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What if I leave the nuts out of this recipe?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm baking for my nephew's bar mitzvah this weekend. I've already made this recipe for very rich brownies many times, and they fly off the tray. I've got one bartch int he freezer but I'd like to make one batch without the walnuts because of several relatives' nut allergies.

Here are the ingredients. What I'd like to know is this: there's so little flour in this that I'm afraid the structure will suffer if I leave the nuts out. Do I need to add more flour? Or something else??

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Method:
Melt butter and chocolate over low heat, in a double boiler, or in the microwave. Let cool.
Beat the eggs and sugar together 4-5 minutes. Add vanilla and salt.
Gradually add the chocolate and butter mixture to the sugar and egg mixture while beating.
Combine the flour and walnuts. Stir gently into the batter.
Pour the batter into an 8" square pan that has been lined with parchment paper and/or sprayed with release spray.

Bake in center of the oven 30-35 minutes. A toothpick will have moist crumbs on it.
Allow to cool. Remove from pan.

To cut: put the finished brownies in the freezer 30 minutes. Turn cake upside down on a cutting board and cut into 36 squares (or 9 squares if you like really, really rich brownies!). These brownies freeze (and re-freeze once) very well.
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post #2 of 16
If you have the time before the event I would suggest making the recipe as is except for the nuts and see how it turns out. The only concern I would have is the volume of batter going into the pan. It might be a little on the thin side. If so, I would double the recipe and bake in a slightly larger pan.
post #3 of 16
I never made brownies with nuts, since i don;t like anything to distract from the taste of chocolate, but never had any sort of problem. The only recipes that the nuts are essential in is when they're ground up and function as flour. except for the tunnel of fudge cake that used to be popular. (I remember finding a from-scratch recipe for it and it said the nuts were essential - why? i donl;t know, maybe they add some fattiness? not clear)

Jbd writes
I think you might be right, hadn;t thought of that, but 3/4 cup IS quite a lot for a small 8 inch pan. If it does come flatter than it should you could cook it less, or if you double it and it;s too high, cook it more, but that can be tricky. I'm not good at math, but i bet some of the professionals here could come up with some specific proportions.
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #4 of 16
i agree with siduri, i myself do not like adding nuts as it hampers my taste and since i love chocolate, i want to savor every bit of it. we must consider though the effect on the batter as jbd says.
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post #5 of 16
I have a very similar recipe using chopped pecans. I made it a few times before my kids told me they didn't like the nuts, so next time I just left them out without altering the recipe. It came out fine, quite gooey but we like gooey, cooked it 10 mins longer and it was great.
post #6 of 16
what you are making is called a candy or fudge brownie. add 1 more T flour for structure.
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post #7 of 16

Over the top

I would replace the nuts for chocolate or white chocolate or milk chocolate chips. Once cool, the chips give the batter a little more texture.

But while warm or even room temp:
So rich, so gooey, so over the top, it renders the consumer powerless and forever at your beck and call!:lol:

Unless the nuts were pulverized like a flour, it should not be an issue.

Mazel Tov!
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone! Your insights and suggestions are helpful. The recipe is a bit modified from one in a CIA home baking book.

And to Michele, the event is in Deerfield, IL. :D

I'll make them sans nuts and with some decadent chocolate chips I have on hand. Who would complain? :lips:
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post #9 of 16
Yes, you can leave the nuts out. You do not need to add anything else into the brownie mix to replace them. They are just a flavoring.

One note on nut allergies: they are extremely serious (although usually centered around peanuts). To ensure safety for your guests, be sure to clean all utensils, bowls, pans, and anything else that will touch the brownies before or after cooking them with as hot of water as you can stand on your hands and soap. In professional kitchens, we also use sanitizer, which I believe you can use household bleach with hot water (1 oz to 1 gallon) to sanitize.

The oils in the nuts cause the allergy so you need to get rid of this best you can. Hope this helps!
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post #10 of 16
I'm curious, JMP, i can understand hot water (to get rid of any trace of oils) and same for detergent. But why bleach or sanitizer - we're not talking abnout germs, but about a substance.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #11 of 16
Nuts have proteins that cause the allergic reaction. When using hot water, detergent, and scrubbing, you will do your best to remove the residues of the nuts that would cause the reaction. The final "sanitizing" step is an extra precautionary measure to ensure no residue remains. This isn't a normal "allergy" where people just feel sick. For nuts (specifically peanuts), people can go into anaphalactic shock and die within minutes.

My primary suggestion would be: clean and sanitize all items as I've outlined, prepare and cook the NON-nut version first, then go on to the nut version.

This is not something to take a chance with. Hope this helps.
JMP
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post #12 of 16
yeah i get that this is important, and i know about anaphlyactic shock. I just don't get the bleach. Does bleach or other sanitizing substance actually remove any of the allergenic substances, since it is not germs we're talking about.
Sanitizing agents work against germs because they KILL germs, but nuts are allergenic if they are alive or dead. Lots of precautions are important, i just am questioning what kinds are good for this specific problem.
Hot soapy water gets rid of oils. If it's the oils we're talking about then it should be enough to be vigilant with heat and detergent.
If there were a poison in the dish, like arsenic or cyanide, all the bleach in the world wouldn;t neutralize it because it's not germs involved.
Once in my town in the states they came through the streets with an announcement that some toxin got into the water (not a bacteria, a chemical) and they said not to drink the water without boiling it! This made no sense, because a chemical would at most become more toxic because boiling would reduce the water-to-chemical balance. Someone in the town hall thought - bad stuff in water, gotta boil it - without doing any research. If it had been sewage in the water, boiling would have made sense, because it would have been germs, not chemicals.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #13 of 16
I think the point is, keep your area sanitized to avoid corss contamination.

Bleach, one capful to a gallon of water, will keep your clean surfaces santizied.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #14 of 16
Rule 28A:18(a)(1) of Life: Never take medical advice from someone who misspells "anaphylacitc."

Rule 2 of Cooking: Never outsmart anyone else's perceived allergies. Treat their requirements seriously and with good humor.

Food is love,
BDL
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post #15 of 16
perhaps the bleach denatures the proteins in the nyut residue?
post #16 of 16
The brownies sound delicious! Your nut allergy relatives will be grateful for your efforts to make them a safe dessert.

As for the cross contamination issue that has already been addressed and readdressed- my daughter has a contact allergy with a risk of anaphylactic shock and I simply use very hot water with standard cleaning agents to remove the allergen from kitchen surfaces.

I couldn’t find any information that would explain extra benefits of bleach but did find this study (posted on: Most household cleaners remove peanut allergens, Hopkins s...( m a clean table. All cleaning techniqu...) ). It shows just sanitizer doesn’t remove the allergen but bleach is effective.

In the study, published in the May issue of the Journal of allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers applied a teaspoon of peanut butter to the hands of 19 peanut allergy-free adult volunteers. Participants then washed their hands with various cleaning agents, plain water and an antibacterial hand sanitizer. Hand wipes, liquid soap and bar soap all removed the peanut allergen. Water left residual Ara h 1 on 3 of 12 hands, and hand sanitizer left residual allergen on 6 of 12 hands.

Researchers also compared the performance of plain water, dishwashing liquid, Formula 409 cleaner, Lysol sanitizing wipes and Target brand cleaner with bleach in removing a teaspoon of peanut butter from a clean table. All cleaning techniques except dishwashing soap removed the allergen; dish soap left residual Ara h 1 on 4 of 12 samples.
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