Real brownies should be squidgy, dense and intensely chocolatey. They should stick to the roof of your mouth in the most satisfying way and provide a moment of serenity and calm in the way that other foods just can’t. Brownies are one of those things that everyone loves, they’re ridiculously easy to make and even easier to devour. Ella Woodward, or Deliciously Ella as she is more often known, has managed to take all the great things that make a good brownie and completely transform it without the need of refined sugar, unnecessary fat or an oven. Her raw brownies are an absolute triumph and are fast becoming one of my favourite things. These feature in her first book, which I would recommend to anyone and everyone, and on her blog, which you can view here. Thank me later.
To make these brownies you simply tip 140g of pecans into a food processor and whizz them around until they form a crumbly mixture, then add 400g of pitted medjool dates, 3 tablespoons of cacao powder and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Process again until the mixture forms a glorious, sticky mess. Now, try not to eat it all straight away and instead press it into a tin. Pop it into the freezer for an hour to set, take it out, cut the slab into squares or fingers and store in the fridge. You then have a delicious, yet nutritious, snack or dessert any time you need it.
Making these brownies really couldn’t be easier. Yes, you will need a loan to buy the ingredients, but the rewards are more than worth it. I’m never one to preach about quality of ingredients as everyone has their own budget that they need to stick to, but there is a reason why certain things need to be used here. The dates need to be medjool dates, not just so that you can feel smug as you add them to your trolley, but because all other kinds of dates are drier and therefore will not provide the required amount of stickiness which acts as the glue to keep the brownies together. The cacao powder is not only much better for you than cocoa powder, the taste is just so different. Cacao powder is insanely chocolatey and surprisingly not as bitter as cocoa powder, plus you need to use much less of it so it lasts longer despite the initial eye watering cost. I’m a complete convert now and don’t think I will ever buy cocoa again.
I need to thank Ella for bringing these brownies into my life. There is still a time and a place for the traditional brownie (with Oreos baked into them please), but these really are just as good and have the advantage of being healthy. I’m not sure I will ever be able to make it through an afternoon at work without one now.
Washing Up Score: 2/10 – Under normal circumstances, I would rather eat cat food than wash up my food processor, but the fact that these are made in less than 5 minutes means I feel so smug when I’ve made them that even cutting my hand on the processor blade can’t bring me down from this chocolate high.