A plate of Basler brauns a little darker at the edges than they should be – the consequence of over-baking!
The original brownie, these delicious gluten-free biscuits are associated with Basel confectionary, (known as Basler Brauns) and warm festive evenings at the turn of the year.
Traditionally they were always made with almonds, then hazelnuts began to appear frequently in some recipes.
Equal quantities of almonds and hazelnuts are found in the commercial concoctions, which come in different shapes.
Some versions exclude the egg whites and some use chocolate chips.
This version is based on an early 1900s recipe, with a moderate amount of chocolate.
- 200 g almonds, ground
- 200 g vanilla sugar
- 125 g chocolate (85%), broken into pieces
- 50 g hazelnuts, ground
- 2 egg whites
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 4 tsp kirsch
- Cinnamon, large pinch
- Cloves, ground, large pinch
- Salt, large pinch
- Sugar, for rolling
- Water, boiled, for bain marie
Mix thoroughly the almonds, hazelnuts, cocoa, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a large bowl.
Pour boiled water into a saucepan, put a large bowl on top without touching the water, place chocolate in bowl and leave to melt.
Add the almond mixture to the chocolate, stir thoroughly. When it is cold add the kirsch. Beat the egg whites and fold into the chocolate mixture.
Cover with clingfilm and leave in refrigerator for an hour.
Dust a clean surface with sugar, roll out the dough until 1 cm thick. Cut into desired shapes, place on trays lined with baking paper, and leave at room temperature overnight or for 6-8 hours during the day depending on the time of year – shorter in summer.
Pre-heat oven to 240°C, bake for no more than seven minutes. Leave to cool on paper for a few minutes, then transfer to rack.