Thursday, April 12, 2012


I had a friend coming for lunch today. We'd agreed that we'd just go down to Gamboni's (my friend ahd never been there) and buy salamis and cheeses. But I finished my work a bit early yesterday, so I decided to try out a Healthy Food Guide recipe from Sunday's paper for healthy(ish) brownies, made with apple puree instead of eggs and butter.
         I had all the ingredients, sort of. I had dark chocolate, but no white (I don't like white chocolate anyway, it has no right to be called chocolate at all), so I used milk chocolate buttons instead. And I had no pecans, but I did have a few walnuts. (When I looked it up on-line, the recipe did use walnuts, and didn't mention white chocolate.) 
         It was extremely easy to make, and it worked pretty well. I think my mixture was a trifle drier than it should have been (which is odd, because I had fewer nuts), because it didn't exactly "pour" into the tin, as instructed, and it came out with a lumpy top instead of a smooth one. But it was beautifully dark, and while it didn't have the amazing melt-in-the-mouth texture of a really good traditional brownie, it was well worth the (very slight) effort. My friend thought so too, but she suggested it really shouldn't be called "brownie". So I thought maybe "brownish" would be better. This recipe is a combination of the online version here and the one in the Sunday Star-Times, 10 April 2012, plus my own variations.

1 cup unsweetened apple purée or sauce
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Dutched cocoa)
3/4 cup self-raising flour (next time I might try a little less and see what happens)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used little chopped-up bits of Whittaker's dark Ghana)
1/2 cup milk chocolate buttons
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a 20x20cm baking dish with baking paper.

Place purée in a medium-sized bowl. Sift in cocoa, flour and baking soda. Add sugar and salt. Mix until just combined (do not over-mix as this will toughen the brownies). Gently fold in the two kinds of chocolate and the walnuts. 

Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the centre feels set and fudgy when a skewer is inserted. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before slicing into squares. Dust with sifted icing sugar before serving, if desired.

It looked darker and richer than this in real life. The bits of dark chocolate didn't melt much, but I liked it like that.


homepaddock said...

It's even better if you use mashed raspberries (they don't have to be fresh, you can thaw frozen ones) instead of the apple.

The apple adds moisture but no flavour but raspberry is strong enough to come through and complement the taste of chocolate.

I omit the nuts when using rapsberries because the seeds add to the texture.

AnneE said...

Gosh, that was quick! I love the raspberries idea, thank you, I'll try it - chocolate and raspberries is a sublime combination.

homepaddock said...

Once when I didn't have enough raspberries I made up the deficit with boysenberries which worked well too.