Recently, I have decided to hop aboard the chocolate bandwagon. I wouldn’t call myself a fanatic just yet, but I will admit that chocolate does have its benefits. I am referring, of course, to dark chocolate which I believe includes chocolate that contains at least 60% cacao in it. Its numerous benefits include, but are not limited to, boosting your mood, curbing your sugar cravings, and keeping your energy up. I was most interested in these particular benefits because I:
1) Sometimes need a surge of endorphins (and it has been too hot and humid to engage in any form of exercise)
2) Sometimes have a random sweet tooth that can’t be satiated with fruits (and I have no desire to succumb to …candy).
3) Sometimes feel that 2pm slump (I believe this is a thing, right?)
Now, naturally, if I was going to look for a chocolate bar to snack on, it would have to be organic. In addition to buying mostly organic food in general (which helps me eat less because organic is not cheap), I also realized that whenever I consume non-organic chocolate in any form, my face breaks out incessantly as opposed to when I consume organic chocolate (I use organic cacao in baking), my face stays the same (my skin, especially my face has a sensitivity for just about everything, but that is a topic for another post.)
Anyway, I contemplated where I could find the chocolate that I was looking for and finally settled on going to Fairway (I suppose that I could have also tried Whole Foods, but Whole Foods is the kind of market that makes me feel poor the minute I step inside. Fairway tends to give me a bit more hope). Fortunately for me, in the candy aisle, I found what I was looking for. I stumbled across a brand called Green &Blacks. It was fair trade, organic and on sale. I picked up a 70 percent dark chocolate bar and since I was feeling a little bit frisky, a ginger dark chocolate bar. I didn’t actually try the chocolate until the next day, which was my mistake. I should have tried it while I was still standing in Fairway because OH MY GOODNESS, it was insanely good. I had opened the ginger chocolate first because I wanted to enjoy them in order of cacao content and was pleasantly surprised by the taste. I never would have thought that the combination of ginger and chocolate would be so good. I also never imagined that I would enjoy chocolate. When I broke off a piece and took that first bite, I finally understood Juliette Binoche’s character in “Chocolat” for I truly savored that heavenly piece of chocolate
But I digress…
The point is that it was delicious and immediately, I thought of a new type of brownie to bake when my *ahem* monthly chocolate craving hits. So far, I have my spicy cayenne brownies and my floral lavender brownies, now I would try aromatic ginger brownies. I also wanted to make them using my gluten-free flour so that my mom could have some. I gathered my ingredients and got to baking a small batch of brownies:
-3/4 cup organic coconut oil (butter and I are not really on speaking terms anymore)
-1/4 cup unsweetened organic cacao powder (Marshall’s/ Home Goods/ TJ Maxx are great for having organic stuff at lower prices.)
-1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I use Red Mill’s baking flour)
-1/4 cup milled flaxseed (so I don’t use as much flour)
-2 organic eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
-3/4 tsp organic ground ginger
-1/2 bar of organic ginger chocolate (15 pieces, melted)
Dump all of these a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon and, voilà! You now have brownie mix. Just try not to eat it all when you taste it to make sure that you approve of the amount of ginger. Once it’s approved, you are ready to bake it.
I enjoy baking in my baby cupcake maker because I think that the small baked goods that it produces are cute and easier to share.
I was able to make 28 brownie bites using it. However, it is because I was using this machine that I opted to melt the chocolate first. Had I used my mini -loaf pans, which is what I normally use to make brownies, I simply would have broken up the chocolate into pieces and dumped them in.
This is my trial recipe. They came out pretty well and they were delicious. Using this recipe, I calculated that each brownie bite was about 104 calories. When I do them again, I plan on doing them a bit differently. For example, I have made brownies using cooked, blended black beans instead of flour and it was quite tasty (it just doesn’t really rise). I would also decrease the sugar just a tad; maybe take it from 3/4 cup to 5/8 cup because the chocolate bar does have sugar. The last thing I would want to do is make sure to buy and use fresh ginger to take the brownies from “oh yea, I can taste the ginger” to ” this brownie is actually solving some minor digestive issues”.