Chocolate – a balsam for the soul
Chocolate is an important ingredient in our family kitchen and lifestyle. To the widespread statement “chocolate makes happy” we would surely say: “Where should we sign?”. The first question my son asks me when I want to pamper us with something sweet is: “Is it with chocolate?”. He turns down all the sweets without chocolate. Until recently, he refused to treat something without chocolate in it as sweets. Kind of funny isn’t it.
Since my whole family is crazy about chocolate desserts, I thought why not bake something delicious (for the soul) and healthy at the same time?
A few months ago I came around a baking book about clean eating in the bookstore. I hadn’t heard much about that before. Clean Eating is a diet trend that aims to achieve the freshest and most natural consumption possible of untreated food which contains absolutely no preservatives, coloring or other artificial additives, just “clean” foods.
In my opinion, clean eating isn’t a diet, but a simple yet healthy nutrition concept. You would not even have to give up your favorite sweet desserts. Quite the contrary — even cakes and biscuits are a perfect match to that concept, as for example, the dough ingredients are replaced by healthy whole food variations.
Some of my favorite „clean eating“ ingredients:
Coconut blossom sugar — you can use it in a one-to-one ratio as raw sugar for baking and has a fine caramel flavor
Raw cocoa powder — best unsweetened organic quality (it isn’t heated above 100 degrees/40º C and thus the valuable minerals are not destroyed)
Fine dark chocolate — at least 85 percent cacao in it. It tastes delicious.
Cream of Tartar (Weinstein — Backpulver) — with natural tartaric acid.
Einkorn wheat, coconut flour and almond flour (don’t confuse it with ground almonds). Besides, the last two ingredients are gluten-free.
Virgin coconut oil (don’t confuse it with coconut fat for frying) has a very fine and subtle coconut flavor.
Whether clean eating it’s just a trend or just healthy and balanced eating habits, I don’t care. As long as I can do without any artificial additives and industrially processed products whenever possible and instead consciously use fresh and natural, organic ingredients such as fruit, vegetables or whole-grain products without sacrificing our favorite (chocolate) desserts, I’m happy with it.
Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies Recipe
You need a baking pan about 20cm x 20cm (if you have a rectangular pan, that’s okay as well).
A Hokkaido pumpkin — about 17-18 oz (500 g)
7 OZ (200 g) dark chocolate — at least 70 percent cacao in it
1/3 cup (70 g) virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (120 g) coconut blossom sugar. The two extra tablespoons are only if you like it a little sweeter like I do
1/2 cup (about 90 g) Einkorn wheat (or buckwheat flour if you want gluten-free brownies)
3 tbsp organic sugar-free cacao
A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 392 degrees (200° C). Wash and core the pumpkin then slice it and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes (until the pumpkin is tender). Let it cool down. Scrape out the cooled pumpkin flesh and mash it with a fork. Coarsely chop half of the chocolate. Melt the other half of the chocolate in a water bath together with the coconut oil. Beat the eggs and the sugar until they become fluffy. A side note: don’t be surprised that egg-sugar mixture with coconut blossom sugar isn’t as fluffy as it is with white sugar. Add the pumpkin puree and stir until there are no more pumpkin lumps in there and then pour the melted chocolate. Carefully whisk the flour, cocoa, salt and chopped chocolate into the mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and bake in the preheated oven (350 degrees / 180° C) for 25-30 min. The brownies inside should still be juicy and moist.
Let it cool completely before slicing. But you know what? I couldn’t wait and the brownies were still warm (not hot). As I cut them into squares, they were just amazing — crispy outside, creamy chocolate on the inside. Whether warm or cold, the brownies are a true pleasure.