Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt

I need chocolate.

I feel the urge to make something chocolatey.  At this time of the afternoon (coming up on 2:00 pm) I normally don’t get into baking anything because I’m usually starting to think about what I’m going to prep for dinner.  However, as Chef P is heading to Edinburgh today for an overnight business trip, I don’t really need to worry about anyone but myself (and the kitties) for dinner.

Now, I know that I’m supposed to be setting a good example, considering how I extend the virtues of the South Beach Diet and all, but sometimes (usually once a month) you just need chocolate.  Well…I don’t really NEED chocolate….I WANT IT!  Granted, I have a lovely bar of 74% cocoa dark chocolate which I usually have a small bit at a time for my choco fix, but that’s just not cutting it right now.  I want a nice piece of chocolate cake or cupcake or brownie…something I can sink my teeth into!

Sure, I could take the five-minute walk to the local grocery store and buy something but who wants all of those preservatives and additives and God-only-knows what else might be in there.  Besides, I was there this morning and don’t really feel like walking back there again. (Yes, I’m being lazy)

OOORRRRR…..

I can whip something up in the kitchen that could still be chocolatey, yet somewhat healthy by using whole wheat flour and agave nectar.  The question is, what can I make?  I need to find a recipe that I can substitute these ingredients for…time to whiz through my cook books.  Be back in about 20 minutes……Grab yourself some lunch or breakfast, depending on your time zone or perhaps a cup of coffee or tea…..

OK, I’m back.  Sorry that took so long, although it probably seemed a lot longer for me than you!

So, what did I find?

I found some chocolate brownies in my Healthy Eating for the Menopause by Dr. Marilyn Glenville, PhD and they are in the oven as I type, although it shouldn’t be too much longer before they come out.

Even though these contain ingredients helpful for the menopause, I did change some of the ingredients to more suit my SBD plan. (Now if Noddy would get out of the way, I could actually see the book so that I can give you the recipe!)

~~CHOCOLATE BROWNIES FOR MENOPAUSE~~

These brownies are for a special treat but are still much healthier than shop bought ones.  the soya and wholemeal flours give phytoestrogens and the nuts essential oils.  As the nuts are cooked inside the brownies, the quality of the oils is somewhat protected from the heat, which destroys valuable nutrients.

115g/4oz butter, plus extra for greasing (I used a trans-fat free spread)

55g/2oz cocoa powder

Large pinch of freshly ground salt

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs, room temperature

350ml/12fl oz date or maple syrup (I used a mixture of molasses and agave nectar)

2 tsp vanilla extract

115g/4oz wholemeal/wholewheat flour

2 heaped tablespoons soya flour (I used buckwheat flour)

85g/3oz pecan nuts, coarsely chopped (I used a mixture of pecans and walnuts)

85g/3oz dates, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4 and butter a 23 X 30cm (9″ X 12″) cake pan

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cocoa powder until smooth.  Beat in the salt and baking powder, followed by the eggs, one at a time.  Continue to beat until well creamed.

Add the syrup and vanilla and beat until creamy.  Fold in the flours and gently stir in the nuts and dates.

Spoon into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 25 minutes and leave to cool in the pan. 

Turn out and cut into bars.

I’m glad I took them out of the oven a couple of minutes earlier as you can see they were starting to burn around the edges.

They turned out more dense and cake-like than I would like them to be and even though there’s a good bit of molasses, they’re not as sweet as they could be and the molasses is almost a bit over powering.  I would make them again, but I think I’ll stick to all agave nectar or a higher ratio of agave to molasses.

♥ Terri  ♥♥

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