Well, you can tell I’m pulling out all the stops on the food styling, hey? 😛
Hopefully, you can forgive my lack of imagination in that department as I’ve been working on various chocolate protein brownie recipes to suit various tastes. The last post was all about rich, decadent brownies because we all know that fats can be our friends too. Plus it was fabulous if, like me, you happen to suffer from food intolerances or like your treats with fewer carbs.
This recipe isn’t so great if you have a fructose intolerance, although I find that these brownies don’t affect me at all as the fructose load in a small serving isn’t enough to cause a reaction. You be the judge of your own sensitivity as it varies from person to person. It is great if you’re feeling a bit fat phobic or want to leave your fat intake to salad dressings or cooking your main meals.
These brownies have much less fat but are no less fudgy in texture and intensely chocolate in flavour. They are sweetened purely with a fabulous blend of fruit and given a little bite from the addition of cinnamon and ground cayenne. If I had any ground Habanero to hand, I would have used that, but I’m all out so I used cayenne. How much chilli you add is really up to you. I used one half teaspoon, double the amount in the recipe, but I love my chilli!
I used Lindt Excellence 99% chocolate this time. I would normally use one of my hard to find and crazy expensive 100% cacao chocolates but thought I should test these with a readily available chocolate. Fabulous. Use any 100% or 99% cacao chocolate of your choosing.
These are still gluten and lactose (dairy) free. At 204 kCals per serve, with 14.5 grams of protein, these are one delicious brownie post workout snack. Hell, if you decide to polish off one-quarter of the lot in one go, you’d be up for 305.5 kCals, 21.75g protein, 30g carbs, 11g fat, and 4g dietary fibre. For the win.
You are welcome ♥
Makes 6 large or 12 small brownies
120 grams (about 6) fresh medjool dates, pitted
110 grams Heinz Pear & Banana 100% Fruit*
315 grams liquid egg whites
40 grams pea protein isolate (I used Professional Whey Pea Protein Isolate)
20 grams unsweetened cacao (I used Valrhona Cacao Poudre)
1 teaspoon organic vanilla powder or paste (I used Professional Whey Vanilla)
15 millilitres (1 tablespoon) macadamia nut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne (or preferred ground chilli)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
50 grams 99% – 100% dark chocolate, broken into small pieces (I used Lindt Excellence 99%)
*Normally, I would purée my own fresh fruit. However, you don’t always have fruit that is ripe and flavourful enough handy when the brownie craving strikes. These 100% fruit purées are perfect to keep in the pantry when you want to bake these on a whim and you’ll never be caught short. I like using pear and banana as I think the flavour and creaminess it adds is just perfect. However, if you have a preference for apple, pear, whatever, go for it. The flavour will vary, of course.
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line the base and sides of a 20 centimetre square pan with non-stick baking paper. Set aside.
Now, I’ve broken with my usual habit of melting the chocolate first :-0
If you wish, go ahead and melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, over simmering water. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly as you prepare the brownie batter. But hey, if you are feeling lazy, or want something with a slightly different and delicious texture, don’t melt the chocolate for this recipe. It really isn’t necessary
Process the medjool dates in a food processor or purée them in a blender. In the bowl of a food processor, add the dates and all the other ingredients, except the chocolate pieces. Process briefly, just until smooth.
Add the chopped chocolate and process until the chocolate “melts” into the batter. This won’t take long. You don’t want to see a lot of chocolate flecks, but there may be a few left in the batter. The batter will turn dark chocolate in colour fairly quickly as the chocolate melts with the heat generated by the processor.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Tap the pan on the bench a few times to remove any air bubbles.
Bake for about 15 minutes until cooked. Do not over bake these brownies! If anything, check them after about 12 or 13 minutes. The centre will still be fairly soft, although the edges will start to set more quickly. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the tin before removing and slicing into bars.
These are great served with a dusting of cacao to which you can add a little cinnamon and ground cayenne. They also make a great high protein dessert, served with some thick Greek yoghurt, protein ice cream, or fruit.
They keep well for up to a week, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If they last that long!
As usual, I have included macros based on the ingredients I have used. There may be slight variations if you use different brands of chocolate, cacao, and pea protein isolate. In that case, the macros, below, are still a good guide, but may not be exact.