This dish is featured as part of my Passover Prep Series – a collection of recipes to enjoy whether you celebrate Passover or not! If this is your first time visiting Cara’s Cravings during the PPS, click here to read more about it.
You may remember a sneak peak of these brownies from a couple weeks ago. My good friend Sophie let me guest-blog them as part of a feature on gluten-free brownies. So what’s the connection between these gluten-free brownies and Passover? When I first discovered the recipe in Nigella Express: Good Food Fast, I noticed how ridiculously rich and fudgy they looked, and that they contained no flour, only almond meal. Thereby making them perfectly passable on Passover. I had some experience with baked goods involving a combination of almond meal and flour, and I knew how much more moist and decadent they were compared to their all-flour counterparts. So I was already giddy with excitement over how good this all-almond-meal-and-bittersweet-chocolate treat was going to taste.
And a treat they certainly are – these butter, nut, and sugar-packed bites are one of those things to be enjoyed in their full-fat form, in moderation of course. Fortunately, they’re so rich that you probably only need a couple bites. (Who am I kidding? “Too rich” doesn’t exist on my palette. But you know, for a normal person, a bite or two will do.) When I served these on Passover, my family not only thought they were the best Passover brownies we’d ever tasted, but the best any kind of brownie, ever.
Nigella Lawson’s Flourless Brownies
slightly adapted from Nigella Express: Good Food Fast
1 cup (2 sticks) butter*
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups almond meal (can be purchased, or you can grind your own in a food processor)
1 cup chopped walnuts (I’ve always omitted these and never felt anything lacking, so these are optional)
pinch of salt (not included in original recipe, but added for good measure!)
Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8×8 square baking dish with parchment paper.
Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in sugar and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Cool for a few minutes, then stir in the eggs and almond meal. Finally, fold in the walnuts, if using.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until just set on top (mine take a little more, about 33 minutes.) Let the brownies cool completely (it doesn’t hurt to make them ahead and refrigerate overnight) before slicing.
*Jews who keep Kosher will separate dairy and meat, so these would not be suitable following a meat meal. If you are going to be a guest at a Seder and you’re not sure what to bring, make sure to ask the host if a dairy-containing dessert is ok. Most Passover desserts are “pareve”, or non-dairy, so that they may be enjoyed after a meat meal. Usually the fat in these desserts would be vegetable or canola oil. I have not tried making these brownies with oil, so I can’t comment on how that would turn out.
But if you’re intrigued by baking with almond meal and you want to make a pareve dessert, I’ve got another recipe for you! This Lemon-Honey Almond Cake is one of my favorites, and that’s coming from a chocolate whore. Almond meal and matzoh meal make for a somewhat gritty yet addicting texture, such as a polenta or cornmeal cake would have. Combined with the lemon-honey glaze, it’s super moist with a Mediterranean flavor somewhat reminiscent of baklava. I’ve made it several times but don’t have my own picture, so you’ll just have to trust me!