along this far, I assume you’re really here about that recipe I promised you from the get-go, and not for my musings on avocados. So here it is, at long last:
What you’ll need
- 1 Hass avocado
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
- ½ cup of chocolate chips (or more because….wait, because? They’re chocolate chips, dammit, ‘more doesn’t need any justification!)
- 2 tsp mint extract (or vanilla or almond or whatever other extract floats your boat)
What you have to do
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Spray 13 x 9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray, or grease with butter
- Mix ripe avocado in a mixer until it is well blended
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients
- Pour into baking dish and place in oven for about 30-35 minutes (depends on your oven, really)
- Set side, let cool, cut and enjoy!
I’ve made these several times for different guests and each time (unless my family and friends were lying out of kindness), the brownies have been a hit. What’s even more fun is watching their eyes widen after I tell them I purposefully left out the butter in favour of the ‘delicate oiliness’ of an avocado. But hey, it works. At least in this recipe.
Now if only I could find a guacamole I like.