Let’s face it: Santa, or whoever else is delivering goodies to your home this season, is a little overloaded on refined sugar by the time he or she arrives at your chimney/doorstep/wooden shoes/insert other here. Come to think of it, many of us are in the same boat as well. Parties, office deliveries of sugary gifts, you know the drill.
Leaving these Cocoa Brownies on a plate for your visitors will render them — and you — energized and, dare I suggest it? peaceful. (Chocolate does that, you know.)
I stumbled across this recipe in Clean Start (Terry Walters, 2010) while searching for some fun and alternative options for one of my young athletes who wanted to make a dessert for her family and is just learning to cook.
While it’s not necessarily low calorie or low carbohydrate, it IS delicious and uses primarily unrefined ingredients. When I made these, I wasn’t sure what to expect… everyone has certain VERY PERSONAL textural and taste expectations of their brownies.
I don’t mind telling you that these by far surpassed my own expectations. Even though I tend to prefer dense brownies, these are cake-y in a very lovely way.
But the taste… the author really outdid herself. The first thing I noticed was the pure chocolate flavor. I’m unembarrassed about my taste for great dark chocolate, and this may become my new go-to for a fun chocolate dessert for dinner parties.
The second thing I noticed was the lack of sugary undertones and aftertaste. This actually does taste clean. I thought maybe I was just subliminally drinking the “clean eating” Kool-Aid, but nope, it really does taste unbelievably absent of yucky stickiness.
The sweetness comes from fruit — dates, apple, banana — and a dose of maple syrup. All I tasted was natural sweetness.
Again, these are not devoid of calories, but a small bite goes a very long way toward feeling that you’ve just tasted a little bit of holiday magic.
*Preheat oven to 350°F
*In a food processor, combine:
1/2 cup grated apple or applesauce (I just tossed a peeled and quartered apple in my food processor)
8 pitted dates (I had only 5 on hand, and it seemed to work)
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup maple syrup (not “breakfast syrup”)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Mix until almost smooth, but with chunks of dates remaining.
*In a separate bowl, combine:
1/2 cup brown teff flour (I have also tried these with King Arthur Whole Wheat flour, just to experiment, and it worked very well)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used unsweetened dark plus Penzey’s cocoa powder, 3:1)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
*Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix very briefly, just to incorporate.
*Transfer to prepared 8″x 8″ baking pan and bake 25 minutes, or until top appears slightly dry.
*Remove from oven; place on a wire rack until completely cool before cutting.
*Makes 16 two-inch brownies, (more if cut smaller… a small bite is really a huge taste).
- Nutrition Facts (for a 2-inch square brownie):
- Calories: 89
- Carbohydrates: 16 g
- Fat 3 g
- Protein: 2 g