Gluten Free Dessert – Chocolate Orange Brownie
Today my daughter claimed I do not make enough desserts and therefore requested a gluten free dessert. This is my take on the traditional Canadian Nanaimo Bars. Its less sweet, gluten free and totally indulgent. The perfect gluten free dessert! Although originally from Nanaimo BC, Nanaimo Bars are made everywhere in Canada. You will see them in every buffet, every potluck dinner, in gramma’s kitchen and at the grocery store. Nanaimo Bars are to Canada as Apple Pie is to the United States. Basically the Nanaimo bar is a non baked brownie base, a sugary soft custard center which is flavored and colored (my all time favorite being mint) and topped with a chocolate glaze. My re-design of the Naniamo bar is a gluten free dessert consisting of a chocolate brownie base, with an orange flavored custard in the center and topped with a chocolate ganache. Creating the layers takes time but is definitely worth it in the end.
I started with the brownie base. I used organic raw cocoa and dissolved it in some boiling water. I also added 2 oz of dark chocolate that was chopped small so it can dissolve easily. Then I added the butter, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla.
I blended the flours (1c White Rice Flour, 1/4c Tapioca Starch, 1/2c Potato Starch) in a separate bowl making sure they were mixed together well before adding it to the chocolate mixture. I sifted the gluten free flour in because it makes for a smoother, better consistency batter.
I poured the batter into a 9″ x 9″ foil lined baking pan that I already sprayed with non stick cooking spray and baked it in a 350 degree preheated oven.
Instead of using the sugar based filling of the traditional Nanaimo bar I decided to use a custard that was flavored with Grand Marnier and slightly colored orange.
In a medium sized saucepan I added 2 cup of water, 1/4 c of powdered buttermilk, only 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, Grand Marnier liquer and a few drops of orange food coloring. I brought this to a boil for 1 minute and then removed it from the heat to allow it to cool and set up a bit.
The chocolate ganache is made with Heavy cream and 9 oz of dark chocolate and more Grande Marnier liquor :).
The cream is heated in a heavy saucepan until it starts to boil and then it is poured over the chopped dark chocolate pieces. The chocolate and cream are whisked together so that all the chocolate melts and turns a glossy brown. I then added some Grand Marnier and 4 Tbsp of sugar to the chocolate. The ganache will thicken as it cools. Wait until it clings to the spoon before using.
Putting it All Together
Once the brownie has baked and now cooled you can pour on the custard over top and allow that to set. Very gently and careful not to disturb the custard, pour the chocolate ganache over the custard. Put the baking pan in the fridge and allow to cool and set before serving.
- 1/3 c Raw Chocolate Cacao Powder
- 1/2 c boiling water
- 2 oz Dark Chocolate 70% Cacao
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 c Sugar
- 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
- 1 c Rice Flour
- 1/4 c Tapioca Starch
- 1/2 c Potato Starch
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1 c Flaked Organic Coconut
- 1/2 c Chopped Pecans
- 1/4 c Powdered Buttermilk
- 2 c water
- 1/2 c Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 1/4 c Grande Marnier
- Orange Food Color
- 1 c Heavy Cream
- 9 oz Dark Chocolate
- 4 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium sized bowl add cocoa and boiling water. Chop Dark chocolate and add to hot water stir until everything is melted and dissolved. Add butter, salt, vanilla and sugar. Blend in eggs and egg yolks.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, tapioca starch and potato starch. Slowly sift flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
- Add coconut and pecans and stir well.
- Pour batter into foil lined pan and bake for 30 minutes or when you insert a knife into the center and it comes out clean.
- Once done remove from oven and put aside to cool.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together; water and buttermilk powder and whisk till smooth. Add sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks. Continue whisking on medium heat. Bring to boil and continue whisking for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add Grande Marnier and food color.
- Set aside to cool.
- Chop chocolate into small pieces and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Heat cream in a medium saucepan to boil. Pour cream over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is melted and glossy. Ganache will thicken as it cools.
- Pour custard evenly over brownie and allow to set up in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
- Once it sets careful pour Chocolate Ganache over the custard surface.
- Let it cool in the fridge overnight so it can set.