Skinny Brownies with Three Kinds of Chocolate

Happy occasions demand chocolate!

A very chocolaty recipe jumped right onto my screen just after Halloween, from Chew Out Loud.

Vinny, however, found this recipe a tad high on sugar (2 1/2 cups). So we experimented with stevia in place of sugar.

Brownie experiment failure

How much stevia, though? I didn’t have a cup and a quarter of the Stevia Sugar I usually use left in the jar. So I used the pure stevia powder I had on hand. Only 2 teaspoons of this stuff replaces the 2 1/2 cups of sugar in the original recipe.

I started off with just 1 teaspoon in case my math was off. The batter wasn’t sweet enough, so I added the other teaspoon. The batter now tasted sweet but also a little bitter. This has happened with other stevia batters  and the baking turned out well. So I forged ahead.

Don’t over bake!

The result? Disappointment. Liquid fat bubbled up around the pan. My brownie was, well, dense. OK. It was hard as a rock.

Maybe I baked them too long. But the sweetness was good, so I served these brownies with whipped cream to soften them up. The ladies, however, left some behind—too rich…

When I ran the recipe through eaTracker, OMG. 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?

Making a healthier, lighter brownie

I reworked the recipe. I wanted the sugar to be around 5 grams per serving and the fat around 10 grams… and the taste, GREAT.

With my new recipe (below), at 16 servings we approach my goal. If we cut 32 pieces, we can enjoy chocolate  guilt free!

Taste test result: “Good!”

Skinny 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 (for bulk to replace sugar)
  • 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 (Keep them BIG)
  • ground pistachios to decorate

Skinny brownies

  1. Put oven rack at second-to-lowest position and preheat to 350F.
  2.  Line pan with foil. 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.

3. Whisk cocoa and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth.
4. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate melts.
5. Whisk in oil and melted coconut oil.
6. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, and stevia.
7. Whiz salt, baking powder, and flour in a food processor to mix evenly and to add air. Fold into batter with spatula until just combined.

8. Fold in semisweet chocolate pieces.
9. Transfer batter into pan, spreading it into corners.
10. 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.

Toothpick should have crumbs

11. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool for half an hour.
12. 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?

One serving is 1/16th of the pan.

Calories (kcal) 187.3
Fat (g) 13.3
       Saturated Fat (g) 6.0
       Cholesterol (mg) 36.1
Sodium (mg) 69.1
Potassium (mg) 139.0
Carbohydrate (g) 17.6
       Sugar (g) 6.8
Protein (g) 3.8
Vitamin A (RAE) 19.1
Calcium (mg) 33.2

This is as healthy as I can make them!

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. daisyandthefox
    Nov 25, 2012 @ 18:53:30

    pistachios on brownies – what a great idea! 🙂


  2. lovenutritionlivelife
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 22:29:58

    Fantastic recipe! Will definitely have to try it out soon. Love the nutritional analysis. Steph


  3. shantastique
    Nov 21, 2012 @ 18:50:29

    Looks like a fab recipe! I’ll attempt to make this with gluten free flour this weekend for brownie-loving Mr Tipper 🙂


  4. createengwp
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 11:25:37

    The little one looks like she’s having fun!


  5. theplumpalate
    Nov 08, 2012 @ 14:43:14

    Good for you – way to keep at it! These look and sound wonderful. And, hey, I love a dense brownie. A plus in my book. Fun use for the ground pistachios, too! Also, glad to know about eaTracker. I’ll try it out.


    • Vinny Grette
      Nov 08, 2012 @ 17:53:42

      I’m very happy with this recipe. If you don’t tell people it’s a skinny recipe, they’ll never guess! I’ve been using eaTracker for several years. They’ve made a bunch of improvements to make it easier than ever to learn about what’s in the food you eat. Highly recommended!


  6. sybaritica
    Nov 07, 2012 @ 16:47:38

    The applesauce is novel … I must try that!


    • Vinny Grette
      Nov 07, 2012 @ 20:49:38

      It works like a charm – I’ve tried it in many recipes. I actually prefer pureed prunes to replace half the fat, but most people see prunes and go yuck… I promise, you can’t taste prunes or apples when you use chocolate in baking


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