ORANGE ESPRESSO PALEO BROWNIES

As you have seen I LOVE love brownies, I consider myself a brownie queen because I started baking brownies when I was 7 years old.

I have made cocoa brownies, chocolate brownies, a combination of chocolate + cocoa, unsweetened chocolate based like these, flourless, garbanzo bean flour, raw brownies, black bean brownies, marbled brownies, keto brownies, etc, etc.

Something about brownies makes me very happy and I am on a constant quest for the next best brownies (I literally have enough recipes to make my next ebook). All my brownie recipes MUST be chewy. I hate cakey brownies and fudgy brownies are way too intense. Chewy and a crackly top is essential. So when Santa Barbara Chocolate asked me to develop a special recipe for them using their impressive unsweetened chocolate I said hell yes! Little did I know I was up for a challenge. I love recipe development and bake every day, every moment I can and while I do have 28 years of extensive recipe development experience I always learn something new.

Once I decided which formula would work, I had to make these brownies twice to get them just right. I started with one of my favorite paleo brownie recipes, but in this case I had to use the unsweetened chocolate as a core ingredient (which meant it was harder to get the chewy texture I craved, because when you substitute a 70 % chocolate for a pure 100 % chocolate (called cacao paste, raw cacao, cacao liquor or unsweetened chocolate) most baked good will get very fudgy, very crumbly and INTENSE due to the lack of sugar and fluidity of the cacao paste. 

So let’s talk about why I adore this cacao paste or unsweetened chocolate from Santa Barbara Chocolate and why it has become a staple ingredient in my baking pantry and in my workshops.

It is called raw chocolate within the health food industry for its robust taste. Under the FDA definition it’s called chocolate liquor, though it’s non-alcoholic. The home baker’s term is unsweetened baking chocolate. Santa Barbara Chocolate calls it Unsweetened Chocolate Pure Cacao because this is the most descriptive.

Santa Barbara Chocolate’s no sugar added baking chocolate has become a favorite among sugar aware people like me and athletes seeking authentic pure cacao. 

  1. There is no sugar added at all (no sugar alcohols nothing!) brilliant! (side note: I don’t  really like “sugar free” chocolates sweetened with stevia or monk fruit or Maltitol) I prefer this! 
  2. Unlike every other 100% chocolate (most are un edible) this one is naturally sweet and creamy and fluid (according to a chocolate expert I talked to this is because of the cacao beans used.
  3. I could eat it by the handful every day. I love it in smoothies, cookies, brownies. 
  4. It is a perfect keto and paleo chocolate with no added sugars !!! WIN/ WIN!!
  5. It is organic.
  6. It comes in small discs (perfect for melting and for using as chocolate chips). BRILLIANT.
  7. It bakes and melts very well. I all applications (cookies, brownies, glazes).

Another great thing I love about Santa Barbara Chocolate is their cocoa powders (my absolute favorite is their Red Cocoa) YOU NEED this in your life! It bakes so well, it tastes amazing, it has the perfect amount of fats, color, texture. It enhances everything. I really can’t use other cocoas after this one. Please note I used 2 types of their cocoa in this brownie because I wanted to make it less intense. So I used half of their Red Cocoa (they also call it vegan cocoa) and half of their Rainforest alkalized cacao. You can use just their red cacao or sub the alkalized Rainforest cacao for a raw cacao powder you like (I use this combo to create a lighter color and flavor).

I was inspired to add orange marmalade to the brownies because an instagram friend suggested it and I love orange + espresso together. It will take your brownies to another level. You can also omit. 

This recipe is perfect for Valentine’s Day. My husband LOVES them! Serve with a salted caramel ice cream and some raspberries and you have a perfect romantic dessert. 

These freeze very well.

Thanks to Santa Barbara Chocolate for sponsoring this blog post and recipe. All opinions are my own.

Thank you for supporting the brands I love. I only share what I use and adore! If you make this recipe please comment, review and share your creations on Instagram and tag me @chefvanessamusi I love seeing your creations. 

 

ORANGE ESPRESSO PALEO BROWNIES
 
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Best paleo brownies made with unsweetened chocolate and cocoa. Chewy, perfect gooey brownies with orange and espresso. A match made in heaven. These are my new favorite brownies!!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9 medium
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ large organic, pasture raised eggs (to get ½ an egg : beat 1 egg use half)
  • 10 grams vanilla
  • 75 grams Santa Barbara Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 50 grams avocado oil
  • 115 grams coconut sugar
  • 100 grams fine almond flour
  • ¾ teaspoon (3 gr) baking powder: gluten free, aluminium free such as Rumford (at high altitude use half of this)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 grams Red Cocoa Santa Barbara Chocolate
  • 13 grams organic natural process cacao powder Santa Barbara
  • 20 grams unsweetened chocolate Santa Barbara Chocolate (to garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon best orange marmalade (you can add more to taste)
  • ¼ -½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (or more to taste)
Method
  1. Prepare a 6 or 7 inch square brownie pan or baking tray such as American Metalcraft, grease lightly and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a medium bowl: sift: almond flour, cacao, salt and baking powder. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl; melt the 75 gr unsweetened chocolate and combine with the avocado oil.
  2. In another large bowl: whisk eggs + vanilla + coconut sugar, add chocolate + oil mixture and combine well. Add the marmalade and coffee.
  3. Add the almond, cocoa mixture and mix well.
  4. Put the batter in the prepared pan. Level the batter with an offset spatula and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate. Bake for aprox 15 mins: this depends on your oven and the pan used. Make sure you test it out during baking with a toothpick which must come out with very moist crumbs (not wet or dry). These brownies are a bit tricky to gage the exact time. Don’t over bake or they will be dry, crumbly and fudgy cakey in a bad way!
  5. You ideally want them moist and as they cool and set up they have a chewy consistency. If by any chance you under bake them (it has happened to me 🙂 just put them back in the pan and bake them a bit longer. Cool for several hours so that they set well and cut into 9 pieces. These keep well for about 3 days max. Store in a covered container.

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BEST PALEO BROWNIES

These BROWNIES!! OMG..

Yes I know all bakers have a claim to fame brownie recipe and honestly these have gotten raving reviews so much so that I almost didn’t want to share it. But I am a pastry chef instructor and sharing has always been my core value.

These new brownies are a killer recipe. Really. It’s not an understatement. They are chewy, perfectly balanced, not too sweet, so easy to make. And these are made with coconut sugar. AND you can get all the ingredients in most super markets! They are my husband’s favorites and when he wants a special treat, I make them for him.

So what is GREAT about this recipe (which took a LOT of recipe development): 1. They are CHEWY a must in brownies 2. They have a crackly top 3. They are super versatile: you can add any topping and they are fantastic 4. They are #grainfree #paleo and MEMORABLE!

Toppings I love: Jacobsen sea salt flakes, chopped almonds, hazelnuts, chopped pecans, walnuts, chocolate chunks, halva, tahini, almond butter. Add after baking: chocolate date spread from The Date Lady Eating evolved liquid chocolate, hazelnut superfood spread from Saraispreads 

I am loving Cemoi chocolate (which is one of the only soy free chocolates in the chocolate industry).

I hope you make them and love them as much as I do! Please share your creations with me and tag me on Instagram 

Please note: some ingredients have been sponsored, some might be affiliate links.

Best Paleo Brownies
 
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These are the best paleo brownies hands down! Chewy, crackly top! Make sure you follow the recipe to the t.. Don't over bake or they will be dry and cakey 🙁 and loose their chewyness
Author:
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 9 medium
Ingredients
  • 140 gr chocolate such as Cemoi 70 %, chopped and melted
  • 75 gr coconut oil (organic), melted (use refined coconut oil for a flavorless oil option)
  • 2 organic pasture raised Vital Farms eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 55 gr fine blanched almond flour
  • 40 gr cassava flour (I used Otto's Cassava flour)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda (at high altitude use ⅛ teaspoon)
  • ¼ cup chocolate 71 % chopped to add in batter (I used Cemoi)
Method
  1. Prepare an ⅛ baking pan (find these on Amazon): grease pan with coconut spray, line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 345 F (170 C)
  2. In a large bowl by hand with a whisk or in your KitchenAid Mini Mixer: with a whisk attachment: mix eggs, vanilla, coconut sugar until combined. No need to mix a lot.
  3. Add melted coconut oil and mix. Add melted warm chocolate and mix.
  4. Add flours, salt and baking soda. Mix additional chopped chocolate and put into prepared pan. Level surface with a spatula. Bake for about 26 mins until toothpick comes out with a very moist crumb (it must not be wet or dry). Baking time depends on your oven and pan. Cool for several hours, carefully remove from pan and cut into 9 pieces.

 

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CHEWY HEALTHY BROWNIES – BETTER THAN BOXED BROWNIES

These brownies are amazing!

You know when you hit a pot of gold? That is what I felt creating these from scratch. I wanted to develop a chewy (better than boxed brownie) that has a crackly top and is wholesome and #lowsugar, using only premium ingredients.

I literally made hundreds of brownie recipes to develop these.

Note: These brownies are about 1 inch thick, I suggest you get the ⅛ baking tray which is lovely to bake with you can find it on Amazon.

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
GLUTEN FREE DOUBLE CHOCOLATE PECAN BROWNIES
 
Author:
Serves: 12 small or 9 large
Ingredients
  • 95 gr organic coconut oil, melted and warm
  • 1 cup STIR Sweetener or coconut sugar
  • 5 tablespoons/ 40 gr raw cacao powder (I love Viva Naturals) or dutch process European cocoa such as Republica Del Cacao (I personally love using half raw cacao and half dutch process cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons or 10 gr vanilla
  • 1 ½ eggs, pasture raised, organic (to do this crack an egg, mix well and use only half and add the other whole egg/ the total weight is 83 gr
  • 53 gr Gluten Free Flour (see my recipe below) or use spelt flour if you are not #glutenfree
  • ¼ cup 71% chocolate, chopped (I love and use Republica del Cacao) you could also use pecans or toasted walnuts
  • Pinch of Maldon Salt to sprinkle on top
Method
  1. Lightly grease an ⅛ baking tray or an 8 inch square brownie pan with parchment paper.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 345 F.
  3. Melt oil in microwave or in a pot. Pour into a large bowl, add Stir Sweetener, mix with a whisk by hand (mixture will look very dry and crumbly (don’t worry). Add egg + vanilla, mix well. Add sifted cocoa or cacao with salt and flour. Mix until combined. Batter will be quite thick. With a rubber spatula fold in half of the chocolate chunks (reserve the rest to sprinkle on top). Put batter onto the prepared tray. With an offset metal spatula level the surface. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate and sprinkle the Maldon Salt on top.
  4. Bake for about 15 mins (in convection oven/ normal ovens take a bit longer and please note: baking times vary depending on your oven, pan, cocoa or flour used), check with a toothpick: it should come out with a moist crumb, never dry or too wet. Note: brownies will set as they cool.
  5. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour.
  6. Remove brownies from pan by lifting the paper.
  7. Cut into 9 or 12 pieces with a sharp chef's knife or serrated knife.
  8. Brownies keep stored in a plastic container such as a recycled washed salad container for about 3 days optimally. Or freeze for longer shelf life.
Notes
Gluten Free flour blend: mix then measure what the recipe requires
¾ cup brown rice flour must be superfine (I use Bobs Red Mill)
¼ cup potato starch
⅛ cup white rice flour must be superfine (I use Bobs Red Mill)
⅛ cup tapioca starch

 

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