By Val, the Cookie Queen
Greetings to you all! Here is an alterative version to my famous Humble Brownie – no refined sugar, lots of taste!
Let’s crack on with it. I am sure we are all too busy for fussing around.
225 g (8 oz) dried stoned (haha) dates
112 g (4 oz) softened butter
1 small banana, mashed
vanilla 2 tsps
90 g (3.2 oz) flour plus 2 levelled tsps baking powder
112 g (4 oz) melted good quality black chocolate
Put the dates into a small saucepan and just cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, simmer for about 12 minutes or until soft.
I buy dates that already have the stones removed, but of course you can take them out yourself.
Cool the dates down and strain off any liquid that might be left. (I usually find the water has been absorbed.) Purée the dates in a machine until totally smooth.
Double check that there are no stones because it could damage your machine or break someones teeth. (I have insurance for this, but you probably don’t.) You can complete this step one day before and keep the purée until needed. No problem.
Preheat your oven. 180°c fan oven, 190°c conventional / 360°f fan oven, 375°f conventional.
Melt your chocolate. I do mine in the microwave on a low setting, checking every twenty seconds and giving it a stir. Set on the side.
Put the dates and the softened (important) butter into your mixing bowl. Beat well. Add the egg, the banana and the vanilla. Beat well again!
Add the chocolate and mix in well. Then fold in the flour until its has all been incorporated.
Put the whole lot into a pan. Place in oven.
Probably about 25 minutes. You will have to look. Should be firm to the touch, but still springy when you do touch it. As ever, do not overcook. Never overcook brownies.
If you want to top them with a luscious ganache – nothing could be easier.
1/4 cup (60 mls) whipping cream
84g (3 oz) dark chocolate chopped up
Microwave the cream on a high heat for about 30 seconds. Add the chopped chocolate. Leave for a couple of minutes and then stir until smooth. Pour the whole lot over the brownies and spread it out.
Put the brownies in the fridge for about half an hour (or until you want to eat them!)
These are so good, much better than they sound. Rich and chewy and not too sweet.