Give 'em a try

These brownies.
I didn't have much hope for them. Sort of like the boy I sat next to in third grade. Every time it was his turn to be "up" during kickball I had this sinking feeling that an epic fail was about to occur.

Instead of glasses and a runny nose, there is tofu and a gluten free flour blend. I decided, much like the boy in grade 3, that I would politely give them a try. How bad could it be?

I loved these. Like really, loved them. They are rich and fudgy and don't taste like they might be made from things that are good for you. They are eggless and gluten free and can be made with vegan margarine if that is your thing. I added cinnamon, almond extract, and a chopped dark chocolate bar that had a punch of chili. Feel free to add what makes you happy, chopped nuts (which I find blasphemous), chocolate chips, peanut butter etc.

Oh and that boy? While I didn't fall in love with him, we became great friends.

Chocolate and Chili Brownies
adapted from here
1/2 cup butter or vegan margarine melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
7 ounces of silken tofu pureed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of gluten free flour
3 ounce bar of dark chocolate with chili such as Theo or Lindt

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl combine the butter and cocoa powder. Stir them together well and let them sit for about 3 minutes. See note below.
Add the sugar, pureed tofu, and extracts and blend well. Next add the salt, cinnamon and flour and stir until everything is incorporated. Add the chopped chocolate and then spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

*Allowing the cocoa to "bloom" in the melted butter amps up the cocoa flavor. Cocoa powder contains solid particles of fat and protein that have flavor molecules trapped inside. The warm liquid (whether water, milk, or butter) bursts the molecules and increases the flavor of the cocoa.
*The batter will not be like traditional brownie batter. It is thicker, about the consistency of peanut butter, and will need to be evenly spread in the pan.
*The brownies will still look wet at 25 minutes but baking them longer will only dry them out. Take them out of the oven at 25 minutes and resist the temptation to cut into them until they are cool.
*I find it better to store them in the refrigerator.

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