The recipe that follows was initially inspired by a recipe from Bon Appétit magazine last month, the Chocolate-on-Chocolate Tart with Maple Almonds, but I’ve twisted it so much by now that it’s not even identifiable with that anymore.
The maple almonds looked super, but (surprise, surprise) I was in the mood for a more brownie-like filling. Eventually, I decided to ditch the crust, go with a simple gluten-free brownie, keep the maple almonds, and add a chocolate ganache and some powdered sugar like I’d seen in this recipe.
Everything was going along swimmingly until the maple almonds totally didn’t work, and I didn’t feel like trying them again in the same day. I ended up with almonds in a thick, almost-burnt caramel sauce, which cooled into a pretty great almond brittle thing. But that was not what I was going for.
So in the end I ditched the maple almonds too. Instead, I chopped up some macadamias and went a simple route. The macadamias actually work better with the flavor profile of this brownie, which uses coconut oil. You might be surprised to know that in addition to all of these brownie embellishments, I also had ice cream!
I don’t know, it just felt right in this particular application. Perhaps because the brownie is quite dense and fudgy? And if you don’t have/don’t like (??) macadamia nuts, roasted almonds or walnuts would be good too.
Recipe adapted from Sassy Kitchen
For the brownie:
¼ cup almond meal
3 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons coconut oil
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
For the ganache:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8- or 9-inch tart pan with coconut oil or cooking spray. I use a tart pan with a removable bottom.
In a small mixing bowl, mix the almond meal, arrowroot or cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and set a heat proof bowl on top, making sure it doesn’t touch the water. Place the coconut oil and chocolate chips into the bowl. Bring the water to a simmer, and allow it to melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips.
Carefully remove the bowl from the saucepan (it’ll be hot!) and set it on the counter. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla. Then whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix the dry ingredients into the brownie batter until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared tart pan and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Allow the brownie to cool completely before topping.
To make the ganache, place the chocolate chips and cocoa powder in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the almond milk to a low simmer. Pour the milk over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then whisk until smooth and fully combined. Whisk in the vanilla. Use immediately.
To top the brownie, dust with a light layer of powdered sugar. Sprinkle the nuts over the top, then drizzle the ganache back and forth over the brownie. You may or may not use it all.
Slice and serve, preferably with vanilla ice cream!