Friday, February 1st, 2008

Delicious !Delicious !

February is the perfect time for chocolate  . Well actually anytime is. Now you you don’t have to feel left out from the exchange of sweets and party foods this month .

For those of us who love dark chocolate and  really rejoice in a sweet treat once in a while , I have a guilt free recipe that is sure to replace those artificially sweetened,  junk food , preservative laden, mass produced desserts.

My kids , co-workers and friends all gave this recipe a thumbs up and asked for more!
I was inspired by another recipe in my local paper , the St Augustine Record , a few years back -the original written by Mr J.M.Hirsch and have been working to make the recipe fit my dietary and taste requirements .

Enjoy! This is one of my favorite desserts.

Getting started:

Utensils: a double boiler, an electric mixer or hand mixer with large bowl ,
your favorite medium-sized brownie pan or Pyrex dish , rubber spatula, toothpicks,sharp knife.

Oven: Preheat to 350 degrees .

Use 4  3.5 oz large bars of Green & Blacks 70% Dark Chocolate or equivalent , 1 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade raw cane sugar, 6 large eggs, 1 &1/2 sticks of unsalted Organic Valley butter, Spectrum Grapeseed or Canola spray, 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract, pinch of raw sea salt ,  a small amount of Bob’s Red Mill Almond flour or Arrowhead Mills Spelt Flour ( for nut allergies) and 1 cup of chopped nuts-macadamia, walnuts or pecans.

Nut allergies: You may substitute dried cherries,cranberries or blueberries or unsalted soy nuts for people with tree nut or peanut sensitivities.

Pan: Spray brownie pan with vegetable oil spray .Spread a thin dusting of the  flour over the spray .Option : use muffin liners and delete  the spray and & flour.

Electric Mixer: Break the eggs into the mixer bowl and add the sugar.Using the slow speed , gently blend together .

Double Boiler: Make sure you add water to the lower pan first !Use medium heat . Break up the chocolate bars and butter into smaller pieces and melt into a rich thick liquid. Add mixture slowly into the mixer and fold into the eggs & sugar . Add the sea salt and flavor extract and the nuts.

Pour into the greased pan and bake for a min of 50-55 minutes. Do not let them burn . Since this is a flour-less desert , the toothpick will not come out completely clean when warm. Allow the brownies to cool first before cutting or they will crumble. Cut into small squares -they are very rich!
Serve with powdered sugar , a dollop of whip cream or fresh berries.

For sugar sensitive individuals -Serve these with a nutritious beverage like green, white ,cinnamon or Roobius tea to help to nullify the effects of the sugar and take 2-4 tabs of Dr Venessa’s Sugar Balance formula to regulate sugar levels within a hour or so.

Options : For parties  and special events try using muffin  pans for a fun alternative with a ‘nut’ or berry on top . Use a little oil spray on the bottom of the paper muffin cups and nix the extra flour. Reduce the cooking time to 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar for a color variation.makes 12-14 muffins. Enjoy with your favorite beverage .

Tips: Always use a high quality chocolate .This really makes the difference. It is worth the extra cost . The 70% -75% range seems to work the best . Never use milk or white chocolate unless you decrease the sugar as they are much sweeter and offer none of the health benefits as pure cacao.

In Continued Health ,

Sally Byrd

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