Brownies are scrumptious, moist, easy to make and just generally amazing! And this healthy gluten-free, sugar-free version is perfect made with ground almonds, cocoa, xylitol or erythritol sugar substitutes, egg whites and unsweetened apple sauce or purée, which is very easy to make if you don’t have a jar of it. Flavoured with pure vanilla extract and optional speculoos flavouring (will talk about that later), you can add a little crunch with nuts like almonds, pecans or walnuts. These were my first ever brownies and they won’t be my last! Um, actually there have already been a few batches (for quality control you know). Absolutely delicious. Maybe you’d like to make these healthy brownies and test them out too? 🙂
I followed the recipe for Foodie Fiasco’s Amazing Low Carb Brownies but used less cocoa powder (mostly because it ran out, lol) and more ground almonds to compensate then chopped almonds and a little speculoos flavouring as well as vanilla. My second version had a little more cocoa powder than batch 1 (because I bought a new can of cocoa powder), chopped pecans and just vanilla extract. We enjoyed all of them but I almost preferred batch 1 and will give you the quantities for that. So there you go, you can play around with the quantities, flavourings and nuts as brownies seem to come out super yummy whatever you do! 🙂
The baking tray I used was 27cmx18cm (10.5inx7in) which made not very thick brownies but they baked well. For the second batch I reduced the surface a little to make thicker ones which took longer.
- 165-170g/3/4 cup xylitol (sugar substitute) or sugar!
- 42g/1/4cup + 2tbsp ground almonds
- 33g/1/4cup + 1 and 1/2 tbsp pure unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon/6g baking powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
- 160g egg whites (from 4 to 4 and a half medium-large eggs)
- 65g/1/4 cup apple sauce or purée (to make your own from 2 medium-small apples see the illustrated recipe further down)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2-1 teaspoon speculoos flavouring)
- 35-40g/1/3 cup nuts (then chop roughly)
Hurray! Brownieeees! 🙂
And here’s that apple purée recipe in case you need it. After buying a big jar of apple sauce and most of it going to waste, I now just make my own for these brownies with my favourite reinettes apples. Just use 1 and a half or 2 apples.
Eating and storing
Yum! Eat warm or cool a little before eating. These keep at room temperature in airtight tupperware for up to 5 days or more. And they still taste just as yummy, moist and amazing!
Or speculaas as they’re also known. Yes, they come from a country where it’s normal to have double ‘a’s in a word, Belgium. And where double ‘o’s can replace double ‘a’s? As a linguist I’m curious. Anyway for those of you who didn’t know, they’re lovely spiced biscuits baked in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany around Christmas time but also eaten all year around and flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper. Yum. You can read more about the spices and biscuits in Wikipedia’s Speculaas article.
Speculoos also became a trendy addition to patisserie in France in recent years but is probably not so popular now – I have the knack of following fashions either well before or well after they occur. Like when I wore flared jeans and teenagers laughed at me in the street (a few years later everyone realised how cool they were, so there you go). Anyway, just to warn you speculoos might not be cool anymore but it is a very tasty ingredient so it doesn’t really matter. Ahem. I’ve seen this speculoos flavouring on Amazon, where they also have Speculaas cookie butter. There’s an article on bon appétit, The rise of cookie butter: how speculoos spread hit it big in the US, that gives lots of lovely information about the yummy biscuits, how the spread was invented (during a reality show!) and some ideas for baking with speculoos. The cheesecake sounds yummy!
If you visit you’ll see lots of other free-from recipes. In the meantime here are some little sugar-free and gluten-free chocolate brownies for you.
A fond farewell to you dear sweet reader! Wishing you as always a yummy (and kind of healthy) week ahead with some happy baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x