Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bulletproof Fudgy Brownies - Low Carb & No Added Sugar

Today I'm posting the recipe for my Bulletproof Fudgy Brownies! This is the tweaked batch that I made the other day. They turned out great...nice and fudgy which is what I was aiming for. The first batch I made was more solid, dense and dry but worked out great as an add-in for ice cream or frozen yogurt and they also made great cookie bases for ice cream sandwiches or frozen whoopie pies! Even after reducing the cocoa powder in these, they still turned out nice deep, dark and chocolatey. I used a more intense cocoa powder made by Valrhona, but you can use any brand you like. I baked my brownies for exactly 32 minutes until the toothpick inserted in the center came out clean except for one little moist crumb on it, but depending on your oven, they take 30 to 35 minutes. 

Why are these brownies bulletproof you ask? Well, with all the chatter about bulletproof coffee (essentially coffee that folks add butter and/or oil too)...I thought that these might be a tasty dessert version (after all, they do contain espresso powder). Seriously though...these brownies are dairy free since they use coconut oil instead of butter (and no, there is no coconut flavor). They also have espresso powder added (and no, they don't taste like coffee). The espresso powder just deepens the chocolate flavor which is always a good thing! If you like your brownies a little sweet, you will probably prefer using the full 1-1/4 cups of powdered Swerve or sweetener. I only used 1 cup because I lost my super sweet tooth after more than 2 years without sugar. 

I pushed these over the edge a bit by adding some dark chocolate chunks which I made very simply by chopping half of one of my 3-ounce bars of Endangered Forest 88% chocolate. You can use your favorite or omit them altogether. You can also swap the coconut oil out for butter if you prefer. I just thought that these would be a great way to enjoy a favorite chocolate dessert and get a little dose of healthy coconut oil at the same time...and for those who have issues with dairy, these would be good for you too! I used Honeyville's new hazelnut flour in these instead of almond flour. It worked beautifully. These would be great with some toasted hazelnuts stirred in. I'll do that next time I have some hazelnuts on hand. I snapped a few photos below. I hope you like these as much as I do. Enjoy!








Bulletproof Fudgy Brownies - Low Carb

Ingredients:

2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 to 1-1/4 cups Swerve confectioners style sweetener, or other granular sweetener that has been powdered (I used 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/2 teaspoons liquid stevia
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup hazelnut flour
1.5 ounces chopped 70 to 90% cacao chocolate bar, optional (I used 1/2 of an 88% Endangered Forest bar)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray or grease an 8" x 8" square baking pan.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine coconut oil, cocoa powder, espresso powder, powdered sweetener and salt. Microwave approximately 1 to 1-1/2 minutes on high, stirring every 30 seconds or so until slightly heated and smooth (as an alternative to using a microwave you can heat mixture using a double boiler over the stove until heated and smooth).

Stir in stevia and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating briskly after each egg. After adding all eggs, beat well until batter is glossy and smooth. Stir in flour until blended evenly. Fold in chocolate chunks. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan using a rubber spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely in pan before cutting. Makes 16 brownies.

*Note: Butter can be substituted for the coconut oil if preferred (the coconut oil does not give a coconut flavor to the brownies). Brownies may appear very slightly wet on top when removing from oven but will disappear within a couple of minutes. Be careful not to overcook brownies to maintain their fudgy texture. Also, almond flour can be substituted for hazelnut flour. 

*TipTo use this recipe to make a denser dark chocolate base for ice cream sandwiches, frozen whoopie pies or for add-ins for frozen yogurt or ice cream, add 1 tablespoon coconut flour to your dry ingredients and bump the cocoa powder up to 3/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup. 

           

67 comments:

Patricia said...

I do not have hazelnut flour. Could I use Honeyville almond flour?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Patricia,

Yes, that should work fine! :-)

Anonymous said...

How many carbs are in one brownie?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

About 2 net carbs each.

Hannah Wade said...

Is there something I can use instead of coconut oil Bc I am allergic

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

My, you've been busy! The brownies look wonderful ... just like Mom's! If it weren't so late, I'd whip up a batch right now! Thanks for also posting the recipe adjustments for the ice cream sandwich cookies ... two recipes in one! :-)

I have some Bob's Red Mill hazelnut flour and wondered how that compares to Honeyville. If Honeyville's is super fine (like their almond flour) maybe I could run Bob's through the Magic Bullet.

Have you tried "Enjoy Life" chocolate morsels? http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/chocolate-for-baking/dark-morsels/
They come in semi-sweet and dark varieties. The *dark* ones contain 69% cacao. I think the flavor is very nice. Normally I'd chop up a somewhat higher percentage dark chocolate bar (and make a mess in the process) but these are just so darn convenient to pour out of the bag ... and they are only 1% shy of 70%. :-) The "dark" ones have only two ingredients, unsweetened chocolate and that little bit of sugar. They're *certified* gluten-free and non-GMO, too.

Mindy said...

I made these tonight. I used butter ( next time I'll use coconut oil) and almond flour. They came out rich,dense and simply delicious! These were really good warm, I just couldn't wait for them to cool. I anticipate these will be even better fully cooled! Thanks for the wonderful recipe :)

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried freezing these? I would like to make them ahead of time :)

Janne said...

Why would these by classed as low carb please?

Mary Anna said...

The link for the espresso powder links to the cocoa powder... which espresso powder do you recommend/use?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Mary Anna,

I've fixed the link. Check your local grocery store first before ordering it. Many stores carry it!

I've used both Pilon espresso powder and Medaglia D'oro. You are looking for instant espresso powder. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Janne,

Because they have approximately 2 net carbs for each brownie. That is low carb! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Hannah,

Yes, you can substitute butter for the coconut oil if you prefer. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Thanks! I think Bob's Hazelnut flour would work just fine without any further blending. I didn't find the Honeyville hazelnut super fine like their almond flour and it has skins in it too.

I haven't tried the Enjoy Life morsels yet but would definitely like to have them on hand. Like you said...much less mess and they are ready to go when you need them. Do you find them at Whole Foods?

tanita✿davis said...

YAY! I've seen some other almond flour brownie recipes, but I appreciate how your recipes tend to not have too many unfamiliar items in them. This looks quite tasty.

Mariloo said...

No baking powder used?

Darlene said...

Judging by the number of comments, you can tell what we all like best, ha ha!

Just wondered how you decided to use hazelnut flour? And do you think I could grind hazelnuts and use "meal"?

I will have to get some espresso powder and make these soon!

Tracy P. said...

Sweet Baby Jesus this is the most decadent handful of deliciousness EVER. My kids and I are fighting over these...yes I WILL fight a kid for these brownies. ;) So I made them with Bob's Red Mill Hazelnut Flour and butter instead of coconut oil and they are amazing. I will be so depressed when these are gone....until I make more. :) You've done it again GGC.

Luci said...

Hi GG,
I am curious as to why you use two different types of sweetener.... the Swerve and the liquid stevia.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Luci,

The reason I did in this recipe is simply because I wanted to keep the brownies fudgy and moist so I wanted to bump up the sweetness a bit without adding more dry ingredients that might compete with the moisture. You can certainly add your own preferred sweetener though. Since the stevia is more concentrated, it doesn't take much volume to add sweetness. That's the only reason I used it. ;-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Tanita,

Thanks! I try to keep it as simple as possible. When I first went grain free over 2 years ago, I wasted so much money buying so many ingredients that I ended up not using...some still in my pantry! I hope you enjoy these! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Mariloo,

Nope, no baking powder in these -- intentionally to keep them fudgy and not cakey. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene,

I tried the hazelnut flour to see how it would work compared to almond flour. Also, I like hazelnuts...but I will admit, with all the chocolate in these, it sort of takes over the hazelnut flavor. Next time I'd like to stir in some roasted hazelnuts before baking for crunch and the flavor. Yes, I'm sure you could grind your own hazelnuts and use meal. Also, if you want to try these and don't want to buy or make hazelnut meal, just swap blanched almond flour instead. If you happen to already have any regular instant coffee on hand, you could always use that instead of espresso powder...maybe add an extra teaspoon to compensate. Hope you enjoy these! And...YES, it's obvious if I want to get a lot of folks attention...sweets are where it's at! ;-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Tracy,

LOL...you made me giggle when you said you were fighting the kids for these! Too funny! I am so happy that you and your kids enjoyed these. My 2 grown sons came for dinner last night and saw them on the counter (they aren't grain or sugar free)...and both of them told me they were as good or better than regular brownies...and one conceded they were better than regular! How great is that!

I hope you managed to hide one for yourself tonight! ;-)

905lovestostamp said...

I have some granulated stevia, how would I substitute that for the liquid stevia? As well, I bought a bag of erythritol from Honeyville, how does it compare to Swerve?

I have been very intrested in buying some of the powdered sugar type swerve, but it's always out of stock, hoping that will change--very soon!

Thanks for your expertise, I'm excited to try these!

Joanne

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Joanne,

Here is a link to the conversion chart for the stevia I use (I use the liquid extract version). http://www.nowfoods.com/Foods/Better-Stevia/Recipes/

Each brand of stevia is different so you have to see what the sugar amount equivalent is for your type. According to this chart 1 teaspoon of my liquid version is the equivalent of 1/2 cup sugar in sweetness. As far as your erythritol goes...yes, you can use that in place of Swerve. Also, if you want to, you can grind that in a small grinder or Magic Bullet type device and powder it if desired. Swerve is predominantly erythritol with some other things added. It should be close to what you have. :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

Yes, I do believe I saw the Enjoy Life chocolate chips at Whole Foods, however I bought them at a local independent health food store. I also noticed on the Enjoy Life web site that the brand is widely available at Kroger's. If your store doesn't regularly stock the dark chocolate chips, they could probably order them for you since they do carry the brand. (Our Kroger's is good about special orders.)

It looks like Bob's and Honeyville hazelnut flour are comparable. I've been super busy the past few days and haven't been able to make the brownies, but they are at the top of my "hit list"! :-)

Mary said...

Can't wait to try these, but I'm not familiar with Swerve. I can't have artificial sugars and was wondering if regular stevia could be used instead of the swerve, and if so, would you still have to put in the liquid stevia? Thanks!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Mary,

I'm sure stevia could be used but because it would change the volume (the 1 cup of dry Swerve), it would probably also change the consistency. If you were going to try the stevia alone, I would probably bump up the flour a bit -- at least another 1/4 to 1/2 cup? I'm just afraid they might be too wet without it. While experimenting you might want to only make a half batch so you don't waste ingredients in the event it doesn't turn out right. Let me know. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Thanks...I will check the Krogers nearby. There's a big one a little further away that carries more healthy foods...I'll check that one first! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello

May I use coconut flour instead of hazelnut flower?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, you could use coconut flour but MUCH less. I'm not exactly sure how much would be the correct amount since I haven't tested it with coconut flour...but I'm thinking not more than 1 or 2 tablespoons at the most because it so absorbent...and might make these dry. :-)

samudra said...

i'm still trying to find espresso powder. called natural foods mkt…nope. even went to starbucks..nope. happened upon some at marshalls (of all places) and snapped it up, not realizing until i got home that it was not instant. the search continues….hazelnut flour has arrived and i've got everything else ready to go.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Samudra,

Since your don't seem to be able to find it locally, I would just pick up the smallest container of regular instant coffee that you can find and maybe add an extra teaspoon to them. I think that would work out fine in its place. Also, I've had several folks tell me they've made them using butter instead of coconut oil and they said they were great too! I wouldn't spend any extra time trying to find the espresso powder...just find some other instant coffee powder. Hope you enjoy them! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I made the brownies a couple of days ago and they're *wonderful*! My hubby likes them, too! Bob's hazelnut flour worked great. Next time I might add some walnut pieces, like Mom's. :-) They're just a bit more sweet than we're accustomed to, so next time I think I'll try omitting the stevia. This is a "keeper" for sure. Tomorrow I plan to make the vanilla frozen yogurt to go with the rest of the brownies ... I picked up the Greek Gods today. BTW, I had no trouble finding Medaglia D'oro instant espresso powder at the regular grocery store.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Glad you enjoyed the brownies. I think I'll put some walnuts in them next time too! I, too, don't have the same sweet tooth I used to. I always have a hard time deciding how sweet to make things...and try to make them sweet enough that even the "wheat and sugar folks" would like them too! My sons think they are as good as the "regular brownies" I used to bake! Glad you were able to find the espresso powder locally. It's in most of the local grocery stores I shop at, but I know not everyone has the same conveniences that us "city folks" do. I need to make that frozen yogurt again too -- I have 2 brownies left just calling to be shoved into some frozen vanilla yogurt! ;-)

nanoparty said...

Looks gorgeous!! Espresso powder is the only thing I'm missing - could the recipe possibly go without?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi nanoparty,

Thank you. Yes, you could make the recipe without it. It just adds a deeper flavor with it. If you have instant coffee powder you could use that instead...but if you don't, it should work nicely without it too. :-)

samudra said...

1:30am and i'm waiting for brownies to cool so i can remove from pan and go to bed LOL! won't be testing them tonight because of espresso, besides i want to make the frozen yogurt tomorrow. they look a bit overcooked altho i have oven thermometer and removed after 30mins. will report back after tasting.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Samudra,

Hopefully they won't be overcooked....BUT, if they are a little bit...no worries, just fold them into frozen yogurt and they will be just fine! LOL on making brownies at 1:30 a.m. Well...hope they turn out nicely for you and hope you enjoy the yogurt if you get around to making it too! :-)

samudra said...

tested brownies today. they were overcooked/very dense…not fudgey at all, more like crispy cookies…but worked fine in the frozen yogurt i made today..yummmm!! next time i will experiment w/adjusting sweetener…too much stevia taste for me. i put about 1tsp in yogurt…next time i think i will omit it altogether.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Samudra,

Not sure how your brownies got that overcooked. Did you make any changes or substitutions with the ingredients? Mine were very moist and even if our oven temps might be slightly different...I wouldn't think that would make such a big difference. As far as the stevia goes...every brand and type are so different that it is really hard to know exact amounts. For example, I have probably a half dozen different types of stevia in my kitchen right now. 1 teaspoon of one kind would probably only sweeten 1 cup of yogurt to "moderately sweet"...another version I have, if I used 1 teaspoon of it in 1 cup of yogurt it would be disgustingly sweet and probably bitter! There was really only one kind of stevia that I truly loved and they changed the formula last year (NuNaturals)...I have never found any other kind I like as much...and it appears at the moment I never will. Sorry your brownies turned out dry. Let me know if there were any changes you made so I can try and help you figure out why they were so different than mine. :-)

Darlene said...

Finally tried this recipe--2 thumbs up! I also discovered a healthy version of "ice cream cake" by crumbling the brownies in the bottom of a greased pan, then adding homemade frozen yogurt, a few sliced berries & whipped heavy cream for the topping! yum!

And how is Spike doing now?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene,

So glad you like them. GREAT idea on the "ice cream cake" too! Spike's leg seems to be much better -- I had actually stopped the meds last week. However, last night, he began acting "funny" like something was hurting but not his leg. I'm hoping it isn't his back (he had back surgery 7 years ago). I started the metcam again this morning and am keeping a close eye on him. Keeping my fingers crossed that maybe he just tweaked something. The meds seemed to have helped it. Will watch him for a day or 2 to see if it goes away on its own. It's always something! (P.S. - Thanks for asking about him...he is my baby!) :-)

Alice B. said...

This is, by far, the best low carb brownie recipe I have ever tried. Thank you, thank you, thank you! All your recipes are fantastic. My faves: Brownies, biscuits and spinach pie. All delish!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Alice,

Wow, thanks so much! I'm so happy you love the brownies. Glad you are enjoying some of the other recipes, too! Thanks so much for letting me know. :-)

Sara said...

Just happen to have some Honeyville hazelnut flour on hand, yay! Do these taste a lot like hazelnut, or is it more like almond flour - strangely neutral?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sara,

No, actually there is not a strong hazelnut flavor. I found it more neutral than I expected it to be...but in a good way. Sometimes hazelnuts can be too strong flavored but I didn't find that with the hazelnut flour. :-)

Sara said...

Oh, awesome! Good to know. I love hazelnut flavor, but honestly it's nice to have another neutral low carb nut flour.

One more question, probably a little silly - but I'm thinking I want to make a bit of a brownie layer cake with this recipe. Do you think this amount of batter could work with two 6" circle pans?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sara,

It might work. They probably wouldn't not be super thick layers but it should work. Let me know if you try it! :-)

Sara Pomish said...

OMG, I just made these and, well, OMG! Incredibly deep chocolate flavor (I used some chopped 85% chocolate as suggested) and super fudgy texture. My daughter thought they were "bitter"...I thought they were perfect. Definitely going to serve with some lightly sweetened whipped cream!

I used half butter, half coconut oil, and a packet of Starbuck's VIA instant coffee, which was all I had on hand. A nice substitute if you don't want to invest in a jar of instant espresso.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sara,

So happy you like them. LOL on your daughter's "bitter" comment. My one son says the same thing if I use 85% chocolate. He likes the 70/71% but anything higher than that and he scrunches up his nose! LOL I really loved them topped with the whipped cream. Your substitutes sound great, too. So happy you are enjoying them. :-)

Betsy said...

I just want to say I use decar espresso powder in recipes that call for espresso powder and it works just as well and doesn't give me that caffeine jolt. I'll be making this recipe today -- can't wait!

Sara said...

I did end up making a 6" round two-layer birthday cake with this recipe - it turned out fabulously. Rich and fudgy and dark chocolately. I filled it with a chocolate ganache and topped with some sugar-free vanilla buttercream, and I could hardly deal with how awesome it was. Thank you SO much for this recipe! I'd love to send you a picture, but I'm sure you get so many emails a day, I didn't want to spam.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sara,

So happy it turned out great as a cake for you! It sounds absolutely deliicous. I will have to try making a brownie cake with it too one day! :-)

Sara said...

I can highly recommend it now! One thing, though - I noticed Honeyville's hazelnut flour doesn't seem to be as finely ground as their almond flour. For this recipe I actually sifted a good bit of it to get out the heftier chunks. Do you notice this with yours, too, or maybe I just got a weird batch?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sara,

I agree and do believe the hazelnut flour is a more coarse grind, but I didn't notice any difference with the brownie or another cookie recipe I made with it. Maybe if you were looking to make a lighter cake type of recipe, sifting it would probably be best.

I'm so happy you enjoyed the brownie recipe and I will have to keep it in mind to use as a cake like you did! GREAT idea. :-)

Marianne said...

This recipe is so delicious. They can be varied so many ways. So far, I've made them plain or with nuts, but my favorite is to bake them in my mini-muffin pans with a scoop (1/2 tablespoon) of natural peanut butter plopped in the middle. I've received rave reviews on these at work, too. No one can believe that they are low carb.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Marianne,

I'm so happy you are enjoying them as well as enjoying all your delicious sounding variations. I've thought about swirling peanut butter into them but your idea of making little "brownie peanut butter cups" with them is brilliant! So happy you are having fun with the recipe. :-)

Sara said...

Back again to comment on how fantastic this recipe is, but with some questions too!

1. Do you think this could be converted to a blondie recipe?
2. If so, what changes do you think you'd make (other than just removing the cocoa powder)?
3. Do you think it'd have the same dense, chewy/fudgey texture?

Thank you!! Your recipes are seriously an inspiration for me. (And I am SO sorry if this comment somehow got sent to you like 5 times...computer's actin' all funky.)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sara,

I'm not sure if it would work. It would need a number of changes and tweaks. I had blondies on my "to do list" so hopefully I'll be posting a recipe for them soon.

Thanks! :-)

ChristyL said...

Since going lc, I have tried baking a variety of things. Unfortunately, I was very successful until I made this last night. About 1:30am I decided to make these. At this time, I would be able to let them cool completely and have them for dessert. They were AWESOME. I used almond flour instead of hazelnut and left out the espresso (just because I didn't have it).Thanks for this delicious recipe.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Christy,

So happy you liked them! I've made them with almond flour as well, too, which is probably much easier for most folks to find than hazelnut flour. So happy they turned out nicely for you! :-)

Natalie Joel said...

Hi I made with coconut flour 3 tablespoon and I used espresso powder from my coffee grinder ( I have a coffee shop). The customers loved it!! Thanks so much!!!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Sounds like a great substitution Natalie! So happy you and your customers enjoyed it! :-)

Lisa Hevern said...

These turned out great! Love em!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks Lisa! So happy you enjoyed them.