Why bother calling a special food item by the name of something you have come to love and enjoy if it does not taste similar. So many substitute “diet” food items have little more than a name to suggest that they are stemming from the original. The Chocolate Brownie automatically entices my taste buds to start working overtime…. the moment I even say the words. I make a great brownie. If I am going to make a brownie and substitute the main ingredients with items that you may never use in your kitchen, it should minimally taste and look close to the real brownie or I should name it something else. The sugar free cookie of the 1970’s and 80’s made me want to move away from baking. The texture and taste were so FOUL. In this awesome example of kitchen magic…I am going to make a brownie without using flour…. WHAT? I will use an fine ground Almond flour as the back bone for this brownie. If I feel that the Almond flour is not working properly I will rewrite this recipe and make a flourless chocolate brownie that will make your head spin. (REWRITE 1 note: the cream cheese adds moisture and body and the vanilla a nice flavor) I am not impressed with the gritty nature of the almond flour and am experimenting with a means of refining the texture of the brownie.
5 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cup powdered erythritol
11 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp Pure Vanilla
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs (room temperature)
3/4 cup almond flour (Superfine)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 350°F.
Line with parchment paper the bottom and sides of a 8×8-inch baking pan. Set aside.
Add butter, sweetener, cocoa powder and salt to a medium stainless mixing bowl.
Melt over a water bath whisking constantly. You’ll want to heat it up until most of the sweetener has melted and the mixture is well incorporated (note that erythritol, unlike xylitol, won’t dissolve much at this point).
Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Add one egg at a time, whisking well after each one until completely incorporated. The texture should appear smooth, with all the sweetener dissolving into the mixture. And if using erythritol, and your batter ends up too thick, you may want to add an extra egg. Just be sure not to over-whisk, or your brownies could end up more cakey rather than fudgy.
Add the almond flour, whisking vigorously until fully blended (about a minute).
Bake for 15-25 minutes (we do about 23 with xylitol and 17 with erythritol), or until the center is just set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist. This really does vary (a lot!!) from oven to oven (think convection etc), so give them a check from minute 15 the first time around, and remember that you’ll brownies will continue to cook while they cool.
Sprinkle with flakey sea salt (optional) and allow to cool completely on a rack. Lift brownies using the edges of the parchment paper and cut into desired size (we do 16!). To get extra clean edges, place in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to cutting.
- flakey sea saltoptional (but highly suggested!)