Brownies everywhere have been hijacked. But these ones are way, way too good be true…
Clean ‘brownie’ bars that once only dominated health food shops have now seeped out onto the aisles of supermarkets, RAW has become the new baked and avocado is currently trying to lend itself as butter in far too many recipes. Sure, there are some good ones out there, but generally it’s pretty rare to find a block of proper dense and fudgy chocolate brownie that actually lives up to the standard it’s producers are promoting it by. How are you supposed to skimp on animal products and all that evil refined crap when it’s those very things that made a traditional brownie possible to begin with?! Raisins and dates and ‘natural oils’ etc can only liven up a pan of cocoa powder so much without being excessive in themselves (- you want me to blend HOW many cups of nuts into this mix?!).
Wouldn’t it be AH-MAZING if there was a healthy brownie recipe that legitimately tasted just like the classic butter-choc-bricks they sell at Borough Market? (home to the most irresistible brick brownies that you can’t even enjoy bc you’re so full on the cheesecake blocks that you probably bought from the same stall).
I recently asked myself: Should I really be taking my lack of gluten/dairy intolerance so for granted? I’m always scrolling through reels of Pinterest recipes, claiming to make the best ever grain free/vegan brownies or whatever. But my body doesn’t have any actual problem with either food-group, and so long as I don’t go overboard – treats that use them are fine. Meanwhile vegan and GF treats are quite trendy right now even among people who aren’t vegan/GF, and since some of these treats can be pretty decent, it can be tempting to join in on them sometimes… but surely a bit of real ‘bad’ indulgence from time to time can’t do much harm? There is no need to eliminate specific ingredients unless you actually have real allergies to them or unless you have made a commitment to not eating animal products for your own personal ethics. So if you aren’t part of either of these groups, why not enjoy a healthy brownie recipe that simply combines the best of the good-for-you vs. the decadent worlds into a treat that simply nourishes your body… but also looks + tastes convincingly like the *real thing*?
Just because something is vegan; that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Meanwhile, being healthy doesn’t mean it has to be vegan. Duh, right? Actually…no. Because sometimes in this confusing, social-media-and-health-freak-frenzied-universe, it is easy to lose sight of why we/others are choosing to live by certain regimes… Some people have to eliminate certain food groups else they will get ill. Other’s decide they genuinely do feel better if they live by a vegan lifestyle. Others who are mostly on the fence just decide that they feel better committing to nothing, and choose to live by good old moderation and eating real food instead. Because God forbid your favourite healthy brownie recipe throws in a cheeky egg or better yet, defies any low fat expectations because it thoroughly believes that mega-ounces of real dark chopped chocolate truly is good for the heart…
These brownies are for all you other people like me, who really do see the advantage in cutting out those certain ‘bad’ things every now and then…but then again, really don’t want to make any actual commitments to these alternative lifestyles. They are also for you if you don’t fancy spending £££ on RAW baking ingredients that are sold in bags a mere 1/800th the size of good old plain flour… or having to add a new label to yourself every time you bake something rad.
So just to make it clear: these brownies aren‘t RAW. These brownies aren’t Vegan, and these brownies aren’t refined sugar or grain free. These brownies are for all you other people like me, who wish to simply nourish yourselves with a devilishly good treat (only minus the sugar headache) that truly IS as good as its classic, whilst continuing to lust after + indulge in real food…in moderation.
So enjoy! And good luck attempting to stop at ‘just the one’. It’s entirely impossible – they really are the AH-MAZING-AND-IMA-HIDE-THEM-AWAY-FROM-EVERYONE sort of addictive. Even my chocolate addicted never-even-eaten-a-sweet-potato best friend had no idea that they weren’t the full butter/flour and sugar fudge stuff and contained root vegetable, while others who managed to get a taste of these things have since been asking me for the recipe because they reckon they are 100% decadent enough to serve as the real things at their own gatherings and events!
Oh and P.S, did I mention that they can be made gluten free, after all? 😉
- ¾ C gluten-free rolled oats + 2 tbsp, blitzed into a flour (hello food processor).
- 1 C + 1/4 C sweet potato, cooked (= 2 small/medium or one very large)
- ¾ C cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ C white sugar
- 1/4 C melted vegetable oil or butter oil (I made mine here (pictured) with veg oil and they came out perfect – but admittedly found myself lusting over a more thick, buttery bite, and thinking about how even more amazing they would be if I had opted for butter instead of oil)
- 1C smooth apple sauce
- 1/4 C light brown sugar
- 4 heaped tbsp Greek yogurt (don’t skip!)
- 2 eggs
- 1 x tbsp Vanilla extract
- 1 x tbsp instant coffee granules.
- 1/2 tsp salt if using unsalted butter.
- 150g Choc bar, melted into brownie mix.
- Many, many dark choc chips to be thrown into the mix. (say, 50g? +)
- Many more white choc chips also to be thrown into the mix (the more the merrier – 50g + is also good).
- 1 Splash of milk (appx 3 tbsp) – (add last, only as much/little as you need only to churn the batter and incorporate everything once and for all. It will make the brownies moister, but remember you want to keep the batter thick and not runny. Go by eye).
Bringing these babies to life:
- Combine listed dry ingredients together
- Combined listed wet ingredients together
- Combined wet + dry to form a batter.
- Add the melted chocolate to the batter, followed by the chocolate chips.
- Add the milk a slight splash at a time. Your batter should still be kept sufficiently thick + fudgy before being transferred into a baking tray, so stop adding milk as soon as the batter becomes even slightly ‘pour-able’, go by your eye. Thicker batter makes denser brownies. but you do need a splash of milk for the concoction to work properly.
- Bake at 175 degrees for 30-35 minutes (depending on how your oven usually handles tray bakes) and remove when the centre has set through.
- They are also made even more amazing when drizzled in melted white chocolate!
P.S. If I can’t persuade you of their wholesomely divine goodness here, then I will just have to eat your share of the next batch… which is fine with me 😉 Try them for yourself and see! (and save your avocados for salty breakfast toast…)
“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
…live in the question.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke,