Chocolate cravings can be a difficult thing to deal with on the Paleo Diet. Almost everything containing chocolate is high in sugar and high in fat. But, as it turns out, it doesn’t have to be. The neanderbrownie tastes nearly identical to a regular brownie, but contains no flour, no butter, and no sugar (save the honey). In fact, I’d venture to say that one of these is more satisfying than eating a regular brownie because you know it’s not bad for you.
- small sauce pan
- large mixing bowl
- 4.8 QT baking dish (roughly 10″ x 16″)
- parchment paper (if you don’t have any, just grease the bottom and sides of the baking dish VERY well)
- clean hands
- 1 cup + 2 TBSP honey
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1.5 cups walnuts, chopped
- 1.5 cups almond meal
- 8 oz shredded coconut (yields about 3 cups)
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup good cocoa powder (Green & Black is what I used here)
- large pinch of cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 TBSP balsamic vinegar (to cut the sweetness of the honey)
- (optional, but an excellent idea) fleur de sel
Begin by preheating your oven to 350. In the large mixing bowl, whisk the 3 eggs together until they’re nice and frothy. Then, add all dry ingredients except the cocoa powder. Use the spatula to preliminarily mix everything around.
When everything is mixed, get out a small sauce pan and put it on the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1 cup of honey, vanilla, and balsamic vinegar to the sauce pan and allow it to come to a simmer. If it boils, it’s not a big deal. Just be careful it doesn’t spill over. When it comes to a simmer, add the cup of cocoa powder and whisk until a nice chocolate sauce forms. Make sure you whisk quickly so you don’t burn the cocoa. Continue whisking for a few minutes until you get a nice cocoa aroma coming from the sauce pan. Pour the chocolate sauce over your ingredients in the mixing bowl, and begin folding together with a spatula. Don’t worry if you don’t get every last drop of chocolate out, we’re going to use it in a second. Set the sauce pan aside. As the chocolate sauce begins to cool, it will get harder and stickier. Once it becomes cool to the touch, I would recommend mixing everything together very well with your hands. If you just try to use the spatula, it probably won’t be well enough mixed. Once everything is mixed, set the parchment paper into the baking dish so it covers the bottom. This is to prevent sticking. If you don’t have parchment paper, grease the bottom and sides of the pan very well. Try to use a neutral oil like coconut, or even butter if you must.
Once you have the gooey mixture in the pan use your hands to smush everything around until it evenly coats the bottom. Now, take the pan we used earlier, and add the extra 2 TBSP of honey. Reheat over medium, using a whisk to scrape down the sides as it heats. Since we have a higher honey to chocolate ratio this time, this sauce should be much more fluid. When the sauce reaches a nice liquid consistency, drizzle it over the baking dish in any pattern you want.
Put the baking dish into the oven for 20-25 minutes until you can see the edges getting crispy and the oven smells like brownies!
Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely. If you baked the brownies on top of parchment paper, lift, remove, cut and serve. If not… you might have a little more trouble, but hopefully you greased the pan well and have a good spatula. These puppies can be a bit sticky on bottom.
Sprinkle the fleur de sel on top of the brownies to taste.