Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies

My family and I have decided to seriously start eating well and working out.

So you can imagine how hard baking around that has been. I’ve done a good amount of research and I’m going to be integrating healthy (or rather, healthier) baked goods into what I do. Don’t worry though, there will still be a good amount of good ol’ fashioned baked goods with full sugar and real flour!

For my first attempt at a healthy dessert, I decide to try these Paleo Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies.

I had to buy some special ingredients for this (like coconut sugar and almond flour) but it looked like a pretty simple recipe.

I started by lining a cake pan (how is it that I still don’t own a square brownie pan??) with tin foil and then sprayed it with cooking spray (my favorite is this coconut spray).

In a large bowl, I combined the coconut oil, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and salt and microwaved it in bursts of 30 seconds. Once the coconut oil was melted enough, I stirred it all together to combine and to ensure the coconut sugar was dissolved. Once it was all combined, I added the eggs and vanilla and stirred again.

Once combined, I added the almond flour and stirred until it was no longer  visible.

I poured the batter into the prepared pan and placed it in the oven to bake for 23 minutes.

While the brownies baked, I made the chocolate sauce by combining cocoa powder, coconut oil and maple syrup.

It took a few times to get the baking time right. I took it out at 23 minutes and it was still under cooked. The coconut oil was bubbling around the sides. I put it in for another 3 minutes and it still wasn’t done. Three final minutes and it was done…mostly. A little gooey but when has that ever been a bad thing in brownies? I took it out and let it cool. ALL THE WAY.

Once cooled, I sprinkle the diced strawberries over the brownies. The chocolate sauce was ready at that point and I poured it over the strawberries. From the description of the recipe, it sounded like the sauce was much more “liquidy”. Mine was thick so when I poured it over the strawberries I had to mix them together instead of it just filling in all around them.

I stuck the brownies in the fridge for an hour for the chocolate sauce to harden a bit.

After an hour, I took the brownies out of the fridge and the chocolate had hardened. Photogenically, they did not come out super nicely but I cut in and took a big bite.

The brownies were very rich, super chocolatey and the strawberries added a nice, refreshing end note. If anyone was wondering, or watching their food intake, according to the Weight Watchers website, these are only 7 points per brownie and 100% paleo compliant – woohoo!

Maybe healthier desserts aren’t really that bad! Yum!

Sweetly,

Simona

Walnut Fudge Brownies

We just had our first glimpse of Indian Summer here in SF. 

Wow, it was so hot! I haven’t done much baking at all because I didn’t want to turn on the oven but the fog has rolled back in so we’re back in business.

_dsc0001

Walnut fudge brownies sounded like a good bet for this foggy day.

I mixed the dry ingredients together and then made the wet chocolate mixture.

_dsc0002

_dsc0004

I added butter, eggs and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and then mixed the dry and wet ingredients together.

_dsc0006

_dsc0009

_dsc0010

I poured the batter into a parchment lined pan. I still don’t have a square brownie pan! I then added more walnuts to the top and popped it into the oven.

_dsc0011

_dsc0012

The recipe said to bake it for 19 minutes. That felt short to me but I tried. At 19 minutes, it was still super raw so I put it in for 19 more. It was only halfway cooked after the second 19. I thought to myself, maybe it’s because it’s supposed to be fudge… but it didn’t feel right to serve raw brownies so I put it in for 30 more minutes and then it was finally done.

_dsc0014

It was crumbly but still moist in the middle. It didn’t seem like fudge though. Maybe I missed the mark on that point… but it was still delicious!

_dsc0017

Yum!

_dsc0024

Sweetly,

Simona

Chili Chocolate Brownies

Happy Father’s Day, everyone! 

I made brownies today! I wanted to try something a bit more unusual so I went with Chili Chocolate Brownies. I loosely followed the Tastemade recipe for them but made a few changes.

IMG_3678

The recipe said to grease a pan and put parchment paper in as liner. Since that didn’t work so well for me with the Nutella Brownies, I decided to grease the pan with butter and then coat it with cocoa power instead.

_DSC0004

Next, I melted the butter with the dark chocolate. The ingredient list on Tastemade was a bit vague and didn’t seem 100% correct so I followed it as best as I could and then went with my gut based on previous recipes I had made.

_DSC0006

I set the melted butter mixture aside to cool then mixed the dry ingredients together with the eggs.

_DSC0007

_DSC0009

Once combined, I added the the melted butter mixture and topped it with the orange zest. The milk chocolate chips were next and I mixed it all together before pouring it into the pan.

_DSC0011

_DSC0012

This was when I added more chili powder. I tasted the batter and I could no longer taste it and I didn’t want it to go unnoticed.

_DSC0013

The recipe said to bake it at 320 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes but that was nowhere near enough time so I left it in for 35 minutes.

_DSC0014

_DSC0015

These not only smelled like rich, chocolate brownies, but you could also smell the chili. I tasted a little bit that crumbled off the side and you could definitely taste the  chili, which I was really happy about. It wasn’t overpowering but it was noticeable.

I ran out of pastry packaging recently and had to improvise to wrap these up. I gave some to my step-dad Gino and some to Sam (Simon & Keaton’s dad) as a Father’s Day treat!

_DSC0020

_DSC0023

Sweetly,

Simona

Nutella Brownies

Nutella is my Kryptonite.

So when I found a recipe for Nutella brownies, I had to try it.

I decided to make them for Ward and Andrew after soccer on Wednesday night. I put together my mise en place so the recipe would go more smoothly. I was only caught eating Nutella by itself a couple times… 🙂

DSC_0008

The recipe said to line a pan with tinfoil and to butter the tinfoil. I had never done that before but went along with the recipe for consistency. For all I knew this was some magic brownie trick.

DSC_0009

I then melted the butter and Nutella on the stove.  Could there be anything better than Nutella and butter mixed together?

DSC_0011

DSC_0012

DSC_0013

I let this cool for a little bit and then added the sugar, eggs, and dry ingredients. This is when I realized that the pan I had chosen was too small. I used to never read the entire recipe before cooking (I know, I know, big mistake) but I do now. That being said, I still missed the fact that I would need a bigger pan. So instead of adding the dry ingredients to the pan, I added the wet mixture to the dry ingredient bowl. I’m not sure if this made any difference – everything seemed to come out okay.

DSC_0016

I mixed it all together and left it a little bit chunky then poured the batter into the foiled pan.

DSC_0018

DSC_0020

I let it bake for 33 minutes at 350 F degrees until a toothpick poked through the middle came out almost clean.

DSC_0022

DSC_0025

It turns out that the foil was to make it easier to life the brownies out of the pan. Seemed like a good idea, until I had to actually get the brownies out!

The brownies stuck to the tinfoil, even after being cooled and I struggled so hard to get them out neatly. It was a gooey mess, which was a good thing on the brownie side, but not a good thing on the presentation side.

DSC_0041

The brownies were delicious! So gooey with crunchy sides and a perfect taste of Nutella! I ate my first piece with a spoon (notice I say my first piece). Ward and Andrew both had seconds as well. Yum!

DSC_0044

DSC_0045

Sweetly,

Simona