If you are a long-time reader of the Beary Strong blog you know that I love baking and always try to find a way to make some desserts a bit less heavy on the calorie account. I would not define them as “healthy” as I do not like do divide food in good or bad. Norb do I think they will subsitute a proper meal: sweets should always be an enjoyable treat but not the major component of your diet. I am also always searching for new interesting flavour pairings and since our experiment with the root veggie cake I was intrigued to build even more unconventional vegetable-based sweets. This is how the eggplant brownies were born.
To be honest the eggplant brownies are already popular in parts of the Paleo community where they are trying to sell you sweet treats as healthy just because they do not use grain flours, sugar and dairy products. Sorry for the mini-rant, let’s get back to serious baking business. Eggplant is quite convenient as an ingredient to add moisture to the brownies without bringing a too strong veggie-flavour into it, but this is exactly what I did not like in all the recipe I went through.
I wanted my brownies to have a roasted and smokey aroma, where you can taste the aubergine, but it should also harmonize well with the bittersweet flavour of dark chocolate. That’s why I opted for using a roasted eggplant puree which you can buy ready-to-eat in Turkish supermarkets or do by yourself by grilling the eggplant on a griddle pan or in the oven and then puree them. To achieve a really smokey aroma actually, it would be best to roast the eggplants until the skin is burnt either directly on a gas flame or in the blaze of a barbecue, then peal and puree them. As it is a big mess, I strongly advice you to buy the ready-to-use version in the jar: the quality is really good and you can also use it as a tasty side to your favourite protein. Be sure that there is nothing else but aubergine inside, otherwise you could end having garlic taste in your brownies 😉 .
If you do not like the smokey taste, just cut the eggplants in halfs, put them covered in the microwave and cook until they are so tender that you can scrap the inside from the peel. But I think the brownies will taste quite lame, so please add some spices if you opt for this slightly boring way.
Of course you can replace sugar with honey or use dates instead to add a new nuance of flavour. The kind of flour you use is up to you: go gluten-free if you need to or use ground nuts if you want a richer taste (but be aware that the calories will rise). Substitute butter with coconut oil if you prefer. Feel free to add spices to your liking. The recipe is very robust and adaptable to your wishes and needs. The only thing you should really stick to: use the best dark chocolate quality you can afford with at least 70% cocoa.
Enough said. Let’s start baking!
- 60g butter
- 150g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
- 165g whole eggs (3 large)
- 10g cacao powder
- 80g flour
- 60g sugar
- 200g grilled/roasted eggplant puree
- 1tsp leveled baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven at 170°C
- Melt the dark chocolate and the butter on a bain-marie. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl while waiting for the chocolate-butter mix to cool: cacao powder, flour, sugar baking powder, pinch of salt.
- Add the roasted eggplant puree to the chocolate-butter mix and fold the eggs in. Do not mix too thoroughly, as you want your brownies to stay fudgy and chewy.
- Gently stir in the dry ingredients to the moist mixture. The dough should be falling easily from the spoon: add liquid if it is too sticky, add flour if it is too runny.
- Transfer the batter in a rather small baking tray (ours was 20 x 22 x 5cm) lined with parchment paper and bake the brownies for approx. 20-30 min. They should not be as dry as a cake but not too wet in the inside.
- Leave to cool in the pan for at least 30 min. and then transfer on a grid. When it’s fully cooled down, cut the brownies into 9 squares.
- Resist the urge to eat one right away, they are best after one day in the fridge.
- I strongly advice to store them in the fridge for not more than 2-3 days as they are very moist and very low in sugar. They can be frozen without losing texture and taste. To thaw them, just put them in the microwave for 30 sec – 1 min at maximum power.
Makes 9 brownies, each having the following macros:
- 4,3g protein
- 22g carbs
- 14,4g fat
I did love how easy the brownies were to made, especially if you buy the roasted eggplant puree in the jar. The taste is really unique: do not expect classical brownies otherwise you will be disappointed. They are very rich because of the dark chocolate and smokey aroma and one of those as a treat makes you feel happy without craving for more. I think it can fit in every diet too -even fat loss- as long as you are not on the final phase of a bodybuilding contest prep. Give it a try and tell us in the comment section below how you did like them. Stay tuned for more veggie-sweets combination to come!
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