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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