For my contribution this month, I figured I’d share one of my favorite go-to brownie recipes, and introduce its secret ingredient – roasted chickpea flour.
Roasted chickpea flour is orders of magnitude different than plain chickpea flour as it comes from the bag. Roasting the garbanzo flour gives it a nice deep rich nutty flavor, and takes the edge off that greenish bean-y kind of taste that unroasted chickpea flour has on its own.
You can find roasted chickpea flour in most middle eastern markets, but you can also just roast your own at home if there isn’t a good source in your area. It’s pretty easy, but somewhat time consuming.
RECIPE: ROASTED CHICKPEA FLOUR
- Large cast iron frying pan
- Whisk or large fork for stirring flour
- Set oven temp to 325 f. Fill cast iron frying pan with about 1 inch of chickpea flour, as you prefer. Put in oven, set timer for 15 minutes.
- When timer goes off, take pan out and stir thoroughly to mix well.
- Put back in the oven, set timer again for 15 minutes, and repeat. I usually have to go through about 5 cycles when I’m using my largest (12″) cast iron pan, but your mileage may vary – you can see the flour getting darker with each step, and you can take a small pinch to do a taste test. If it tastes nicely roasted to you, then it’s done. If it seems a little raw, or you like a bolder roast, do another round.
- When you’ve finished your last 15 minute cycle, just do a final stir and let cool in the pan. Once it’s totally cooled, you can pack it in an airtight container. If I’m not planning on using my roasted garbanzo flour for a while, I usually store it in the freezer to keep it as flavorful as possible.
You can use roasted chickpea flour in lots of ways, and one of my favorites is in brownies. When I first started cooking without wheat flour, I found that brownies were the easiest recipe to adapt to all-purpose gluten-free flours. It seems like you can do pretty much any substitution and still come out with a very tasty product.
I like to challenge myself to try out every new kind of flour that I can find, just to see what happens, as I experiment over the years. These brownies are the latest incarnation of a recipe originally adapted from one I used for regular wheat based sweets. Roasted chickpea flour adds a nice deep, nutty flavor to the sweet chocolate brownie. In addition to being gluten free and nut free, this recipe is also dairy free.
RECIPE: GLUTEN, DAIRY & NUT-FREE BROWNIES w/ ROASTED CHICKPEA FLOUR
- 5 oz bittersweet (minimum 70% cacao) chocolate (if you really like dark chocolate flavor, use unsweetened chocolate – for hardcore chocoholics only!)
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil (I like olive oil, but whatever you like will work)
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (make sure it’s gluten free)
- ½ cup roasted chickpea flour
- ½ cup all-purpose gluten free flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Optional: 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, smashed into small chunks, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 f. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.
- Roughly break up the 5 oz. of chocolate and put in large bowl. Add the olive oil, and heat gently – either using a bain marie or in the microwave – until chocolate melts. I used a 1300 watt microwave at 70% power for 1 ½ minutes and that worked great, so adjust as needed. You want the chocolate thoroughly melted, but especially when using the microwave, make sure you stir it thoroughly and don’t overheat. It may still look solid, but there is enough residual heat in the oil to melt it all the way.
- To the oil and chocolate mixture, add the sugars and stir thoroughly. Now add the eggs, and vanilla, and mix until combined.
- Toss in both flours and the salt, and mix til there are no lumps. Do this by hand with a fork or whip if you want a light workout, or with a hand mixer for the sheer noisy power, whatever you prefer.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan, and top with the optional chocolate chunks if you are using them. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, depending upon your particular oven. In mine, with a glass pan, I find 22 minutes to be perfect.
Cool, cut and enjoy!