Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chocolate Cake Brownies (Refined Sugar Free)

How can you celebrate Valentine's Day without chocolate? Lots and lots of chocolate. I love these brownies because they are not too sweet, not too heavy, not too anything. The secret ingredient is a bit of dry red wine. The alcohol evaporates during the baking process, but leaves behind a richness that works really well with the chocolate. I love the fact that the recipe is fast & easy and uses only one bowl and one pan...Hand mixer or processor needed. My husband is addicted to these brownies and we often have them for dessert with the last of the bottle of wine from dinner.

I love taking traditional recipes and tweaking them to be healthier. The trick is the finished dish has to remain delicious. These brownies are a perfect example. Made with extra virgin olive oil, unsweetened organic cocoa powder, coconut milk and coconut sugar, instead of refined white sugar, they are light, "cakey", and really, really moist. If I had my way, I would use all white whole wheat flour. But Peter is not a fan, so the compromise is 1/2 and 1/2. You cannot taste the whole wheat but I feel better knowing it is there. Perfect as is, you can gild the lily, albeit lose some of the healthiness, by serving with ice cream, whipping cream or crème à l'anglaise. Enjoy...and Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Chocolate Cake Brownies (Refined Sugar-Free)
(makes 16 2x3 inch brownies)

2 eggs
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
1 3/4 cups coconut milk (from the dairy case, not canned)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (organic if you can)
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 cup plus 2 tbsp organic coconut sugar
1 cup organic white, whole wheat flour
1 cup organic unbleached flour
1 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder (look for 100% cocoa, nothing else added. (I use the Now Real Food brand)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 x 12 glass baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and, using a wooden spoon, beat the eggs until frothy. Stir in the 3/4 cup oil, coconut milk, vanilla and red wine. Add the 1 cup coconut sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the whole wheat flour and stir until just mixed. Repeat with the unbleached flour, then the cocoa powder stirring until just combined. (do not overmix). Stir in the baking powder, soda and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Pour into prepared pan, smoothing top evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp coconut sugar over the brownie batter and place in oven.

Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of pan comes out almost clean.

Remove from oven, set on rack and cool for 40 minutes or until just warm. Cut into squares and serve as is or with ice cream, whipped cream or crème à l'anglaise. Top with raspberries if desired.
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It is "Comforting Valentine's Day Desserts" week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite comforting dessert recipe of your own? Please feel free to share in the comments section of this post or link to your blog if you have one. 
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Quinoa Fudge Brownies
Feed Me Phoebe: Salted Caramel Budino with Whipped Cream
In Jennie's Kitchen: Milk Chocolate Brownies
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: A Chocolate Fondue Party
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Blood Orange Bars
Dishing with Divya: Carrot Halwa
Virtually Homemade: Raspberry Grand Marnier Mascarpone Hand Pies 
Devour: 5 Bread Pudding Recipes for Valentine's Day
Weelicious: Puff Pastry Berry Hearts
Red or Green: Hot Chocolate, New Mexican Style
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chocolate Cake Brownies (Refined Sugar-Free)
The Sensitive Epicure: Nutella Panna Cotta
Haute Apple Pie: Valentine Cake Pops
FN Dish: DIY Chocolate Desserts for Valentine's Day
Food for 7 Stages of Life: S'mores on a Stick
Tasting With The Eyes: Puff au Chocolat avec Fraises, Basilic, Fleur de Sel

napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.


Dre said...

These look so yummy!!

Esther said...

I'm making these this weekend!! They look amazing! This Esther from @mybalanceplate leaving some SITSGirls Love! Can't wait to try more of your recipes!

diane said...

thanks Miss Dre and Esther! I hope you enjoy them...

Unknown said...

I love chocolate!!! Have got to pin this on my Chocolate board...showing love #SITS

diane said...

Thanks Cynthia!

Emmy said...

Those look so yummy and healthier is always good too then I can eat a lot more without feeling so guilty :)

Thanks for you comment on my blog the other day! #Sitsblogging

Gloria @ Simply Gloria said...

Love knowing about the whole wheat ...even if they don't. Makes me feel better, too! Love these!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks emmy and gloria!

LeLo said...

These look really good old friend. I've pinned them to my "healthy recipes" board. I love all of the research supporting heart health with dark chocolate and red wine. :)

Shefali said...

Oh Yum! I did not know that coconut sugar was even an option. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for stopping by #SITS girls

Pop Chef said...

Making traditional recipes healthier with the same delicious taste seems really challenging. Good read.

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