In my search for a birthday treat I wouldn’t regret due to gastro issues, I came across many fantastic combinations. Among the simplest was strawberries and burrata, a buffalo cheese that resembles mozzarella on the outside, but is filled with cream on the inside. It’s even better when slightly sweetened. Ricotta would be a decent substitute, minus the outer shell.
When Trader Joe’s started carrying cashew meal, I cluelessly grabbed a bag. While almond flour tastes fairly neutral to me, I found the cashew meal had a much stronger cashew taste. The sweetness of cashews were perfect for pancakes. I swapped out the coconut sugar for cane sugar and the non-dairy milk for cream because it’s what I had on hand.
My favorite discovery, and what is currently in my oven, are these brownies. I tried an almond flour-based recipe that was OK, but not very chocolatey. Because Bravo For Paleo’s recipe is flourless, the cocoa flavor really shines. I also like that I only need five ingredients and the whole thing can be mixed in my food processor. A single batch requires:
- 4 eggs
- 1 C cocoa powder
- 1/4-1/3 C maple syrup
- 1/3 C coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
I use 1/3 C maple syrup because I like my sweets to be sweet. Butter could probably be substituted for coconut oil because it’s also solid at room temperature, but I haven’t tried. Melting the coconut oil makes it easier to mix in with the other ingredients. Skipping this step sometimes results in chunks of coconut oil in the final product.
Once you’ve mixed everything together, you’ll bake them at 350º F for 20-25 minutes. The tricky part is figuring out when they’re done. Because coconut oil solidifies as it cools, testing with a knife or toothpick won’t work. I pull them out when it’s got a texture like a cheesecake — set, but still a little jiggly. Undercooked is better than overcooked because you can either put them back in the oven or refrigerate them for additional firmness.
A single recipe is designed for a 4×8 loaf pan. Who owns one of those? Turns out my mother does and a single recipe yielded a dozen brownies. I’m in possession of the more common 8×8 and 9×13 pans, both of which accommodate a double recipe. The 8×8 produces a fudgier brownie, while the 9×13 resulted in cakier brownies, if your cake is flourless.
For an additional treat, I like to top the brownies with something creamy. Successes have included whipped coconut cream, whipped cream, and this vanilla ice cream recipe from Serious Eats.