As it happens, a very chocolaty recipe jumped right onto my screen just after Halloween, from Chew Out Loud.
Health-conscious bloggers like Vinny, however, might think this recipe seemed a tad high on sugar (2 1/2 cups). So I tried this recipe using stevia in place of sugar.
Chew’s method for working with chocolate, using boiling water and hot fat, worked wonderfully.
Figuring out how much stevia to use was challenging, though. I would have needed a cup and a quarter of the Stevia Sugar I usually use… and I didn’t have that much left in the jar. So I used the pure stevia powder I had on hand instead. I needed only 2 teaspoons of this stuff. I started off with just 1 teaspoon in case my math was off. The batter wasn’t sweet enough, so I added another teaspoon. The batter now tasted sweet but also a little bitter. This has happened with other batters I’ve made and the cookies turned out well. So I added a half cup of apple sauce to replace the bulk lost when I removed the sugar… and forged ahead.
The result? Disappointment. Liquid fat bubbled up around the pan during baking. When I bit into my brownie, it was, well, dense. Maybe I baked them a bit too long – my toothpick came out clean and there should have been a few crumbs… But the sweetness was good, so I served these brownies with whipped cream to my dinner guests the next day. They all liked them, but the ladies left some behind – too rich…
So I ran the recipe through eaTracker. OMG. Who would ever want to know that each of my eight servings had 555 calories and 39 grams of fat?!? Even the sugar was too high per serving… from the 6 squares of semisweet chocolate, I guess. Also, could the super-dense texture have been the result of no baking powder?
I reworked my recipe with these thoughts in mind and tried again. I wanted the sugar to be around 5 grams per serving and the fat around 10 grams… and the taste, GREAT.
I replaced half the fat with apple sauce, adding fiber to replace the bulk normally occupied by sugar. I upped the unsweetened chocolate and reduced the semisweet chocolate. I used three whole eggs instead of 2 eggs plus 2 yolks. I lowered the flour and salt and added some baking powder. I increased the stevia and substituted coconut oil for butter.
With this new recipe, if you cut it into 16 servings, we approach my goal. If we make 32 pieces, we can enjoy chocolate with a guilt-free conscience!
But just how good is it? We put my skinny recipe up against my original from Chew’s. Both were tasty, neither one overly sweet. Chew’s brownie was dense and rich with flavor. Mine tasted just as chocolaty, and the sweetness from more stevia was a plus. The texture was dense, but lighter than Chew’s. There was no hint of apple, even in the skinny recipe, which had twice as much of the stuff.
Vinny says you CAN have the great taste of a chocolaty brownie and eat it too… with less than half the calories and no added sugar. It just takes a little know-how.
Skinny Halloween Choc-Choc-Chocolate Brownies
one 9×13 pan makes 16 (or 32) squares
1/3 cup (1 ounce) processed cocoa (unsweetened)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
3 ounces unsweetened good-quality chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used walnut oil)
2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Stevia, equivalent to 2 1/2 cups sugar (I used 1 tablespoon of pure stevia)
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (Really! Keep them BIG)
ground pistachios to decorate (idea from The Plum Palate)
Put oven rack at second-to-lowest position and preheat to 350F. Make foil sling: Leave enough foil hanging over edges of pan to grab. Cut corners on the foil and fold it into corners and up sides of pan. Grease foil and set aside.
Whisk cocoa and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate melts. Whisk in oil and melted coconut oil. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
Whiz salt, baking powder, stevia and flour in a food processor to mix evenly and add air. Fold into batter with spatula until just combined.
Fold in semisweet chocolate pieces.
Transfer batter into pan, spreading it into corners. Bake for about 25-33 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. It’s done when toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Do not over-bake, or brownies will be dry.
Transfer pan to wire rack and cool for half an hour. Remove brownies from pan using foil sling and put them back on wire rack to cool completely. Cut brownies into 16 or 32 squares.
How skinny are they?
Serving is 1/16th of the pan.
|Saturated Fat (g)||6.0|
|Vitamin A (RAE)||19.1|