Thursday, October 27, 2011

Come on down to Brownie Town

I started blogging on the lovely design blog POPPYTALK! Here is one of my recent posts - BROWNIES! Dark chocolate spelt brownies made with olive oil and walnuts, to be exact...

So I've been trying to eat a bit healthier of late ... it could have to do with my turning 35 really soon (aiyahhhh!) and wanting to cleanse the body somewhat... My attempt at healthy eating also includes trying to develop some baked treats that raise the health bar a little higher than my usual decadent standbys of butter, eggs and cream!

I've been straddling a bit of a vegan vibe lately too, influenced by some recent readings and books. Thus, my attempt here at a dairy-free brownie-type specimen that would hopefully fill my cravings without relying on the usual suspects of white flour, white sugar and dairy!

It took every ounce of my being not to add pieces of lush Lindt dark chocolate to the mix, instead I added walnuts (high in Omega 3's!). For the sweetener, I used brown rice syrup, which is a thick, liquid sweetener that won't send you into a sugar high and low like regular white sugar can. If you can't find brown rice syrup, you can substitute 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar, no problemo!

Coconut milk is a rich alternative to conventional dairy, and heck coconut oil and coconut milk have been getting some good press lately too! I liked how this brownie turned out... rich with cocoa, moist from olive oil and coconut milk and not too sweet. It takes a while to set so I would even recommend refrigerating it to harden it up before serving. I sprinkled a teensy bit of icing sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar) on top as well, and for contrast, decorated with fresh raspberries!


(yields 12 brownies, baked in a 9 inch square pan)


1 cup of spelt flour
1 cup of Dutch process 22-24% cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups of brown rice syrup (or 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar)
1 can (400 ml) of coconut milk
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Optional: 1/2 cup of walnuts

Make them!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 inch square baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients until combined.
3. Add the wet ingredients, slowly mixing to gently combine.
4. Optional: fold in the walnuts!
5. Pour batter into baking pan.
6. Bake for 45-50 minutes in the middle rack of your oven, turning pan halfway through for even baking.
7. Let cool completely on wire rack, then chill to harden in refrigerator for 1 hour before slicing.

Dust with icing sugar if you so wish - this is done by holding a little wire sieve on top of the brownies, sprinkling icing sugar into the sieve and shaking it around, creating a light dust of powdery sugar. Fresh berries add a bright blast of colour too!


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