Monday, September 22, 2014

Deep, Dark Brownies (THM - S) - and a bit of chatting about coconut flour

These are a result of me combining a couple Paleo recipes I found in the blogosphere. I really, REALLY prefer baking with coconut flour over almond for a few reasons.  It’s more affordable: it costs less per pound, plus you use much less of it; it’s a lot more absorbent than almond flour, though, so plan to use more eggs and liquid.  Almond flour is also very calorie dense and can contribute to stalling out on weight loss (using it occasionally is fine, but making almond flour biscuits to go with your dinner every night may not be the best idea.  We don't count calories on THM, but you still need to respect them).  That being said, coconut flour has a bit more of a natural sweetness to it, which is fine with these brownies, but if I’m making something savory I rely more on almond flour.

One last comment: the THM book has a recipe called “Special Agent Brownie Cake” (pg 382) that includes beans.  In the comments, Pearl says, “I know it sound strange to admit, but sometimes I love to eat a big piece of this cake for breakfast along with my coffee.  I get full, and it’s a good protein source, so why not?”  May I draw your attention to the phrase GOOD PROTEIN SOURCE?  I see many people on the Facebook boards commenting about eating dessert for breakfast – not the worst thing in the world, but remember, your body really needs protein, so I wouldn’t recommend regularly chowing on these brownies (or most of the other THM dessert recipes you may find) to kick-start your day.
Deep, Dark Brownies (S) – makes 12 brownies

1/4 c coconut flour (purchased, not ground up coconut flakes)
3/4 c cocoa powder
1/2 c Truvia (or 1/4 c THM Sweet Blend) + a few shakes of Stevia powder to get to desired sweetness*
1/2 tsp grey Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
4 large eggs
3/4 c almond milk (unsweetened. I prefer Silk brand as it does not contain carrageenan)
1 tsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 c butter, melted (coconut oil would be fine, too)
Whatever add-ins you desire: I used two squares of 85% dark chocolate** (chopped) and a scant 1/4 cup of walnuts

Preheat oven to 350, and grease an 8x8 pan.  In a medium sized bowl, blend together the first four ingredients, and use a fork to press out any lumps.  In another container, mix together the eggs, almond milk, coffee, vanilla, and butter (I use the glass measuring cup that I melted the butter in – anything to minimize dishes!).  Pour the liquid ingreds into the dry, and mix well. Let sit for five minutes or so, then blend again, and pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes (until center is completely set).  Let cool before slicing – I know it’s hard to wait, but they really need to set.  Store covered in the fridge.

*Sweetness is SOOOO subjective, especially with chocolate items.  I know it’s annoying when people don’t give you exact amounts, but it really depends on how bitter your cocoa powder is, plus your personal palate. I live on the edge and taste raw dough (yes, I know there’s a slight risk of salmonella poisoning from the raw eggs) – if this makes you uncomfortable, you can always microwave a Tbsp of the batter for a taste test before baking the whole pan.

** This is considered on-plan (in small amounts) even though it has some added sugar.  I found I still could not use it for the first six months or so, though, as it would still trigger sugar cravings, but I no longer have that issue.  Just something to keep in mind...

A few other comments: I think this is better after it's been in the fridge overnight.  It's also really good with frosting (what isn't?!?) Serene's Superfood Chocolate Icing on page 385 of the book is reeeeeaaaaallllly good - super rich & fudgy. It does have a noticeable coconut flavor, though (a can of coconut milk is the base, after all). I like to mix up a batch of this and keep it in the fridge. It's great on strawberries, or a spoon. Just being real :)


Anonymous said...

Made these brownies today, double yummy!!

Angelique Burns said...

can you sub rice flour

Trish D said...

Rice flour is off plan for THM (it's too high glycemic) and I haven't really worked with it much to say whether it would "work" in this recipe (but my gut feeling is no, as I believe it's closer to almond meal or flax). HTH!