Friday, 4 March 2011

Brilliant brownies

It just so happens that out of all the brownie recipes I've tried over the years (and there have been a LOT), one of my very favourites happens to be a low fat offering from my Weightwatchers baking book. It couldn't be called healthy, no way, it's absolutely full of sugar, but I think the thing that makes it so nice and gooey is the applesauce it uses instead of fat!

In some of my foodie magazines this month, I've seen a Hellmans ad that gives a brownie recipe using mayonnaise! I have to say, that just sounds icky. But applesauce is different. I think it's genius. Please give this a try, it's so worth it. They are rich and dark and gorgeous. It's also super easy, you can have it in the oven in ten minutes.

75g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb

50g cocoa powder (I like Bourneville)

nice big pinch of salt

1 egg

2 egg whites (use the yolks for something else)

175g caster sugar
6 tablespoons apple sauce

2 tablespoons sunflower/vegetable/rapeseed oil

2 tsp vanilla extract
15g chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but use whatever you like)

Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC. Spray an 8"/20cm square tin with low fat cooking spray, or grease it lightly with butter.

Put the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and bicarb in a bowl and whisk it all together (saves having to bother sifting it).
In another bowl, whisk the egg, egg whites, sugar, apple sauce, oil and vanilla. Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff and fold it all together gently. Don't overmix it. A few lumps are fine.

Add the mixture to the cake tin, sprinkle the nuts on top, and bake until just set - there should still be a bit of a wobble. It'll take about 25 minutes but check after 20. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and cut into pieces however big you like them - I got 8 pieces, but mine were quite big.

If you like, you could add the zest of two oranges and leave out the nuts, for chocolate orange brownies. Or you could add more nuts into the actual mixture itself, or add some white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate... whatever you like really. Brownies are endlessly adaptable :)

Oh, I almost forgot, I have some good news! I have a new job and I start on Monday! I'll be working as a chef in a lovely tea room/cafe, which means that someone is actually going to pay me to bake cakes all day long. Even better, I don't have to work any evenings and I get every Sunday off! I can't wait to start!



  1. Normally the words 'weight watchers' would put me off but the brownies look great! Really like the sound of apple sauce in them - did you make it or was it from a jar?

    I saw the think about mayo too, sounds horrific - why ruin beautiful brownies with that foul stuff!

    Good luck with the new job :)

  2. Thanks Anne!

    This was from a jar, because I happened to have some. Usually I'd make it though, just cook down a few cooking apples with a wee bit of water, a knob of butter and some sugar if they're very sharp.

    Glad you agree about the mayo brownies... yuck!!

  3. I will definitely give these a go as I adore brownies, and if they're lower in fat...well, you can't lose!

    Congratulations again on the new job :)


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