Friday, October 12, 2012

Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies (Grain Free)

TGIF!  I thought Friday would never get here!  This evening, hubby is still away at his conference and won't be home until late so it is just me for dinner again.  No problem there though because I got to have Eggplant Ricotta Bake for dinner again (not to mention for lunch as well)...LOL.  So that meant another night with no cooking.

Instead of just enjoying my free time with nothing to do, I decided I wanted to experiment a little with some grain free baking and that I would begin with brownies.  I mulled over numerous brownie recipes and couldn't really find "the one" that struck me, so I decided to sort of make it up as I went.  I used blanched almond flour and decided to use Zsweet for the sweetener (erythritol with stevia added).  It measures like sugar, so no calculations were required.  This was my first time trying Zsweet.  I have all kinds of different natural WB approved sweeteners (Truvia, Zsweet, plain erythritol, powdered pure stevia, liquid stevia, xyltiol, etc.) but decided to try out the Zsweet this time to see how it works for baking.  I figured with baking season right around the corner, I needed to do a little experimenting to see what I like and don't like.  Here is my review on these brownies; they are good (I would give them a 7.5 out of 10).  Personally, I would like them to be a bit more "pumpkiny" because I really like the taste of pumpkin.  These are the first non-sugar brownies I have ever made or eaten.  They are not as sweet as "regular brownies", and some might prefer to make them a tiny bit sweeter, although I found them sweet enough for me.  The texture was good and I think I could actually add a bit more pumpkin to them next time without making them too moist...possibly a couple more tablespoons or so.  I even wonder about substituting additional pumpkin for the butter to ramp up the pumpkin flavor.  Below are a few pictures as well as the recipe.  I cut the pan into 16 brownies which were plenty big enough for me.  Each brownie has approximately 4 net carbs each and about 2.6 grams of sugar each.  If you omit putting any chocolate chips on top, you could reduce the sugar to about 1.6 grams of sugar each.  Not too bad for a dessert or special treat.  What amazes me most though is finding that I really don't crave sweets like I used to and a little goes a long way -- that's a good thing!  I snapped a few photos below for you to see.  Enjoy!

Fresh out of the oven
The recipe makes 16 nice sized brownies
Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies (Grain Free)


3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup Swerve sweetener, erythritol or stevia (to equal the sweetness of 3/4 cup sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup bittersweet or very dark chocolate chips (I chopped a 3-oz 72% chocolate bar)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, optional


Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease or spray a non-stick 8 x 8 inch or 9 x 9 inch baking pan.  In a medium bowl, whisk or sift the almond flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder and cinnamon; add optional walnuts.  In a separate small bowl, melt 1/2 cup chocolate with 1/4 cup butter and set aside.  In another small to medium bowl, beat eggs and Swerve or erythritol (or sweetener of choice) together until thoroughly mixed; add 1/4 cup pumpkin, melted chocolate and butter mixture and mix together well.  Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until completely combined.  Spread batter into prepared pan; sprinkle optional chocolate chips on top.  Bake for 30 minutes or until done through to the center.



Anonymous said...

Thos elook yummy and I am going to make some as soon as I pick up some more pumpkin. I love pumpkin. I did notice when baking with pumpkin in particular it seems to somehow absorb sweetness and my first 2 pumpkin grain free pies did not come out quite as sweet as I wanted either. I do not like overly sweet but a bit of sweetness brings out the pumpkin. Last time I used 2 Sweat Leaf packets to 1 small tin of pumpkin. Next time I will use 3 packets. Gonna post this right away to my blog and my FB pages. :) Thank you Gourmet Girl!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks IntoEwe -- Hope you enjoy them! I may try increasing both the pumpkin and a tiny more sweetness next time -- I too love pumpkin and would like more pumpkin flavor. Thanks for the tip about pumpkin absorbing sweetness -- I will take that into account when I use it again next time!

Renee said...

Thanks for the recipe GG! These will be great for dessert tonight.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Your welcome Renee -- hope you like them!

Georgia Lister said...

I'm loving all these grain free recipes! I found you through the Are you still having success from that plan? How much weight have you lost? Congrats!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Georgia -- I am just a couple days over 13 weeks now -- as of this morning, I am down 37 pounds -- nothing short of miraculous! No exercise and I eat VERY well. No more cravings either -- I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it for myself! Hope you enjoy the recipes. Thanks!

Kare said...

Wow! Congrats on your success with WB, Gourmet Girl. This is week 4 for me and I haven't noticed a significant weight loss yet :)

These brownies look great! I'm so glad I found your blog - I'm a regular.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks Kare!

Paula in the UP said...

These are in the oven as I write this! I used 85% choc bar as its all I had. I also didnt read the instructions thoroughly enough and added the sugar to the dry ingredients. The batter tasted good so I'm not to worried.

Thanks again, I'm sure they will be yummy.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Pat -- I hope they turn out good! If the batter tasted good, they should. What I have noticed is that sometimes the sweetness is a little reduced after treats have baked for some reason -- maybe it is just me. Let me know how they turn out! :-)