Healthier Brownies Two Ways – Beetroot, Sweet Potato, Dates and Prunes.

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Brownies are yummy, and everyone one around here seems to love them.

Alas, they are full of fat, sugar and calories (due to all the delicious chocolate, butter and sugar they contain).

Here are two healthier brownie recipes that I have made lately. I say healthier because they are still a treat.

To make them healthier I have added some veg to up the nutrition, and replaced some of half of the sugar with dates/prunes.

The first recipe still contains lots of butter and dark chocolate, but the second reduces the fat, and contains only cocoa to get the chocolate flavor.

To make the second even healthier you could replace all the sugar with the dates, use raw cocoa instead of normal, and replace the flour with coconut flour or almond meal (adjusting liquid and raising agent as needed).

Beetroot Brownies (adapted from August issue of Australian Good Taste Magazine)

Surprisingly you can taste the beetroot, and it really compliments the chocolate! These were really moist, and much like normal brownies.

Ingredients:

200g beetroot, peeled, chopped

175g butter

125g of a mix of prunes and fresh pitted date

125g dark brown sugar

200g of good dark chocolate

3 eggs, lightly beaten

75g of plain flour

35g cocoa powder

1/4 tsp of nutmeg

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

100g chopped walnuts

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 180c. Grease and line a 20cm square pan. Process beetroot in a food processor until finely chopped.

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2. In a small saucepan on low heat, mix prunes and dates with 1/4 cup of water, cook stirring occasionally until soft and mushy. Let cool.

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3. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 20 seconds burst, stirring in between until melted. Add beetroot, fruit mixture and sugar to bowl while stir warm, stirring well. Let cool for a few minutes.

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4. Stir in eggs. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Sift dry ingredients over the wet, and stir to combine, and stir in walnuts.

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5. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for approx. 30 min or until center is just firm. Cool in pan. Cut into squares. Try not to eat immediately.

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Sweet Potato Brownies (Adapted from Martha Stewart http://www.marthastewart.com/312801/fudge-brownies)

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Ingredients:

4 tbs of butter (about 65gs)

2/3 cup of cocoa powder

1/2 cup of wholemeal plain flour

1/4 tsp of baking powder

1/4 tsp of salt

100gs of fresh dates pitted and chopped – about 8 dates

1/2 cup of dark brown sugar

2/3 cup of sweet potato puree (boiled, processed and cooled sweet potato)

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 tsp of coffee powder

Steps:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 c. Butter an 20cm square pan; set aside. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Remove pan from heat, and stir in cocoa. Let cool slightly.

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2. In a small saucepan, mix dates with 1/8 cup of water, cook on low stirring occasionally until dates are soft and mushy.

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3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Stir in sugar and date mixture into the sweet-potato puree,stir this and then the egg into the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together vanilla and coffee until coffee is dissolved; add to cocoa mixture.

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5. Add  cocoa mixture and stir until well combined. Spoon into prepared pan; smooth the top. Bake until surface of brownies looks barely dry and an inserted knife comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.

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They are very fudgey, and give you a nice cakey chocolate hit.

Tx

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Marcianos Cakes

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YUM YUM

We ordered a birthday cake from here, it was fantastic! Really good value.

The man serving us, told us the Marciano’s delight was the most popular flavor of cake.

It consists of traditional millefeuille (puff pastry) with layers of dulce de leche  and vanilla custard for the bottom half and  Vanilla sponge layered with dulce de leche(caramel), crème Chantilly and fruit for the top, them it is covered with meringue.

 

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I love this cake shop. It offers South American style cakes. On the day we ordered the birthday cake we got there around 2:30 and were starving. Unfortunately they had run out of the traditional Chilean beef empandas, so we went for a sausage roll and cheese empanada. The pastry of both was soo flaky and buttery. The sausage mixture was sweeter with a little spice compared to a standard Aussie version.

They have a large range of  sweet pastries, many filled with dulce de  leche. I’m not sure what these are called, but one that we shared cake was like a Swiss roll filled with dulce de leche instead of jam and coated with icing sugar. The other was  a sponge ball with dulce de leche in the middle, and also used as a coating and ducted with coconut. They are moreish and big, you will need to share!

Marciano's Cakes on Urbanspoon

Easy, Healthy Red Berry Crumble

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I’ve had half a bag of mixed berries in the freezer for awhile, and tonight I finally got around to doing something with them.

Crumbles are quick and easy, and also easy to give a bit of a healthy makeover. There were lots of ‘healthy recipes’ out there: low fat, no sugar, diary free etc. Today I decided to do a dairy free version without white flour.

As the berries threw a a lot of water when I heated them I added about a tsp of  corn flour,  you could leave this out or use an alternative thickener, you could sweeten the fruit if needed, I like my berries a little tart.

You could also use butter or another alternative fat.

Ingredients for 4 small serves:

3 cups of mixed berries

1tsp corn flour

Handful of rolled spelt (or grain of your choice )

handful of almond meal

Handful of toasted coconut

1.5 tbsp of coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 180c .
  2. In an oven proof skillet, combine berries and corn flour ( and sugar if using), heat on low until berries lose their frozen look and are shiny, and the smaller ones break down a little.
  3. Meanwhile combine the rest off the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add  oil and rub into dry ingredients with finger tips until combined (if weather is hotter oil will be liquid and can be simply stirred in).
  4. Top fruit with crumble mixture and bake in over for 10-15 minutes until browned and fruit bubbles at edges.

Serve as is, with some yoghurt or if you want to undo the healthiness with cream or ice cream.

If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, precook fruit in a saucepan and transfers into a baking dish. If using fresh fruit  you may need to adjust cooking times.