Destitute Diva

A diva on the inside, but slightly destitute on the outside



Ginger Brownie Recipe

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  

   This chocolate is the equivalent of what I assume it’s like to have Roux (Johnny Depp) as your character’s love interest

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 brown sugar (I like using the organic Trader Joe’s brown sugar because it’s soft and moist which makes it perfect for baking.)

-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”.   


Satisfying my craving: Brownie Edition

I am not exactly what I would call a “chocolate-lover”.  I know, it’s weird, a girl who doesn’t like chocolate.  Every time I mention this, I get weird looks.  But chocolate (unless it’s breakable white chocolate) is not my thing.  However, sometimes, I find myself craving the very thing that I am not fond of: chocolate.  But, I don’t just want any type of chocolate, I want it (I need it) in brownie form. Neither a truffle nor a piece of chocolate cake will do; it needs to be a brownie.

In the past, as soon as I would have my craving, I would buy some brownies.  This would usually result in an immense amount of guilt because it was not exactly conducive to my attempts at leading healthy life.  So, I decided that instead of ignoring my cravings (which would end up making things worse because I always would succumb to them in a gluttonous fashion), I would satisfy them with my own creation.  I do love to bake and to cook, so it only made sense that if it was within my abilities to make something that I would do just that.  All I had to do was find a simple brownie recipe, and then make it my own by substituting healthier ingredients and then adding something a little extra.

When I make brownies, I make two different kinds:  A spicy brownie (it contains ground cayenne pepper) and the other is a floral brownie (it contains lavender).  I have tried different measurements and ingredients (including using black beans instead of flour), but this is my favorite.  It could be healthier, but it is at least guilt free (especially if you don’t eat all of it at once).

So the ingredients that I use are as follows:

¾ cup of natural sugar (I try to use anything but fully processed white sugar. I like organic, raw, brown sugar the best.)

¾ cup of organic coconut oil

¼ cup of organic raw cacao powder

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tsp of almond extract (mine actually is from Haiti is called “Essence Noyau” but I believe it’s the same thing.  It smells like almonds)

2 organic eggs

½ cup of whole wheat flour

¼ cup of milled flaxseed

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp sea salt (Since I have started using the Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, I have never looked back)

2 tbls Godiva Liqueur (I use the white chocolate one, but I am sure that the other flavors would work as well.)

¾ tsp of ground cayenne pepper/ ¾ tsp whole lavender (depending on which kind of brownie you are making)

The ingredients can be added in any order.  The order in which they are written just happens to be the order that I use. Just make sure of two things:  1) the coconut oil needs to be melted and 2) the eggs needs to be beaten.  As I add the ingredients, I use a wooden spoon to mix them.  I prefer using a wooden spoon to an electric mixer (so old school, right?) because of how the texture of whatever I am baking turns out.  The electric mixer tends to make the texture of my cakes/brownies too smooth.  But that’s just me.  If you prefer very smooth, I would suggest using an electric mixer. 

            This recipe can serve about 10 with each serving being about 265 calories. 
This is right before I put it in the oven. I used mini loaf pans.

This is when it cool enough for me to cut and eat a small piece of each. And goodness, did I EVER enjoy eating this. I can’t look at these pictures for too long. My mouth is watering.

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