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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Zumbo Chocolate Mirror Cake Mix

ImageYes, I use cake mixes sometimes!

Really they are not much easier than making a cake from scratch, but some are pretty good!

In Australia, over the last couple of years two ‘celebrity chefs’ Adriano Zumbo and Donna Hay have released their own ‘premium’ cake, biscuit and slice recipes.

This is one of Zumbo’s. He is a pâtissier and is known for ‘out there’ creations and providing Australian Master Chef with some outrageous challenges.

He provides videos that are good for the recipe instructions, at http://zumbobaking.com.au/

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I cake was relatively easy to make. You have to use a water bath, which may be a little intimating for an inexperienced cook.

My cake stuck in the corners to the pan, but I think I was lazy with the greasing!

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So the chunks missing ruined the mirror effect somewhat, but as you can see the glaze is super shiny and luscious looking.

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I served the cake as part of a dessert spread at a party, soon after applying the glaze. I left it on the board, as in the picture above. However, to make it look like the box, you are supposed to let it sit  awhile and then remove to another serving plate to, get rid of the excess at the sides. It was very popular, I think because the glaze was still warm!

Tx.

Homemade chocolate pudding or yogo or blancmange….

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This is an American style chocolate pudding, however my Nana calls it a blancmange and it’s similar to chilled dairy desserts available here in Australia, such as Yogo.

This is a low cal version  (1% milk, sugar alternative), that will give you a chocolate, creamy sweet hit!

However, feel free to play with it. For Yogo, leave out the dark chocolate, and use a little less cocoa to get a lighter color.  Use real sugar, and add more chocolate! Or ever better make a decant dessert by replacing some milk with cream and melting Nutella through it!

For Aussie’s with kids, replace the cocoa with Milo, and make a homemade version of those Milo dairy snacks at the supermarket.

You could also add more vanilla for a vanilla flavor, or some other flavored powdered drinks for strawberry, caramel etc.

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Ingredients for 4 small serves

2 cups of 1% milk (or milk of your choice)

3 tbs of cornflour

3 tbs of cocoa (this makes it very chocolatey, use less if you like)

4 squares of 70% cocoa dark chocolate

half a tsp of vanilla essence

2 tbs of powered steevia (use sweetener of you choice and adjust to taste)

Nuts or toasted coconut to top if you like

  1. Put milk and chocolate in a saucepan on low heat, stir until chocolate is melted.
  2. Once melted shift in flour and cocoa, while stirring to prevent lumps, add vanilla.
  3. Increase heat to medium and stir continually, until thick. Be careful it does not catch on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour into containers, add any toppings.
  5. Refrigerate until cold, or eat hot like a custard.

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