I’m crazy about brownies, especially the delicious & healthy kind. (Yes, they exist) Remember my Mind Blowing Black Bean Brownies ? Well, I now have another brownie recipe and it happens to be Paleo-friendly (Caveman approved)!
These have a fudgey texture, made with 70% dark chocolate; without flour or processed sugar yet they can satisfy the most intense chocolate and sweet craving!
I am certainly no expert on Paleo diets or the no-carb thing but my husband seems to have adopted a vague combination of the two and I am trying to find new and interesting recipes like this one, to help him through this. No carbs can be a depressing struggle. We went out to dinner last Saturday night and he didn’t have any of the delicious, crusty bread and olive oil which sat on our table throughout the entire meal! “What a trooper” I thought as I chomped on my slice fervently, while he looked on, forlorn. So, we have questions. Can he or can he not eat hummus? fruit? We don’t know. lol – Right now, his foes are flour, potatoes, rice and beans (except he still eats hummus) and that’s the diet we’re sticking to! Oh yeah, and sometimes he eats Basmati because its like, the “least evil” variety of rice apparently.
So, my niece Claudia, the star of this post, is currently following the Paleo diet, made these deliciously decadent brownies and brought me a small piece to try. Once again, mind…blown, I couldn’t believe they were healthy and I wanted another piece but alas, it was her last one. “You can’t do that to me!”, I exclaimed pleadingly as she walked away smiling triumphantly.
Claudia has good instincts in the kitchen and is very creative, never bound by the recipe in front of her. She is like that in all aspects of her life – bright and courageous ; I am convinced that she can do anything she sets her mind to!
There are minor modifications you can make to please your palate:
Baking powder: I have added roughly 1/2 a tsp of baking powder to the recipe to add some height and promote a more cake-like texture. I have learned that baking powder is not strictly Paleo but as stated in many online forums – it does no harm especially in tiny quantities like this. So you can go for it!
Coconut flakes: I personally love coconut flakes but have omitted them this time around as my husband prefers them without. Claudia says the coconut flakes add some needed texture and she is absolutely right although they are just as delicious without.
Honey or Maple syrup: You can sweeten these with honey or pure maple syrup. Having tried making these brownies with both, and although I prefer honey in general, the maple syrup has a thinner and lighter texture thus promoting a lighter brownie in turn. Honey makes them a little more dense but equally delicious.
Butter: Some people on Paleo diets permit the use of butter for its lower lactose content but feel free to use your favourite substitute such as Ghee. As I stated earlier, we are not strictly following a paleo diet so we’re stickin’ with butter.
Paleo substitution guide: http://paleogrubs.com/paleo-diet-food-substitutions
1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp of Coconut flour (weight: 50g)
1/2 cup of cocoa powder (or carob powder)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of unsalted butter, melted (that’s one stick + 2 tbsp) or your favourite substitute.
3 eggs at room temperature & lightly beaten
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2tbsp of honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp of baking powder (OPTIONAL)
4 dried dates, pitted and finely chopped, removing any thick skin if you can
1 cup of fine dried coconut flakes
4oz of 70% bakers chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp or one “glug” of almond milk (roughly)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 glass baking dish
Mix together all ingredients (except those for the ganache) by hand or with a mixer. (Ensure that melted butter has cooled a little so that it does not cook the eggs.)
Pour and spread into prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 mins or until mixture is set and/or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool for 30 minutes (or do like I do and put it directly into the freezer for 15 minutes. This is a little trick I learned about cake making. It preserves the moisture and stops the cooking process. This will also allow you to apply your ganache sooner 😉
Meanwhile make your ganache. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together chocolate and butter. Add the glug of almond milk and mix until glossy.
When all is sufficiently cool, spread on your ganache and allow to set.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.