February 17, 2013
I’ve been on a bit of a baking kick lately, and the most recent thing I’ve been experimenting with is low-fat brownies. I made several batches until I got things very close to the way I wanted them, playing around with using both coconut milk and avocado as lower-fat alternatives. What I finally settled on was a very small amount of butter and an egg, with the main moisture coming from applesauce and yogurt. I also made them with erythritol, a granulated sugar alcohol that I have baked with for years. After my week of real food, I re-examined the use of sugar vs. honey vs. sugar substitutes, and once again arrived at erythritol being my best bet, since I like to avoid the high calories in sugar. Erythritol is extremely low on the GI scale, and seems to have gotten very good marks on safety. The thing I really like about these is that they are low enough in fat and calories that you can have 1/9th of the pan for fewer than 100 calories and less than 3 grams of fat!
I recently got a wonderful heavy aluminized steel baking pan with a silicone coating (USA Pans is the brand), and I love it. I’ve discovered that you don’t even need to grease it and things still come out wonderfully!
1 cup flour (I use King Arthur white whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter, slightly softened
1 cup erythritol
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first four ingredients very well in a small bowl and set aside. Using a mixer, cream the butter, egg and erythritol together. Then add the next five ingredients, applesauce through cinnamon, and continue to mix well. Now add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, combining with a spoon until the flour is combined (but don’t over-mix). Pour batter into a sprayed or greased pan (or one with a great silicone coating!). Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.