Sugar free, gluten free, raw cacao
Traditional chocolate brownies require an oven and a fair bit of sugar and butter with perhaps a few chocolate chunks thrown in for good measure. These raw chocolate brownie hearts have all the yumminess of a cooked brownie but they require no cooking, are super easy to make and also are good for you.
The sugars in these brownies are healthier and take the form of maple syrup (which is not raw but rich is minerals), Medjool dates and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has a lower GI than refined sugar, levelling out blood sugars and helping the body metabolise fat more efficiently.
Coconut sugar, if you’ve never used it before, is sometimes called Coconut Palm Sugar. It has a beautiful molasses-like flavour, a little like Muscovado sugar and comes from the sap of the coconut tree. Coconut Palm Sugar is not to be confused with Palm Sugar which is made from a different type of palm tree.
Let’s be honest about it, all decent brownies should contain a fair amount of chocolate and I think that this is pretty non-negotiable. I like to use raw cacao powder (which is unroasted) but a good strong cocoa powder such as Green and Blacks will also be good in terms of flavour.
I also use raw chocolate bars in my brownies and as luck would have it, I have just produced a raw bean to raw bar fine chocolate in collaboration with Mayhawk Artisan Chocolate, so I happen to have a few bars of the 71% Plain laying around the house. Chocolate can be made from either using melted cocoa mass or producing it straight from the bean. Ours uses the latter technique.
Raw chocolate is more nutritionally rich than its roasted counterpart. Raw chocolate, or cacao as it is often called in raw food circles, is full of antioxidants but when the bean is roasted it loses many of those antioxidants. It is then called cocoa rather than cacao. Hence, if you are looking for a super nutritious brownie, do ensure that your ingredients include a good quality chocolate bar (either raw or roasted) which isn’t laden with refined sugar and as a very short list of ingredients.
- 195g (1 ½ cups) walnuts, dry
- 195g (1 ½ cups) pecans, dry
- 110g (1 cup) good quality cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
- 30g (1/4 cup) good quality chocolate, cut into chunks
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 4 Medjool dates, stones removed
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- Pinch of salt
- In a food processer, pulse the walnuts, pecans, cocoa powder, coconut sugar and salt until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Chop the chocolate into fine pieces and add to the mixture.
- Add the vanilla and maple syrup to the mixing bowl and mix until well combined. It should start to stick together and become a stiff dough.
- Finally work in the melted coconut butter. You may need to add a little extra water to encourage it to become dough like. If so, add a little a tablespoon at a time.
- Press the mixture into a baking tin lined with baking parchment. Leave in the fridge to set. The mixture will fill a 8 inch square baking tin.
- When set, turn the mixture out onto a cutting mat. Using a cookie cutter (I used heart shapes but you could use any shape you like), cut the brownies into hearts.
- You can roll out any leftover dough and cut more shapes as required until it is all used.
- If wrapped well, these will keep in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month.