There’s no doubt about it, brownies are never going to be super healthy. However, as regular readers will know, they are one of my favourite bakes so I do like to make an attempt to up their nutritional value. These coffee brownies with almond nut butter are similar to my winning healthier brownies with cashew nut butter. They are simple to make and are just as fudgy and delicious as you’d expect a good brownie to be.
As regular readers will know, I can’t resist a brownie. I have many recipes for them on the blog, but there are still so many to try. These black velvet cheesecake swirl brownies with stout caramel sauce were the happy result of two events fortuitously coinciding. It was a no brainer; I had to make them. The third event, is of course We Should Cocoa, the blogger’s monthly, “we need chocolate”.
As some of you may have noticed, since trying matcha in baking a few years ago, with this matcha, rhubarb and chocolate cake, I’ve become rather a fan. Matcha, which is somewhat bitter with umami notes offsets the sweetness of the sugar nicely. I was recently overtaken by a craving for something sweet and I realised I’d never made matcha blondies. Game, set and matcha.
With my Divine chocolate stash for #NationalChocolateWeek, I couldn’t go without making something with at least one of the bars. An excuse, if any were needed, to indulge. We Should Cocoa is all about the USA this month so as Cornish autumn raspberries are still available and having a bar of Divine raspberry 70% dark chocolate to hand, it’s a no brainer – raspberry fudge brownies it is.
The British blueberry season is still in full swing, well maybe not quite full swing, but my mother is still picking blueberries here in Cornwall, so there are certainly some around. Blueberries pair very nicely with white chocolate, so when I was commissioned to create a recipe for Wayfair last month, I used this combination to make some caramelised blueberry blondies.
Well I know it’s very hard to make brownies healthy, but I have done my best to make these ones as healthy as possible whilst still retaining their essential sweet fudgy brownieness. I used coconut oil and cashew nut butter instead of butter and rapadura instead of sugar. And to top it off, my flour of choice was freekah. Freekah, Rapadura? Read on.
Having been sent eight large ripe Peruvian Hass avocados, I didn’t have a great deal of time to use them up. Following on from the avocado chocolate chip cookies I made a few weeks ago, I wanted to continue with the avocado baking theme. Leafing through the accompanying booklet, I found a recipe for Peruvian Hass avocado brownies. With my well known love of all things brownie, I didn’t need to cogitate further.
Of course, I made a few adjustments with the recipe. For a start I thought a hint of chilli and a soupçon of cinnamon would be appropriate flavours to enhance the South American feel of the brownies. Sadly I didn’t have any Peruvian chocolate to hand but made do with using up three partly used bars which were making my cupboard look untidy; as it happens one of them was from Ecuador, so at least it was from the right neck of the woods. As well as the spices I added a little cocoa powder for extra richness and used mostly brown sugar for fudginess. As I was using duck eggs which are quite large, I added a little bit of extra chocolate too.
Whilst the avocado by no means replaced all of the butter, it did have less saturated fat than many brownie recipes, so it could be argued that they are slightly better for you!
This is how I made:
Spicy Peruvian Avocado Brownies
- Melted 150g unsalted butter in a pan over low heat with 270g chocolate (I used a mixture of 70& plain, 53% dark and 37% milk). Stirred to combine, then left to cool a little.
- Beat 100g dark brown sugar, 50g golden caster sugar together with 3 duck eggs (large hens eggs will be fine) using electric beaters for about 3 minutes
- Mashed 1 large Peruvian Hass avocado and added it to the eggs. Beat the mixture for a further minute.
- Poured the chocolate mixture down the side of the bowl and folded the mixture in as gently as possible.
- Sifted in 60g self-raising flour, 1 scant tbsp cocoa powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon.
- Folded this in until just incorporated.
- Scraped the batter into a 9″ sq. silicone mould and baked at 180℃ for 25 minutes.
- Left in the mould to cool then cut into 16 pieces.
These are real melt in your mouth brownies – sort of light but fudgy and unctuous at the same time. The touch of spices was just right, a catch at the back of the throat and a hint of something warming, but nothing that overpowered the deep rich chocolateyness of these brownies. You can eat several of these and your palate is left feeling quite clean at the end of it – I should point out that eating several at a time is not really recommended. The taste of avocado could barely be detected. None of the taste testers (other than super taster CT) noticed it, even after I told them what the brownies contained. Not being able to taste avocado in your brownies, when all’s said and done, is for most of us, a good thing.
This month’s theme for Love Cake over at JibberJabberUK is all about Back to School – Something New. These brownies fit the bill perfectly. They are delicious treats for the school lunch box, but slightly healthier than your average brownie. They are also new to me as I’ve never made brownies with avocado before.
If I need to make brownies in a hurry, my go to recipe these days is for chocolate fudge brownies from Charlotte Pike’s wonderful book Easy Baking in The Hungry Student series. I first made these for an event last summer where they proved to be extremely popular. Then, last week, I made some for my birthday party. This week, I’ve omitted the coffee, used some different sugars and added blackcurrants. I also always use wholemeal flour or wholemeal spelt which I feel gives me a few brownie points (haha). The method I use is my favourite one pot wonder.