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
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
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.