As an attempt to try and make something a little healthier, I chose to make brownies. Yes, brownies. These are from my 5 weeks to sugar free book by Davina McCall which I have had for a while now. There is no refined sugar in these, rather it uses honey and maple syrup to sweeten.
- 125g dark chocolate (100% cocoa)
- 100ml milk
- 100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
- 175g honey
- 150g maple syrup
- 0.5 split vanilla pod, seeds removed
- 50g cocoa powder
- 3 eggs
- 150g wholemeal spelt flour
- 1tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 190C / 170C Fan / Gas 5 and grease and line a 30cm x 20cm brownie tin with baking parchment (I don’t have this size tin so used my 24cm x 24cm one instead – eventually I’m sure I will build up quite a collection and have the required sizes!)
Put the chocolate, milk, butter, honey, maple syrup and vanilla seeds (I didn’t have these so used 0.5tsp vanilla extract) in a saucepan, warming over a gentle heat until everything has melted.
At this point, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes before adding the eggs (if you add these too soon they could scramble) and finally the flour and baking powder. Don’t worry if it seems grainy at this point – this is the flour. I’ve never used spelt flour before so I was keen to see how it would affect the brownies.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until just set in the middle but still gooey. Mine took 20 minutes.
Before I cooked the brownie mixture I chose to add in some dulce de leche, as recommended by Davina, which I made before starting the brownies. To make this, you will need 410g tin of evaporated milk and 150ml maple syrup. Put these into a saucepan and bring to a boil before turning the heat down to a simmer, making sure you stir regularly until its reduced and thickened to the consistency of a thick pouring custard. According to Davina this takes 20 minutes to half an hours – I’m sure I was stood at the hob for at least 40 minutes though so I think I simmered the mixture too low! Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a sterilised jar and allow it to cool to a spreadable consistency. I added a few teaspoons of this to the batter and used a skewer to mix in before putting the tin in the oven.
Once cooked, remove the tin from the oven and take the brownies out, using the greaseproof paper to help. Let it cool before cutting into pieces.
If I was worried about how the spelt flour and lack of ‘refined sugar’ would affect the brownies I needn’t have. Honestly these are amazing! They had the usual brownie texture and there was no indication that these were anything other than a normal brownie – the addition of the dulce de leche was definitely a great one too! These won’t last long…