This is the story of the Almost Brownie.
Ever had a sudden craving for brownies in the middle of the night? Or perhaps feeling that sudden itch for sugar during the 3pm slump.
Well, that’s me nearly every day. I’m not too sure if I should be crying, laughing or curling up into a ball at my sad evidence of willpower.
To ease my conscience, this is my answer to a slightly less guilty yet fully delicious chocolate fix.
Refine sugar free, gluten free, milk free, and *almost* vegan.
Because I see no reason to remove eggs from the equation when I their taste and what they bring to the final texture. And honestly, I wasn’t after a “healthy” snack but rather a “less guilty” yet stil fully indulgent brownie.
This is my answer to chocolate cravings, spoon-to-Nutella-bottle urges, and the moaning and groaning of “hangry” pangs.
Naturally, as we have removed/substituted some of the usual ingredients that make a Brownie a brownie, we are bound to have a product. This “Brownie” is chocolatey and fudgey. It’s texture is closer to that of a dense fudge than a cake due to the lack of gluten. But it still holds together thanks to the eggs, chocolate and rice flour. And the biggest key to a this finaly product is to NOT overbake this.
I repeat, do not overbake.
You do not want a dry brick.
It’ll still be edible and tasty but it won’t be the same. Rather, you want something that is moist and slightly dense like fudge.
Give this a chance, it’s simple, delicious and a slightly healthier alternative to that box of chocolate that is hidden away in your desk drawer (if you are anything like me).
The Almost Brownie
1/4 cup (50g) coconut oil
1/4 cup (60g) hazelnut butter
8 ounces (220g) refine-sugar free dark chocolate (or normal 70% dark chocolate if you don’t care) alternatively, refer to note below for substitutions if you don’t want to drop a bomb on “healthy” chocolate.
1/2 cup (150g) maple syrup
1/2 cup (75g) light mascavado brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly whisked to combine (Or replace with vegan egg substitute to make this recipe vegan)
1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder (or 1tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 cup (50g) hazelnut meal
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C) and line a 8×8 inch square pan with baking paper.
Melt chocolate and coconut oil together.
Add hazelnut butter and stir to combine.
Add maple syrup and sugar and mix well.
Add eggs a little at a time and mix until it’s all combined.
Add hazelnut meal, vanilla powder, salt, sweet rice flour and cocoa powder.
Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out with some crumbs sticking to it.
Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for at least 45 mins before slicing and serving.
You want to ensure that you do not overbake it, so check early as your oven might run hot. The Brownie will still continue to cook even after you have removed it from the oven.
“Healthy” chocolate substitution:
- Add an extra 110g of coconut oil (or cacao butter)
- Add an extra 50g of cocoa powder
- Add an extra 60g of mascavado sugar
Let me know how your brownie turns out if you do try the recipe!