With Valentines Day around the corner, my gift to you is this bittersweet german chocolate brownie recipe to bake for your loves ones. It’s even gluten-free and dairy-free! I baked a batch today and the house smells heavenly. They are just the right combination of fudgy and cakey in brownie-speak.
Bittersweet German Chocolate Brownies
Inspired by my dad’s favorite cake, my German chocolate brownie recipe is made with bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened shredded coconut and coconut oil, and chopped pecans. These brownies have just 3 tablespoons of flour – teff flour that is. Teff has a great affinity for chocolate, which I learned from Shauna Ahern, the Gluten-Free Girl.
Considered the smallest grain in the world, teff is the size of a poppy seed. It is native to Ethiopia and has been a dietary staple diet for thousands of years. Teff has a nutty, mild taste and packs a healthy punch with protein, fiber, minerals. While these brownies use teff ground into flour, whole grain teff can be used for breakfast porridge, added to stews, pilafs, mixed into baked goods and even mixed into veggie burgers. Think of it like quinoa.
Chocolate, Coconut, and Sweetening
My favorite baking chocolate is Theo Organic Fair Trade 85% Dark Chocolate Bars for Baking. Find it on Amazon, at Whole Foods and other grocers. If you prefer sweeter brownies you can try 72% bittersweet chocolate, but the 85% works great. Another good bittersweet baking chocolate is Valhrona, available at Trader Joes. Last baking tip, try double vanilla for bigger flavor. Find it at cooking stores, spice stores and online.
I’ve tested German chocolate brownies with coconut sugar and sucanat. Sucanat is an unrefined sugar that contains all of the cane’s natural molasses, so it has natural a golden color. It is a good replacement for brown sugar in baking. The texture is granular compared to brown sugar but it does melt into the batter. Alternatively, use golden brown sugar.
German Chocolate Food Trivia
The roots of “German” chocolate trace to American baker Samuel German, who developed a dark baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company in 1852. Named German’s chocolate, the “s” was eventually dropped. The original cake recipe was created in 1957 by Dallas, Texas homemaker. Whatever the roots, bake a batch of bittersweet German chocolate brownies as a Valentine’s treat for your friends and family.
Bittersweet German Chocolate Brownies
- 8 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate 72% - 85%
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 3/4 cup natural light brown sugar or Sucunat 4 1/4 ounces
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons teff flour
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 3/4 cup chopped raw pecans 4 ounces
- 1/3 cup fine unsweetened shredded coconut 1 ounce
- Grease a square light metal baking pan (8x8-inch) with ½ teaspoon of extra coconut oil. Line the pan with parchment paper, draping it over two opposite sides of the pan. The parchment overlap makes it easy to remove the brownies after baking. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
- Chop the chocolate into medium chunks with a serrated bread knife or heavy chef’s knife. Place the chocolate in a clean, dry, glass bowl and microwave on 70% power for 1 minute. Stir with a flexible spatula or spoon, then continue melting chocolate in 15 second intervals, stirring between times, until chocolate is melted, smooth and glossy. Cool chocolate for 5 minutes, then stir in the vanilla and the coconut oil with a spoon or flexible spatula until smooth.
- Place the brown sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed, about 3 minutes. Whisk together the teff flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients and beat on low speed for 3 more minutes. Stir in the chopped pecans and shredded coconut with a flexible spatula. The batter will be thick and stiff.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and distribute evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the brownie surface is a little firm to the touch, but not hard. Cool brownies in the pan for 10 minutes. Grasp the parchment paper edges and lift the brownies out, transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Slice into 9 pieces when cool.