• Emma Rushe

Healthier (but still scrumptious) chocolate brownies

When only chocolate brownies will do, but you want to avoid conventional flour and sugar-laden recipes, try this healthier version. They are naturally gluten free, much lighter in carbohydrates and richer in nutrients than regular brownies too, thanks to the ground almonds they contain instead of flour. And, using only a handful of dates and the sugar found in dark chocolate to sweeten them, they avoid the sickly sweet overload, but still taste satisfying and fudgy so you won’t feel deprived at all. Kids also love them – we recently made a batch for our daughter’s birthday party and they went down a storm. For those avoiding dairy, you can replace the butter with either coconut oil or ethical palm shortening.

Ingredients - makes 10 brownies

•  100g ground almonds

•  ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

•  120g 70-80% dark chocolate

•  8 medjool dates, stones removed

•  2 large eggs

•  110g unsalted butter, coconut oil or ethical palm shortening

•  2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C, then grease and line a baking tin, 15 x 15cm or similar. Gently melt the butter and chocolate together in a Bain Marie, and meanwhile pulse the ground almonds and bicarbonate of soda together in a food processor. Then add the dates to the mixture in the processor and pulse again until finely whizzed together. Add the melted chocolate/butter mixture and pulse until combined, then add the two eggs and vanilla and blend just until a lovely thick gloopy mixture has formed.

Transfer into the prepared tin and bake for around 20 minutes, but check at 18 minutes, and take out when it still feels a bit squidgy on the top. Leave to cool in the tin for an hour then slice and enjoy. The brownies keep for a few days in an airtight container.