Brownies for Committed Chocolate Lovers

blueberry-browniesFair warning: when I do brownies, they are seriously dark. Fans of white chocolate (a.k.a. cheap vegetable oil, sugar, and fillers if it’s junky white chocolate or actual cocoa butter and sugar if it’s good-quality chocolate; either way, it’s just too much sugar for me) will not like my brownies. Fans of at least 75% chocolate, however, will love these. I use 85% to 90% dark chocolate when making them.

This batch is tempered with some wild blueberries to add a little bit of natural sweetness and a hint of chewy texture. Dried fruit would also work, or you could go with the more standard addition of chopped nuts. Chocolate chunks or cocoa nibs are always fun, too. Or you could forgo the additions and just enjoy your brownie as straight-up chocolate. Just don’t skimp on the egg-beating – that’s what gives these brownies their lift. Opting for four eggs instead of the more-commonly-found two provides a much stronger structure for the brownies. Whole-grain baked goods are by nature more dense, so a little extra lift from eggs comes in handy.

Blueberry Brownies

4 oz. dark chocolate (at least 75%; I use anywhere from 85% to 90% because of my aforementioned love of seriously dark brownies)

4 eggs, preferably from pastured hens (these taste better, are more nutritious, and most importantly provide more lift when whipped)

3/4 cup sucanat

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil OR unrefined hazelnut OR almond oil, plus a drizzle for greasing the pan

1/2 cup brown rice flour*

1/4 cocoa powder, preferably non-Dutched (the “Dutching” or alkalinizing process lowers the acidity and therefore the “chocolatiness” of the chocolate)

2 tsp. baking powder

Dash sea salt

1/2 cup wild blueberries, frozen or fresh

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8″ pan with a drizzle of oil. I like to rub the oil into the edges and corners with my fingers and then finish rubbing the oil into my hands. It’s great for your skin, so why waste it?

Break chocolate into chunks and place in a small pan. Heat on the lowest setting to allow the chocolate to gently and slowly melt. Pull it off when there are still a few bumps and finish melting the chocolate by gently swirling the pan.

Whip eggs in a large mixing bowl for at least 1 full minute – you want them soft and foamy. Add sucanat, vanilla, oil, and melted chocolate and beat again. Add flour, cocoa powder (which is also technically a flour; anything dry enough to grind up into a fine powder is a flour), baking powder, and salt. Mix gently with the beaters or a bit more vigorously with a wooden spoon to blend. Stir in blueberries.

Scoop batter into greased pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Enjoy!

* This is a gluten-free flour. If you would prefer to make wheat-based brownies, use 1/2 cup of spelt, kamut, or whole-wheat flour.

Courtesy of The Cultured Cook.

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