Reese’s peanut butter cup (gluten free) brownies, with lots of flaky salt, for Rob’s birthday – presented to you with a big ol’ virtual hug. Hope you’re all holding up OK in this crazy, crazy time? It’s become a bit of a birthday tradition for me to bake Rob brownies (ok this is only the second year of 8, but you know – I’m starting one) and this batch was very well received. Gluten free, so I could enjoy too, obviously, we ate them below colourful bunting while FaceTiming/Zooming/House Partying’ friends and family, watching too many episodes of Ozark, reading in the garden and trying to make the weekend as normal as possible.
Whether it’s a housemate’s birthday, a random Tuesday, or a gift for (an immediate) neighbour #stayhome, I think brownies of any kind are a wonderful way to say I love you/you’re amazing/thank you so much/enter phrase of choice here. This recipe is decadent and delicious and results in a rich chocolate brownie with fudgy-on-the-inside texture and a crunchy, crackly top. A few simple tricks such as whisking eggs and sugar together makes them extra gooey and special and I hope they bring you and others as much joy as they bring us. To note – I usually don’t like brownies, because they’re always ever the only gluten free thing in a cafe and just meh you know. But these, I’ll go for. Breakfast, lunch and dinner right now (with some green things in between).
More important note: without the Reese’s peanut butter cups (Rob’s choice) this brownie recipe is low FODMAP. Although they haven’t been certified either way, it’s highly unlikely Reese’s peanut butter cups are low FODMAP because of their high milk content so worth noting if you’re on the elimination phase and needing to be more strict. Instead you could swap the peanut butter cups for another 100g dark chocolate.
If peanut butter cups aren’t your thing, try walnuts, milk chocolate, sour cherries and marzipan i.e Rob’s birthday brownies last year – just be mindful of FODMAP quantities if you need to be.
185g unsalted butter, cut into slices
185g dark chocolate
80g gluten free plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs
200g golden caster sugar
150g Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped into quarters
1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
Preheat your oven to 180C, 160C fan, gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin. Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water. Break 185g of your dark chocolate into the bowl, then add the butter and allow them to melt together, stirring every so often. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside to cool.
Sieve together the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and stir through the salt. Break the eggs into another large bowl and add in the caster sugar. Whisk the eggs and sugar together, with a hand held or (ideally) an electric mixer until they look thick and creamy, are pale and have doubled in volume. This can take anywhere from 3-8 minutes, depending on what mixer you’re using. If you remove your whisk/beaters and wiggle them from side to side, the mixture that runs off should leave a trail on the surface of the mixture in the bowl for a second or two.
Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the egg and sugar mixture, then gently fold together with a metal spoon or rubber spatula. You want to keep as much air in the mixture as you can, so go easy. Do the same with the flour and cocoa powder mixture, folding it in carefully. Finally, stir through the peanut butter cup pieces. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and level out the top with your spoon or spatula.
Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the brownies have a crackly top and just a slight wobble in the middle. Let the brownies cool completely in the tin before removing and cutting into squares. I like to add a final sprinkle of flaky salt too. They’ll keep in an airtight container for a week and in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to a month.