I baked these slices of gooey goodness over the weekend for a visit to my friend Andrea’s home. Knowing there would be three kids under 5 years-old and three non-kids over 5, I thought a brownie-type dessert would be a sound dessert offering. A little secret now exposed, I also have a deep dessert complex that arises when I visit Andrea, as she makes beautiful, bountiful food and being Chilean, sweet sweets that are proper sweet. I didn’t know if a ‘healthy-ish’ brownie would cut the mustard/sweet teeth, as these days I am tending towards desserts of the low-sugar variety.
However, I feel that these brownies were tested out by the very correct people to discern the worthiness of them now being here on the blog. They are quite good, I think. They can also be made vegan with the omission of the eggs, only really added for extra gooeyness, or with the addition of an egg replacement.
12 dates, pitted
1 1/2 cups almond meal
2 bananas, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt and extra for sprinkling (optional)
2/3 cup Dutch cocoa or organic cacao
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks or bits (or odd offcuts from one’s chocolate box…my version) or pecans (for my hiking snack version)
sprinkles for topping (completely optional)
Makes 12-16 slices
Preheat your oven to 160°C. Line a brownie pan (mine is approximately 18 x 30 cm) with baking paper and a spray of olive oil spray, if necessary.
If using fresh dates, place these directly in the food processor. If using dried dates, roughly chop and place in a mug with a little hot water to soften them, then drain before adding them to the processor. Add remaining ingredients, except for the chocolate bits. Process until the mixture is smooth. As mentioned, omit eggs for a vegan version.
Scrape the sides with a spatula if needed and add the chocolate bits, folding through. Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and shake to even out. Top with sprinkles and sea salt, as desired.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is set and a tester comes out with gooey crumbs attached. Allow to cool, slice and eat! Or place in an airtight container in the fridge for future travels.