Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deep chocolate brownies

I have been on a casual search for awhile now for the perfect brownie recipe. I like the brownies I’ve made in the past, but I want something dense, fudgy, classic. I also, however, want a recipe that’s not terribly unhealthy. Anyone can make drop-dead-delicious brownies with a pound of butter and 8 oz. of melted chocolate and 3 cups of sugar. No, I want something nutritionally middle-of-the-road, but explosive in flavor. I want them to taste rich and decadent without monumental amounts of fat. Tall order, right? I know.

I recently came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. I was especially intrigued by the inclusion of maple syrup. They didn’t turn out to be quite what I’m looking for, but nonetheless, they were anything but shabby.

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup soymilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a glass 8x8 baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, sugar, soymilk, and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. I added the sugar to the large bowl a little late, as you can see. I diverted from the original recipe in that respect because sugar should technically always be considered a "wet" ingredient.

Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts, if desired.

Pour the batter in the pan and spread it out evenly (then lick the spatula!).

Bake for 30-35 minutes (be careful not to overbake). Cool completely before cutting.

Truth be told, these were not as moist as I expected. Despite the dry crumb, once you start chewing, they condense into a startlingly intense chocolate flavor. I guess a full 1/2 cup of cocoa will do that! The taste is more akin to dark chocolate than milk chocolate, and boy, will it make you thirsty. Have a cold glass of water or soymilk on hand for gulping in between bites. Just because these aren’t my holy grail of brownies doesn’t mean they weren’t very yummy. Let’s just say I was not sorry at all for giving them a try. Meanwhile, the search continues...

Yield: 16 servings. Per serving (without nuts): 181 calories, 9.7g fat (2g sat), 24.9g carbs, 2g fiber, 1.9g protein.

If you like this, you might also like...
Chocolate brownie muffins
Deep chocolate bundt cake
White chip brownies

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