These brownies...are so...good. I urge you to try them! They're moist, chocolately, sweet, chewy and incredibly satisfying. It's everything you want in a brownie really. If you want to have a dessert or chocolatey snack which isn't going to land you in a sugar coma, this is the perfect treat. Naturally sweetened with dates, they're refined sugar free. They're also free of grains and are completely gluten free thanks to the ground almonds. The combination of the almonds and dates also means they won't spike you blood sugar, but will provide you with a pretty good energy boost for those 5 o'clock energy dips...or elevenses, or breakfast...or midnight snack...they're all rounders in my opinion...
They taste their best and their texture is best once they've been left to cool in the fridge overnight. The longer you leave them, the better they taste as the cacao, cinnamon and other flavours mature. Don't be alarmed if as soon as they come out of the oven they're not what you initially expect. Trust me, a little patience is absolutely worth it. Forgive them a little for not being their sugar-laden, butter-drowned counterparts, but these are brownies that will absolutely love you back.
I used deglet nour dates, which can pretty much be found everywhere. They're not quite soft enough to blend into a smooth paste immediately, especially as they all tend to be different, so soaking your dates (if they're not already incredibly soft or gooey) is a good idea, as it makes the brownies even more moist. You can use any type of date you have, medjool would be great as theyre naturally very soft, but I tend to stay away from them unless i'm buying them from fair trade companies, like Zaytoun and Yaffa. These companies are pretty amazing as they offer you a large variety of ethically sourced Palestinian products. Zaytoun products, for example, are all organic and their website even offers you the chance to see their producers in individual profiles! Not to mention they're incredibly tasty foodstuffs which I often use in my cooking.
1 cup Dates
2 cups Ground almonds
6 tbsp Cacao/cocoa powder
3 tbsp date water
2/3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon*
1 tsp vanilla*
Walnuts/Pecans/Almonds* (to sprinkle)
- Pour water over your dates so that they're just covered and let them soak for 1-2 hours (if you want to do this more quickly because you're spontaneous about baking, like me, pour hot water over them and leave them for about 15 mins). For best results do this the longer way!
- Drain your dates and save the water
- Add them into a food processor with the 3tbsp of date water and blend them for about 3 minutes, or until they're as smooth as possible and a paste forms
- Add in the cacao, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and baking powder until they're well incorporated
- Finally add in the ground almonds and blend until they're well combined
- Line a baking dish or tray with parchment paper and add your brownie mix, spreading it evenly before adding the nuts on top (if you choose to add them!)
- Bake for 30 minutes at 160 fan
- Leave them to cool completely, preferably in the fridge overnight