Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No-Grain Dark Chocolate Birthday Brownies

Ooh, this was a tricky one.  Both Anthony and I are trying our best to live without grains, via the Paleo lifestyle, for a month and boy has it been challenging!  This means, I had to conduct a birthday dessert that did not include my favorite gluten free flours like rice or sorghum flour.  What to do!?!  Well, I'm not going to lie.  I had no idea how to make a brownie without grains, but I knew I could get some ideas online.  So that's what I did.  I came across a few recipes that looked and sounded delicious without a hint of grain.  Then I combined what sounded the best from each recipe and tried it... and it was magical.  Anthony said he couldn't even tell any difference between this and a regular brownie:  1 for Paleo and 0 for Grains!  Although I am cutting out refined sugar in my diet as much as possible, there is nothing better than being able to splurge without feeling terrible afterwards.  A success! 

Rich in antioxidants and taste without the guilt:  Happy Birthday Anthony!

5oz dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% cocoa but please use your favorite!)
1/2c unsweetened applesauce
1/2c cocoa powder
2 Omega-3 eggs
3/4c organic agave nectar (a lower glycemic index load than sugar or honey)
1/2c rounded almond flour
1/4c coconut flour
1/2tsp fine sea salt
1/4tsp baking soda
2tsp vanilla extract
1c chopped walnuts, 1/2c reserved
1/2c bittersweet or dark chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe's Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line an 8x8" pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix eggs by hand until lighter in color.  Add other liquid ingredients and mix well.
3. In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
4. Microwave the 5oz dark chocolate in the microwave, stirring after every minute, until melted.  Let cool slightly.
5. Pour melted chocolate into the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Add 1/2c walnuts at the end and stir in.
6. Pour into the lined baking pan.  Sprinkle the top with the extra 1/2c walnuts and 1/2c chocolate chips.  Drop the pan on a flat surface a few times to get out the air bubbles.  Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs (under-baked is better than over-baked here).
7. Let brownies cool before removing from pan.  Serve warm or at room temp. 
8. Enjoy guilt free!

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