Healthy brownies – do they exist? Trust us, when you try these squidgy squares of deliciousness, you’ll be converted. The recipe from Davina’s Sugar-Free in a Hurry is our Treat of the Week
What’s the secret to a gorgeously moist brownie? We can safely say it’s beetroot after making this recipe from Davina’s Sugar-Free in a Hurry: The Smart Way to Eat Less Sugar and Feel Fantastic. The vegetable and chocolate don’t traditionally go hand in hand. But those with a liking for healthy indulgent treats have found it’s surprisingly a match made in heaven.
The beetroot adds a richness and juiciness to the popular cake, but you’d never guess it was the primary ingredient. What’s more, the brownies have zero sugar despite tasting heavenly.
It’s still a treat, after all, with 330 calories per square (but 227 without the icing). But life is too short to worry about the calories in your brownie – enjoy it while it lasts and you’re a saint if you can resist another!
Healthy brownies with beetroot, chocolate almond butter icing and hazelnuts
Makes 16 squares
- 300ml light olive or hazelnut oil, plus extra for greasing
- 175g spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder (We love Aduna Super-Cacao powder for a superfood punch)
- pinch of fine sea salt
- seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 200g runny honey (we love Hilltop Honey Raw British Wildflower Honey)
- 100g malt extract
- 3 large eggs
- 225g grated raw beetroot
- 75g hazelnuts, chopped
For the icing
- 100g smooth hazelnut or almond butter (we love Meridian Organic Smooth Almond Butter)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1½ tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas 3½. Grease a 20cm square brownie tin with a little oil and line it with baking paper.
- Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the vanilla. Pour the oil into a separate bowl, add the honey and malt extract and beat until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition. Fold in the dry ingredients, the grated beetroot and 50g of the chopped nuts (keep the rest for later) and spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Bake the cake on the middle shelf of the oven for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. If it looks like it is browning too much on top, cover loosely with baking paper or foil halfway through the cooking time.
- When the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then remove it from the tin and leave it to cool on a wire rack.
- For the icing, put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth. Spread the icing over the top of the cake and decorate with the remaining chopped hazelnuts. To serve, cut it into 16 squares.