With Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, this week’s blog posts are going to focus on how to destress your day so that you can focus on your loved one (be that you, a cherished friend or relative, or your significant other!) I don’t believe that you need to go to the ends of the earth to prove your love on this day or any day, as it’s the small unexpected gestures and pleasures that should count (although big ones are most definitely grand, too.) The point is to love – and express that love fully and deeply; regardless of the funds (or lack thereof) in your pocket the point is the amount of it in your heart.
These sinful yet healthy little beauties do just that for you in little delicious bite size mouthfulls; melted and rich dark chocolate sauce atop a too-good-to-be-true heavenly double chocolate brownie (…that you’ve personally prepared with the loving energy you have to share, I might add) – what could be a better way to say you care? You know what they say – the way to his heart is through his stomach. Trust me (as a nutritionist) – it’s true for us all!
Note: You can mix it up by adding vanilla sauce to the center if you’d like (if you happen to have some ‘on hand’) but I think these are perfect as-is. Further, make sure to take special care when adding the agave nectar, as it’s the determining ingredient as to whether you end up with a product that’s dry and dense, or one that’s fudgy and moist. These chocolatey gems are gluten-free, low-fat, and vegan to boot (but still ever so tasty to the unsuspecting non-vegan in your life!); regardless who they’re for – the recipient of your hours of labour in the kitchen will appreciate your gesture all the more as it’ll help them keep their new years health resolutions! Lastly, you can also bake this in a larger brownie or cake pan, and pour the sauce on top of the final product – but there’s something sweet and elegant about plating up a few of these with powdered sugar and a few strawberries for a punch of colour that is hard to resist!
Double Chocolate Brownie Bites
Makes approximately 36 brownies
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp sea or kosher salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, (plus more for lubricating your pans/tins)
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 organic unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water or hot coffee
your favourite rich chocolate sauce (vegan or conventional)
optional: organic strawberries and powdered icing sugar for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 325*F. Lightly oil three 12-cup mini muffin pans, making sure there isn’t an excess of oil in the cups – but just enough to coat.
2. In a measuring cup – measure agave, applesauce, and vanilla, and set aside. In a separate bowl, measure flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt, and lightly blend with a whisk to ensure they’re well blended. Set aside.
3. Using a mixer with a whisk attachment (or a bowl with either a handheld mixer, or elbow grease and a hand whisk) whisk the coconut oil on medium-high until slightly creamed, about 2 minutes. Turning it to low, add agave mixture until emulsified (as much as possible). Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula.
4. Using the same measuring cup, measure hot water or hot coffee. Alternating between the liquid and flour mixture, add both to the main mixing bowl a little at a time, ensuring that all are getting incorporated, and you’re not over-mixing – and again scraping down the bowl every so often. Mix about 1-2 minutes more once all ingredients are added. Do not over mix.
5. Using a melon-baller, scoop the batter into each prepared mini-muffin cup. Bake the brownies on the center rack for 9 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degress after 5 minutes. (For a fudgier cake, bake for 8 minutes total.) Remove from oven once the brownies have firm edges with a soft center, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Let the brownies stand in the tins for 20 minutes, or until completely cool. While they are still in the tins, press your thumb into the center of each and fill the depression with 1 tsp chocolate sauce (or as much as you’d like!) To maintain freshness, leave the brownies in the muffin tins until ready to serve. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days, if you can!Stephanie xoxo
Want more Health Blog: Stressed Desserts?
- Homemade Chocolate Truffles - December 10th, 2010
- Stressed Desserts: What Are Antioxidants, and Why Do You Need Them? - September 3rd, 2010
- Steph's FAMOUS Spiced Nut recipe - April 30th, 2010
- Stressed Desserts: Chocolate-Chili Cookie Recipe - March 25th, 2010
- Stressed Desserts: Vitamin D could change your life - March 23rd, 2010