When I gave up chocolate back in early 2012 that was the end of my brownie gorging days. It wasn’t until a month ago, when I began researching the health benefits of cacao that I started thinking of recipes and immediately my mind went to the possibility of starting up my relationship with brownies once again. Of course, this time I’d do it differently – it wasn’t going to be the only thing I ate at lunch. It was going to be a small treat, a healthy treat, a reward for sticking to my autoimmune diet.
I wanted to make a brownie that didn’t require a lot of effort, did not have to go into an oven (to reduce the risk of it not rising) and that would satisfy any sweet cravings in one serve. It needed to be a fool proof recipe that would remind me of all the reasons why I used to love them. This recipe does exactly that and only requires 7 ingredients.
I initially thought it would be incredibly bitter due to the amount of dark cacao I was throwing into the bowl but it was balanced out by the half pound (223grams) of dates. So don’t worry – these are not bitter at all. They’re actually extremely sweet.
I used cacao nibs to decorate the brownies but you can add anything on top really – shredded coconut, ganache or chopped up trail mix. Brownies are known to be overwhelmingly chocolately so what’s the harm in adding a few more bits of cacao as a top coat? The hardest part of the recipe is waiting 4 hours for them to set. But they are well worth the wait and do not disappoint.
For other brownie recipes, be sure to check out my cacao brownie-cookie recipe and healthy cacao brownies with sweet potato frosting recipe.
- 1/2 lb medjool dates
- 8 oz dark cacao block
- 1 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup cacao nibs, to decorate
Place dates into a bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes - drain once dates have softened.
Use processor to blend softened dates into a smooth paste.
Chop the dark cacao block into thin strips and add to empty bowl.
Heat coconut cream in a small pot, once simmering pour on top of shredded cacao.
Mix until cacao is completely melted.
Add melted coconut oil, cacao powder, date paste and chopped walnuts.
Line baking tin with parchment paper - this will ensure easy removal once set.
Pour mixture into tin and arrange evenly. You can make brownies as thin/thick as you like (approximately 1.5cm thick makes a great serving size).
Decorate with cacao nibs.
Refridgerate for 4 hours (or overnight if you can wait that long).
Slice and enjoy!