Friday, February 21, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Brownies

Now that I've armed you with that to-die-for Cocoa Icing, you had to know I'd be sharing a killer platform for it too! As my teacher training course has very (very) few people at my location (only about 9 if everyone comes), we rotate through the group to bring some sort of snack for our morning and afternoon breaks. Some weeks the coffee table is laden with boxes of storebought cookies or muffins (with an obligatory fruit platter), but since one of my classmates also happens to be my old boss from my Dietary Manager days at the school, I can't get away with too many shortcuts.

Besides being too "cookie cutter" for my tastes, the problem with most of those pre-boxed treats is that they're not necessarily allergy-friendly (and if they are, they're often bland and dry). Along with my own slew of intolerances, we have one vegan, two vegetarians and a girl with celiac and a dairy allergy. I made two different desserts at Christmastime (one with wheat, eggs and dairy, the other GF / vegan) but this time around I wanted to promote inclusiveness with something everyone would not only be able to eat, but would enjoy. I was so grateful to stumble onto Chrystal's recipe which, with a few easy modifications, is almost entirely allergy-free and diabetic friendly to boot. If you can believe it, absolutely zero flour goes into these rich, fudgy vegan bites of awesome! Yes, zero - the bulk of these chocolatey, (mostly) stevia-and agave-sweetened squares is made up of purple sweet potato (ube), vegan protein powder, ground flax and Ghirardelli Chocolate Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa - no nuts, no flours or starches, no gums, no eggs and no milk. Now, the Ghirardelli does contain a small amount of sugar, so these aren't 100% sugar free... but that too is easily remedied with a switch to regular cocoa and a few extra pops of stevia.

Flourless Chocolate Brownies with Vegan Cocoa Frosting

My favourite thing about these bars was when I cut into them and hit a pocket of not-quite-pureed sweet potato. All of a sudden a flash of violet appeared in the middle of the rich brown, giving a marbled, unique appearance without really changing much in the way of texture or flavour. After it cooled, I proceeded to thoroughly drench the pan in that shiny Cocoa Icing, creating a dessert that looked and tasted absolutely sinful and verboten for restricted diets but in reality was anything but!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays and Wellness Weekend

Flourless Chocolate Brownies
Makes 1 8" pan, 16 2" squares
1 medium-large sweet potato, any colour (I used purple), cooked and mashed very smooth
¼ cup (1 scoop) vegan chocolate protein powder (I used Sunwarrior Chocolate Classic)
⅓ cup Ghirardelli Chocolate Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa (see above for 100% sugar free substitution)
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp amber agave nectar
¼ cup hot coffee
5 Pure Via All Natural Stevia and Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar Blend Packets (or 5 tsp raw sugar)
¼ cup ground flaxseed
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8” square pan.
  2. By hand, beat all the ingredients together until smooth and thick.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, until firm and a toothpick comes out with barely any moist crumbs.
  4. Cool completely (ideally, chill overnight) before cutting.
  5. If glazing or frosting, bring to room temperature first!
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 54.9
Total Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 8.7 mg
Total Carbs: 7.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 1.7 g
Flourless Chocolate Brownies with Vegan Cocoa Frosting