Gluten-free brownies and a chocolate giveaway

loads of gluten free brownies with chai spices

I first tried the gorgeous travel-inspired chocolates of Cocoa Hernando at a Blogger’s Food Fest last year… I was intrigued by the Masala Chai-spiced chocolate (regular readers will know that I am addicted to Masala Chai – a kind of spiced tea which is hugely popular in India and elsewhere), and it was the first packet I reached for on my journey home. I was so impressed – the smooth and sweet milk chocolate is a perfect partner for the warming chai spices (which generally include cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper, but there are lots of regional variations).

Masala chai chocolate from Cocoa Hernando

As soon as I got home, I got in touch with Paul, who owns Cocoa Hernando, to ask for more samples (never miss a trick me!) to use in a recipe, and maybe a box for a giveaway. A year later, after Paul has been off on his travels (to get more chocolate inspiration I am sure – check out his Instagram account for fabulous pics), we’ve finally achieved our plan.

Chocolates from Cocoa Hernando

First up, here’s my recipe… after dithering about maybe ice-cream, or a spiced chocolate loaf cake, I settled on brownies, because I felt the richness of a brownie would carry the spice flavours really well… and they certainly do.

Chai-spiced gluten-free brownies

  • Servings: 9-16 pieces
  • Print

Recipe Notes

Even if you can’t get hold of some of the beautiful Cocoa Hernando chocolates (but do!), you can still add the spices to your brownie mix and include milk chocolate buttons, chunks or a broken up bar of milk chocolate. Feel free to vary the spice mix – ginger, nutmeg, star anise, coriander, chilli and allspice are all possibilities. But keep the quantities small, you can always add more next time round! This recipe is based on David Lebovitz’s, with a couple of tweaks. It is a great recipe and a great blog – I urge you go check it out.

Ingredients

  • 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into very small pieces
  • 85g salted butter
  • 130g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 30g cornflour (I know – it doesn’t seem much, but that really says thirty)
  • A small pinch each of cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger and ground cardamom and a twist of black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp milk, if needed
  • 70g Masala chai spiced chocolate disks from Cocoa Hernando, broken up into thumbnail-sized pieces

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 9in square baking tin (you could use an 8in tin, but you will probably need about 5 minutes more cooking time) with baking parchment.
  • Measure the dark chocolate and butter into a small saucepan. Put on the lowest possible heat, and melt, stirring gently all the time. If it is hard for you to get a low heat on your stove, then use a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Take off the heat as soon as the mixture is smooth.
  • Leave the melted chocolate mixture for a moment or two to cool – and whilst you are waiting, sieve the cornflour and cocoa into a medium bowl. Stir the spices into this mix.
  • Stir the sugar into the melted chocolate mixture. Then stir in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add the cornflour/cocoa/spice mix, stir gently at first, then beat vigorously for at least one minute until the mixture is very smooth. Brownie batter needs to be thick like treacle or a thick milkshake, but not so thick that it is difficult to beat at this stage. Feel free to add a tablespoon or 2 of milk if the mixture feels a bit too thick.
  • Pour about 1/3 of the mixture into the tin and then scatter on 1/3 of the Masala Chai-spiced chocolate pieces. Then add a third more mix (it won’t really cover the first layer, but that doesn’t matter), and a third more of the chocolate pieces. Then repeat, finishing with the chocolate pieces on the top.
  • Pop into the oven to bake, and set a timer to check after 20 minutes. Brownies should be just barely set in the middle of the baking tin when they are ready to come out of the oven. If the mix is still wet in the centre, bake for another couple of mins then check again. And remember – it’s always better to undercook rather than overcook a brownie, so if in doubt, take it out!
  • Leave to cool in the tin for half an hour or so, and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • These brownies are very rich, so I generally cut into 16 pieces (and then eat two 😉 ) – but I leave that decision to you!

a pile of gluten free brownies

Bespoke Chocolate Giveaway!

Personalised bespoke box chocolates from Cocoa Hernando

I have chocolate for you…

good luck logo

Here’s lots more Very Berry recipes!

33 thoughts on “Gluten-free brownies and a chocolate giveaway

  1. Snap, I love Masla ChaiTea too, great to find another fan. Your brownies recipe sounds delicious!
    My absolute fav chocolate has always been – Fry’s Chocolate Cream! But I also loved Fry’s Fruit Cream – which I don’t think they make any more; and Milky Bar.

    Oh yes, I share Jo’s way of eating a crunchie! And I’ve just remembered how I used to cut up a Milky Way in tiny pieces to eat it really slowly!!!!!!
    Just looked at the Hernando website …. such amazing flavours!

    A great Giveaway, Ali!

    Barbara xx

  2. I’m now following them on Twitter and I’ve liked the page on Facebook but for some reason it won’t let me follow, the following button is missing. Going to follow on Instagram too

  3. Your brownies look so good! It is great giveaway – thank you! My favourite chocolate was Galaxy.

  4. I loved a crunchie bar and had (and still do)a certain way to eat it , I could only eat it at home as I’m sure I’d get some strange looks by nibbling off the outside then the top and bottom and saving the honeycomb till last

  5. I have a gluten-free friend and I am looking forward to baking your brownies for her – they look and sound delicious.

    As for childhood sweets…I loved Caramac and cola Spangles!

  6. Omg! You brought me back years of memories. I am sure that you will not know main sweets I ate when I was a kid, because I grew up in Latvia and moved to UK later. My grandma always bought me a a bar named “Fregata” and “Bingo” and some other bars, but those I don’t remember, so they don’t count, they don’t do these anymore, but for a long time it was a very special thing. When I was in school, I was eating “Laima” milk chocolate with rice, which was amazing, it wasn’t really as milky as Cadbury’s or other ones that I know, but it was really good. Later I had a crush on the Red Bontey and Kinder Bueno (still have a crush on this one) and yes, my favourite sweets now are peanut Halva and milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts.

    I’m sorry for such a big comment, but… aaaaaaah, you brought so many memories back, thank you! 🙂 Your browies look really tasty and soft! That is my boyfriends favourite treat. We are not gluten intolerant, so it is a lot easier to enjoy all the treats in the world! 🙂

  7. It has to be Picnic for me, still enjoy occasionally although prefer dark chocolate now. I’m going to try your recipie, it sounds great and think the Cocoa Hernando range looks very tasty too.

  8. Your brownie looks delicious and what a wonderful giveaway! I’m not really sure what my favourite chocolate bar was when I was a child, I think I liked lots without having one stand out favourite. I do think back very nostalgically on Lion Bars – not sure whether that’s mainly because they no longer exist though!

  9. Oh those brownies look divine! The chocolate which was always a favourite for me was Dairy milk..then galaxy bars.
    Will be checking out the above very soon .

  10. Ooh, Paul’s chocolate sounds absolutely divine! As a child my favourites were Munchies but they were a very rare treat.

  11. Hi Ali. Lovely giveaway, as I am addicted to chocolate. My favourite chocolates as a kid was one called Sensação and another one called Sonho de Valsa, back in my country. I still love them, but can’t find here. One similar to the first, here in UK, is Bounty.

  12. This recipe looks fabulous and I would love to give it a try. As a child I used to love Frys Turkish Delight bars! Perfumed chocolate at its best! Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. Oh, always love discovering a new chocolatier, and cocoa Hernando has some amazing sounding flavours. I grew up in Australia, so some of our chocolates were different, but while I loved the Old Jamaica (and how terribly sophisticated a flavour for a young girl!), my real favourite was the dark mint flavoured chocolate, a combination I love to this day!

  14. Ooo I’ve just looked on their website, the raspberry sounds lovely. I liked toffee crisps when I was little.

  15. Curley wurley (and still is, but I’m sure they have shrunk 🤔). Looks by forward to trying out the brownie recipe, thank you.

  16. I loved Cadbury’s Bar Six. They were similar to Chunky Kit Kat but better. My mother’s friend worked for Cadbury’s and bought chocolates and biscuits in their rejects shop every week. We sometimes got a huge bag of Bar Six. Lovely.

  17. This is a fab giveaway, how wonderful to get the opportunity to try new chocolate. My favourite as a child was and still is Fry’s Chocolate Cream, also Fry’s Turkish Delight. Thanks for the brownie recipe too, I love a gooey brownie. x

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