June 22, 2012

Guest Post: Ginger Macadamia Brownies

I'll be back on Sunday for Sunday S'mores (and no, I have no clue what I'm making yet, thanks for asking), but for now I leave you in the utterly capable hands of the woman herself, C.J. from Food Stories. C.J. was gracious enough to share with us her quest for the perfect "healthy" brownie, and I don't know about you, but these sound pretty awesome to me. Have at it, C.J!

Hello ... I am C.J. from Food Stories and I am so excited to be joining you today to share a fabulous chocolate treat recipe. Thank you, Kim for extending this opportunity!

Just so you know a little bit about me, I am a 40 something, married female that lives on the west coast of the United States. I love food and all things food related. Being a nurse, I especially like the food science/nutritional aspect of food, as well as, typical food preparation, recipes and eating (of course)Consuming fresh, natural, whole and unprocessed food is probably the way that most people should be eating. Unfortunately, I’m a Type II Diabetic so I have to use some processed items to make my diet even half way palatable. Balancing natural foods along with low carb can be daunting but I work hard at it and do my best. 

When Kim and I talked about a guest post, I immediately knew I would be making a brownie recipe. You see, I'm a little OCD about some things and finding a great brownie recipe has eluded me for years. Because of my diabetes, I try to eat lower carb foods. Obviously, some foods just cannot have the carbs removed and still be good. I'm beginning to think that brownies are in this category but I'm not ready to give up yet. Brownies, you won't beat me!. 

I'm not trying to take all the carbs out, just enough so that my pancreas doesn't get tuckered out (FYI ... when you eat carbs, your body produces insulin to "process" the carbs. In Diabetes, your pancreas has trouble doing this)Of course, I haven't tried all the brownie recipes out there but it sure feels like I have. I prefer dense, fudgey, gooey brownies and this is the type of recipe that I'm having difficulty finding, I just want it to fit reasonably within my nutritional plan. And, just for the record, I don't have any issues with the amount of fat or protein in recipes so butter is A-Okay :-) 

So today, I present to you my latest attempt at low-carbing a brownie recipe ... Ginger Macadamia Brownies from Elena Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

While this recipe is not the gooey, fudgey brownie that I'm searching for, it is very good.
I usually use walnuts in my brownies so macadamia nuts were such a great option.

I have never had ginger in a "sweet" recipe so this was a big change of pace for me. It had a nice zing or zest that I've not had in other recipes which was a nice surprise.
Whew ... Look at those chocolate pieces ... I'm hungry just looking at these pictures :-)

Ginger Macadamia Brownies

  • 2-1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or any vegetable oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar free davinci sweetening syrup (or agave nectar, honey)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9x9 baking dish with oil and dust with almond flour.
  • In large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder.
  • In medium bowl,  whisk together the oil, eggs, liquid sweetener, vanilla and ginger.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and combine thoroughly.
  • Stir in nuts and chocolate.
  • Pour batter into baking dish.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the baking dish for about an hour.
  • Cut and serve.
  • Makes about 20 brownies (who are we kidding here ... it was nine at our house).
My assessment? 
These are not "the one" but they are really good. They were moist and chocolate-y, the texture was good ... just not gooey and fudgey. I guess my brownie quest continues ...

There you have it ... My latest attempt at finding the perfect brownie. I hope you'll stop by Food Stories and see what other brownie recipes I'm trying or share your own :-)

I'd also like to thank Kim for offering me the opportunity to guest blog!