Sugar-Free Sweet Potato Brownies

brownieFor a while now I’ve been experimenting with healthy baking – I’ll admit this has been a slightly selfish endeavour on my behalf in an attempt to satify a sweet tooth without sugar, but hopefully you’ll agree it’s a worthwhile effort.

Sweet potato brownies have been doing the rounds for a while – Dan Lepard did a great version in the Guardian, but I wanted to create a gluten free one without added fat or sugar.  This recipe was my third attempt, and though I’m sure it can do with tweaking, it’s a great result. It’s not overly sweet, but for a brownie minus added sugar it’s pretty good.

My one tip would be to save time by throwing a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven when you’re preparing dinner.  Bake with skins on and leave to cool – you can then scoop out the flesh to use when you’re ready.

Depending on how indulgent you want to be, you can add chunks of dark chocolate (or melt and fold in after the eggs) or dried cherries to increase sweetness. You can also tweak by adding a spoon of honey as you wish – but for now here’s the naked version

Ingredients (makes around 9 brownies)

  • 250-300 grams baked sweet potato
  • 150 grams prunes (go for the sticky sort) – can also use medjool dates
  • cup of black tea
  • 3 free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100 grams flour of your choice (buckwheat, spelt, almond, plain – I used buckwheat this time)
  • 30-40g good quality cocoa powder, go for a high percentage cocoa
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder (for a gluten free version use baking soda and a teaspoon of lemon juice)
  • 50 grams chopped pecans or walnuts or a mix
  • decent splash milk (either cows, soy or almond)

Optional

  • dark chocolate chips or dried cherries if desired – suggest 50 grams of either

How to

  • Heat the oven to gas mark 4 or 160 c for fan assisted. Grease and line a baking tin – a square or circle 8 inch tin works well.
  • Pop the prunes or dates in a bowl and cover with a cup of black tea. Leave to soak for around an hour until squidgy- you can leave overnight if easier. Once soaked, drain the prunes and add to a food processor with about 2 tablespoons of water. Blitz until you have a smooth paste – you’ll need to scrape down the sides of the processor a couple of times.
  • Add the flesh of the sweet potato to the processor and blitz again for a couple of minutes until you have a bright orange fluffy puree – it will increase in volume and become meringue like. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the beaten eggs a little at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon. Beat in the vanilla essence until smooth.
  • Using a sieve, add the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder a few spoons a time and fold in with a wooden spoon until it’s all added. Add enough milk to loosen the mixture to a ‘dropping’ consistency – if you’re adding melted chocolate you’ll not need to. Any other additions such as chocolate, dried cherries – add now.
  • Fold in the pecans or walnuts to combine evenly. Transfer to your baking tin and even out with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30-25 minutes until risen and spongy and just cooked – it will probably still be slightly sticky in the centre due to the sweet potato and fruit. Leave in the tin to cool then slice – extras will keep in a tin or airtight container for a few days (if they last that long!)

Nutritional info

Per brownie, based on 9 slices using above ingredients

Calories

Carbohydrate

Fat

Protein

165

19

7

7

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