The perfect brownie has always eluded me. Cakes I can bake, cookies crumble with each hungry bite – heck, even the mastery of fudge-making is something which I’ve managed to perfect. But something as simple as the humble brownie? Nuh-uh, not my forte.
I’ve attempted them once and never again. They were a dry, cloying affair with slightly blackened edges and although it was very early on in my baking career, I’ve flipped furiously past the “Red Velvet Oreo Brownies” and “Salted Caramel Blondies” recipes in my cookbooks ever since.
I’ve created yummy, fudgey and decadently dark chocolatey brownies which are TOTALLY GOOD FOR YOU. They’re sugar-free and gluten-free, and most importantly, they’re utterly mouth-watering.
It all comes down to a secret ingredient – one that will leave you cradling it in your hand, scratching your head and going, “Really? This? …Binia, are you SURE?”. Yes, I’ve never been so positively sure in my entire life that this unexpected addition is the reason why I’ve devoured a tray of these brownies by MYSELF in the last two days.
The magic ingredient?
Avocado. That’s right. Avocado. You haven’t misread, my friends. This creamy little addition has revolutionised the way that we can satisfy our chocolate cravings, so we can make dessert AND eat it too.
Avocado has been making heatwaves amongst the health-conscious for a few years now, and is a hot contender for the title of “Supreme Superfood”. Although this tasty little oval is packed full of fats, it’s also packed full of numerous health benefits.
Firstly, the fats found in an avocado are the good kind. There’s none of that poly-saturated falsity in here – it’s all omega-3 fatty acids, the most abundant of which is oleic acid. Studies have shown that this particular acid reduces inflammation, helps to lower cholesterol and has been linked to boosting cancer-fighting genes.
Secondly, it’s filled with fibre. That’s not only a thumbs up for your colon (YAY!), but foods high in fibre tend to give us a longer feeling of satiety, meaning that hunger is reduced and we spend less time mindlessly grazing, and more time concentrating on more important matters such as, er, avocado brownie consumption…
Thirdly, they’ve been linked with easing the side-effects osteoarthritis. Fourthly, they contain antioxidants essential for eye-health. Fifthly, they’re higher in potassium than bananas.
Need I go on?
TL;DR; avocados are amazing.
And when coupled with chocolate, avocados become remarkable. The creamy texture and subtle taste of an avocado mean that it’s almost pre-destined for pairing with rich, intense cacao.
The two compliment each other perfectly, and if you don’t believe me until you try it, THEN TRY IT.
These brownies taste delicious straight out of the oven, warm and slightly burny on the tongue. Mmm! However, they really come into their own after a few hours spent in the fridge; they transform into even fudgier, gooeyier, yummier brownies…
…provided you’re able to exercise enough restraint to stop yourself devouring a trayful before they’ve even cooled, of course.
I’ve added cinnamon & cayenne pepper to my brownies as I wanted them to have a little kick. These are optional, though highly recommended.
Let me know your thoughts on adding unexpected ingredients to dessert, and if you try this recipe, share your success.
Guilt-Free Spicy Cinnamon Brownies
(makes 16 servings)
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 ripe banana
- 80g sugar-free chocolate or dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
- 15g coconut oil
- 35g Truvia
- 2 tbsp (15g) of flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp (90ml) of water (or, you can use 2 x eggs)
- 30g cornstach/cornflour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 30g cacao powder (or unsweetened 100% cocoa powder)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 170C, and grease & line a rectangular tin measuring 23cm x 15cm (or thereabouts. I actually used two mini-trays foil because that’s what I had to hand).
- If you’re doing flaxseed egg-replacer eggs, mix the flaxseed and water together in a bowl and put to one side.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in a bowl for 1 minute, in 20 second increments. Make sure to stir.
- Mash the avocado and banana in a bowl with a fork until throughly combined. Stir through the chocolate/coconut oil mixture.
- Using electric beaters, give the mixture a quick blast to get rid of lumps.
- Add in the all the remaining ingredients, and mix with the electric beaters for a minute or two, until the mixture is (mostly) lump free.
- Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin, level with the back of a spoon and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Leave to cool on the side, and then refrigerate for a few hours (or as long as your willpower will permit), before slicing into rectangles and sharing. Or not sharing.