Every now and then I get an intense hankering for brownies. Not banana bread. Not choc chip cookies. Brownies. I think everyone knows that need for a chewy, sweet, chocolatey hit that only a brownie can deliver. However, as I’m trying to avoid refined white sugar where possible my only source of ‘good’ or Paleo brownies has been via Pressed Earth and their mystery supply of gorgeous food by Nood. I say ‘mystery’ as they don’t know exactly what’s being delivered each day. When a brownie of some sort appears, I’m on it!
I finally decided I didn’t want to rely on chance, and looked at making my own supply of sorta Paleo brownies. I recently discovered a very cool book called Clean Eating With a Dirty Mind by Vanessa Barajas , which was right up my alley. What caught my eye was her book’s description: Paleo-inspired recipes for every craving. Perfect for someone who has been reluctant to jump on the Paleo wagon!
Paleo kinda has word ‘fad’ written across it but as with any diet or eating style, if it works for you, I won’t knock it. It’s certainly less restrictive than eating raw which I really found hard going. There are many aspects of Paleo I do agree with but just as many things that I find hard to digest. Literally. Who wants to drink bone broth? Isn’t it basically stock? Also, being half-Japanese, I am not likely to give up rice in a hurry. High-five to grain cultivation, I say.
Grain-shunning aside, I do however agree with minimising refined sugar. Some people are brave enough to eliminate it entirely, but realistically, I
can’t won’t do it. I surprisingly did manage to avoid sugar as much as possible while in Tokyo last month, but with an entire city offering up indescribably delicious desserts and sweets left, right and centre, I wasn’t about to place a full ban on cane sugar. Naturally, I’ve gone back to avoiding refined sugar back home in Perth and hence, my search for a sugar-free brownie recipe.
Vanessa Barajas’ recipe for a classic brownie (she called it her ‘Better Than Boxed Brownies’ recipe) was exactly what I needed. It gave me a guilt-free load of sweetness and a whole lot of chocolate intensity. Exactly what you want right? Both my kids loved the brownie but my husband noted the tartness of coconut sugar as being odd. No brownies for him! I did however play around with the recipe a little to suit my personal taste also. I don’t mind coconut sugar but I tried different combos for a more neutral flavour. If you’ve got no beef with refined sugar, then go ahead and use it. It’s still a very good gluten free brownie.
If you prefer a raw brownie, then please check out this Raw Chocolate & Walnut Brownie recipe ;) So far I’m loving both!
Sorta Paleo Brownies
- 100g dark chocolate (70 - 80% Cacao, according to taste)
- 50g organic butter or vegan margarine (I use half and half)
- 100g rice malt syrup
- 50g coconut sugar or alternative dry sugar
- 2 free range eggs (medium to large)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla paste (or half a vanilla pod)
- 45g almond meal
- 20g lupin flour
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- pinch of salt
- Melt chocolate with butter/margarine in a double boiler or carefully in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
- Pre-heat oven to 160C (fan-forced) or 330F.
- Place rice malt syrup and other sugar, and vanilla paste in Thermomix bowl (or regular mixing bowl or other food processor). Place one egg in bowl and mix on Speed 3 for a few seconds. Place second egg in bowl and mix again for a few seconds on Speed 3. It is important to not over-process so please mix appropriately for other methods.
- Add cooled chocolate mixture to eggs and sugar and combine gently (Speed 2 for a few seconds for Thermomix).
- Add almond meal, lupin flour, cacao powder and salt to TMX bowl. Combine gently on Speed 2 for a couple of seconds. Alternatively, use a spatula to fold mixture by hand.
- Pour brownie mixture into a brownie pan line with baking paper. If there is not enough mixture, allow to pool in the centre. No need to spread out.
- Bake for 40 minutes. If a knife or skewer comes out from centre of brownie clean, remove from oven.