Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Healthy Snack Quest part 2: Almost Raw Brownie Blondies by Delish Knowledge

Oh my readers, my blog has been living up to its name the last couple of weeks, and I pretty much am insane. Even cooking isn't helping. I've been feeling so mentally exhausted in the evenings that I haven't had the wherewithal to compile a lot of words into something worth reading, and I'll be honest with you, I feel like that tonight too. I'm sorry to begin on a downer; it gets better from here, I promise. Because the recipe I'm going to bring to your attention today... well, I can't actually think of a fantastic enough description!

I came upon this recipe on an awesome website I've stumbled upon and forgotten about a couple of times since setting up the blog, but this time, I'm not going to stumble away but keep my step firmly implanted in it. It's called foodgawker.com. An unusual but certainly not easily forgettable name. One is also able to gawk at craft, homes, style and weddings, if one desires! I have yet to explore these other options, though the wedding one is certainly not on the list, as I have the most wonderful Husb andbody could wish for, and we're not planning a second wedding! Interiors however, I could look at all day long, so I will be checking that section out at some point. It was on this website, once I'd set up an account (which is entirely free, by the way) that I came upon this recipe, and so enticing was it that I had to make it the very next day.

As with my previous Healthy Snack Quest, I really wanted to involve the Tonjus. They did reasonably well last time, and we hadn't baked for quite a while. Oh dear. This time was not comparable with the last. It descended into a screaming debacle: who was going to stand on the stool, which is quite large for both of them to stand on at once, as it happens, whilst helping add the ingredients to the food processor and engage in the never-ending-fun job of turning the knob thereon. So unfortunately, my progress shots are rather non-existant. I have a couple of out of focus ingredients shots, but nothing showing the making process, and, more importantly, nothing to show the icing being made, which I tinkered with as I didn't want to use actual chocolate and sugar. You'll have to rely on my memory if you want to modify the icing as well; details below.

Can you believe this is the best ingredients shot I got, and the only one until after I'd actually mixed the ingredients and put them in the tin?

Ha! I've just realised I've been going on and on about this recipe and I haven't even given the link for it yet. Not good practise! You can find it here. As usual when I'm going through an online recipe, I ask you to link back to the original site for an ingredients list and method. What I will tell you is that you need a food processor to make these; I can't really think of a alternative way of making them without the use of one. The recipe is split in half, so one could make only the brownie layer if one wanted, which is what I was originally intending to do and which is why the photograph above shows only the brownie and not the icing ingredients. I was enticed by Alex, the author's, description of frosted brownies, however;

"Do you frost your brownies? I never knew that was a thing until I started eating my friend Paige’s brownies. Hers are some of the best: chocolate chips in the batter and a thick layer of chocolate frosting on top. The problem with trying frosted brownies just once? You always want frosted brownies."

So I was thinking and deliberating as I was making and decided to try and create my own chocolate frosting but to make it a little less decadent and a little more healthy. It definitely worked, and I was really pleased. Thank goodness this recipe is so simple that I really don't have any extra tips to share for the blondie brownie part. However, my dates were not particularly soft, so I definitely wished I'd followed Alex's advice of soaking them in hot water for 15 minutes before blitzing them, because my final mixture did not hold together too well. I had recently bought a large and inexpensive bag of dates from Home Bargains, one of those incredible places which sells everything known to man at a fraction of supermarket cost. The pack of dates was bargainous, but not the usual soft and squidgy Halawi dates I buy in Tesco, therefore I was unprepared for their hardness. It certainly didn't affect the taste, but I did wonder if my processor could take it as it shook around on the kitchen worktop! So soak your dates people!

Here are the ingredients for the frosting I made. Luckily you can see the consistency from the photo, but that is self intuitive anyway; just make it as thick as you like it!

1 tbsp coconut oil
About 70ml almond milk
50-75g raw cacao
1 tbsp icing sugar
Drop of vanilla essence
Small pinch of salt


Put the almond milk and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat until the coconut oil has melted. Put the raw cacao into a medium sized bowl and add a small amount of the melted milk and oil until a medium-runny consistency is reached. Add the icing sugar and vanilla essence and mix. Add more of the milk and oil mix to acheive desired consistency, and if you like it less bitter, add more icing sugar, or a little more cacao if necessary. I used just enough icing sugar to take away the bitterness of the cacao but so as not to make it that sweet. Empty out onto the chilled brownie blondie base and spread with a pallette knife or similar. If you didn't want to use any sugar at all, a drop of honey ar agave nectar might stem the bitterness, but that's just an idea, I haven't tried it myself.

Next came the moment of truth for my poor, crumbly brownie base. I knew it would be a little tricky to cut as it would most likely break up into a million little pieces. Fortunately, it hardened just sufficiently in the fridge to remain intact enough to transfer the slices into a box for storing back in the fridge until they are all eaten.

Use as long a knife as you can to make your slices, and I would recommend a pallette knife for transferring the slices into a tub.

This is what I was left with after all my slices had been transferred. I just squidged it all together and put it in a little tupperware in the fridge with the big box. It didn't last long though. I kept going to the fridge and munching this little mixture as it is completely and utterly moreish, and it was gone by bedtime! I only wish I'd photographed the floor underneath the dining table after the boys' first serving. It was an absolute state, with crumbs everywhere!

So my verdict on this recipe? I will be very hard pressed to find anything so utterly scrumptious as this for a healthy snack. If you didn't know the ingredients, you'd think it was full of sugar and generic sweet baking ingredients. It is so wonderful how creation has foods that are as sweet as anything man can come up with, but that have been made to do us good. Eating something like this makes me less and less inclined to want to eat anything processed because it is so unnecessary when something healthy which will also stem a sweet craving is so easily accessible. So please make these incredible brownies immediately! You won't regret it, and neither will whoever is lucky enough to be fed them!

Have you baked or made anything super healthy yet deceptively sweet lately, or do you have a recipe you'd recommend for my healthy snack quest? Please share it here or on the Facebook page :)

xxx Sam

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