Tag Archives: low-GI brownies

Healthy gluten-free chocolate brownies. Take II.


Despite living a kilometre from our nearest neighbour and more from the nearest tarmac road, there are nights I hardly sleep a wink due to noise pollution. First, there are the cuckoos that I find very challenging; there’s something extremely provocative about the way they ‘cuck’ at random intervals. Then there are the barking deer – they apparently ‘bark’ to mark out their territory. Deer: as appealing as you are, please go and mark out your territory out of ear-shot, or in the daytime. Alternatively, take a leaf out of Hugo’s book and cock your leg (silently) on a tree.  On cool nights, the horses rejoice with much noisy, vigorous galloping and bucking. Then there are the ‘break dancing toads’ that amuse themselves at night by dancing in front of our light sensors to switch them on and off, making Hugo bark furiously and at great length. Idem, hedgehogs (the dancing, not the barking). Lastly, from November to February, we have migratory cranes that fly overhead in the very early morning squarking loudly as they go.

These brownies somewhat compensate for lack of sleep. For me dark chocolate and prunes is a match made in heaven.

Hugo and Léo catching up on some sleep


Ingredients (makes about 12):

10 prunes, pitted

55ml Armangnac or rum

1 tin of cooked chickpeas (400g), rinsed and drained

50g almonds

2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder

2 eggs

2 tablespoons agave syrup

200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids min.)

20g butter

20g organic virgin coconut oil

Ideally, you should soak the prunes in the alcohol overnight. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Blend the chickpeas well, then add the soaked prunes, cocoa powder, almonds, agave syrup and eggs. Blend a little more until the almonds are roughly chopped and the eggs are beaten.  Slowly melt the chocolate, butter and coconut oil in a saucepan or bain-marie, being careful not to burn. Once melted, add the chocolate mixture to the chickpea mixture and combine well. Spoon into a tin roughly 25 x 25cm (or equivalent). Cook for 25 minutes.

Healthy chocolate brownies and eccentric culinary methods


Nobody makes a French Fry quite like my husband. Despite this, I think it’s best that he stay away from the kitchen for the time-being. It started with an absolutely exhausting explanation for the benefit of his son-in-law on Optimal Methods for Stacking a Dishwasher. In case you’re interested, this entails rinsing everything (thoroughly) first, then stacking from the back forwards according to size and then according to pattern (assuming of course there’s any pattern left following manically frenzied rinsing). The rules of total segregation  and compartmentalisation should be implemented for forks, knives and spoons. I could go on, but you probably get the drift. The final straw though, was when patient son-in-law became witness to his ‘trick’ of how to tell if butter is hot enough to fry. In case you didn’t know, you spit into the frying pan and if it sizzles that’s your green light. Anyway, one man’s green light is another woman’s red light; Mr Healthy Epicurean has been banished from the kitchen for the foreseeable.

These brownies are not only 100% spit-free, they’re healthy and delicious too.


50g butter

50g coconut oil

100g dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa solids)

60g oatmeal

30g oat bran

Pinch of salt

30g organic dark cocoa

2 tablespoons flax seed

3 tablespoons agave syrup

100g almonds, chopped

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Melt the chocolate, butter and coconut oil in a small saucepan with about 4 tablespoons of water. Once melted, add the other ingredients one by one, stirring all the time. Once you have obtained a homogenous mixture, spoon into a 20cm baking tin and cook for 30 minutes. Cut into squares in the tin and leave to cool.