I spent most of the month taking photos of my cats, and while I find them very cute, that's not really the point of this blog.
I spent the whole month basically being lazy by eating mostly salads and sandwiches, meaning that there really wasn't much to write about. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love those two things, but they are not very interesting to write about, especially when they are always the same.
Anyhow, today I felt excited and eager to make something. I have been circling around the idea of making brownies, but as I mentioned, my last attempt at making "healthy" brownies went terribly wrong. So this time I decided to take a regular ol' brownie recipe and just replace the sugar in it with date paste.
So without further ado, here is the recipe.
Best Cocoa Brownies (Sugar-free)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
Makes: 30 small squares
- 1 1/4 stick or 141 grams unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups dates
- 3/4 cup or 82 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 1/2 cup or 66 grams all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
Blend the dates into a paste in the food processor. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, date paste, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a pot of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. Deb at Smitten Kitchen suggests that this step could be done in the microwave, but I wouldn't recommend it. The double boiler method allows the dates to further blend with the other ingredients and as a result, creates a smoother consistency.
Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for a few minutes. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter - about 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board and cut into squares.