Black Forest Brownie {Naturally Gluten-Free}

Black Forest Brownie, Gluten Free

Here is something a bit decadent for a cold January day! It was entirely inspired from a visit to a farmers market in Knaresborough at the weekend.

We were visiting friends and took a Sunday morning stroll, through the snow, into town to hunt for some treats. There was a stall selling a delicious variety of brownies and blondies, all of which were gluten-free.

I struck up conversation with the stall holder to investigate, rather than using flour they used ground almonds instead. It was one of those lightbulb moments! Of course, how obvious now you point it out!

We bought four slices to sample: cherry, pistachio, crystallised ginger and peanut butter. All were delicious, especially the cherry, I just knew I had to try it.

I based it loosely on my favourite brownie recipe, from Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess.

This flour free version is a keeper, and a great recipe to have on hand for any gluten-free emergency!

The almond meal just melts into the brownie, you’d never guess it was there, it doesn’t impart any flavour either as the brownie is so rich and chocolatey.

It goes without saying that this recipe is totally flexible, you could swap the cherries for anything you fancy.

pitted morello cherries

I’ve used pitted Morello cherries, from a jar, I just love their juicy sourness.

The ones from the market were made with Glace cherries which were delicious but I think the Morellos have the edge.

I also swirled in some Philly cheese before baking, to add another creamy element and a bit of visual contrast to the dark chocolate.

black forest brownie | Vagabond Baking

Black Forest Brownie

oven 180 C / gas 4 / 350 F

20 cm {8 in} square tin or similar, lined with parchment

  • 185 g {6 1/2 ounces} unsalted butter
  • 200 g {7 ounces} good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 140 g {1 cup} golden caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g {1 cup} ground almonds
  • approx 160 g {1 1/2 cup} pitted morello cherries from a jar, drained and some halved
  • 5 or so tablespoons Philadelphia cream cheese {optional}

Place the butter and chocolate into a fairly large, heavy based saucepan and melt over a low heat. Once they become a dark, divine chocolate sauce, take off the heat and set aside to cool a little.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract with a balloon whisk until light and voluminous. Pour in the cooled chocolate/butter mixture and stir in.


Add the ground almonds, mix then gently stir in the cherries. Transfer into the lined tin.

Drop teaspoons of cream cheese onto the batter and swirl in a little with a knife {optional}.

Bake for about 25 minutes, you can sort of test if it’s ready by inserting a knife, it shouldn’t come out completely clean, there should be traces of batter on it. A clean knife is a dry brownie! Cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.

gluten free browniebrowniecooked brownieI’m changing the format a little bit from now on, I’m going to write the travel stuff on a separate post. This means I can put more into the content without having huge, long posts!

Hope all my lovely readers are ok with this and are enjoying the fresh new look 🙂

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23 Responses

  1. Wonderful! Love your pics. And the recipe, of course!! *drool*

  2. laurasmess says:

    Hello there Vagabond! I can’t believe that you make all this ridiculously awesome stuff in a camp kitchen!! I’ve only just stumbled upon your blog and it’s gorgeous. You have one lucky, well-fed fella! I’ll be following from now on 🙂

    • Bonjour! I must confess I don’t bake everything in our van, we do a lot of house sitting and visiting so I use a lot of random kitchens as well. I’m proof that you can bake anywhere though! Thanks for the follow 🙂

  3. mmmarzipan says:

    That is all 😉

  4. Sophie33 says:

    Waw! What perfectly looking fabulous rich tasty brownies! I love your version way better then the normal ones: so much flavour!!!! x

  5. kerrycooks says:

    WOW! love how the brownies are so perfectly fudgy in the middle – so many bakers overbake them!

  6. And you gave me the American measures! You’re very thoughtful…look fantastic…I’m still trying to get to your Madelines…I need a time machine!

  7. easybaked says:

    Just beautiful photography! I’d love to try them with raspberries I think…yum…

  8. Jorie says:

    HOLY HELL. That’s all. Ho. ly. hell.

  1. January 23, 2013

    […] Black Forest Brownie {Naturally Gluten-Free}. […]