Dark Chocolate Fudgy “Healthy” Brownies

I am a chocolate loving girl. I don’t have to have it every day, or even every week, but when I have a treat I want there to be chocolate involved. I am also a purist. It is rare that I will go for semi-sweet or milk chocolate. Give me that bitter, coffee-like deep flavor and I am a happy girl. If you can relate, this is the recipe for you. If you can’t, I will show you how to sweeten it up.

Now that you know how much I love chocolate, I will also need to share that I am a rebel. Try and get me to follow a recipe straight and you may as well be asking me to lift a thousand pounds with my pinky.  It just won’t happen.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe that was adapted from a recipe. My kind of recipe.

The site I found it on was Inspired Taste. You can find the recipe here.

Tonight I was craving brownies, but refined sugar acts like a poison in my body, so I looked up a recipe using cocoa powder, since I don’t buy premade baking chocolate.

I found the recipe that I wanted and I made some date paste to use instead of sugar.  The great thing about date paste is that it tastes like white sugar(at least to me) and substitutes 1:1, so it’s easy to use as an alternative sweetener.  Dates are also really healthy for you and filled with fiber.

So.  I find my recipe, make my date paste, and as I am getting my ingredients ready I spy canned organic pumpkin left over from some Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes I had made this morning.  I thought.  “Hmmmm.  Pumpkin.”  And it HAD to go in, of course.  I know.  I am SUCH a rebel.  To make the date paste just add equal parts dates and very hot water.  Blend until smooth.  You need a food processor or a Vitamix for this, or you may burn out a weaker motor.

Here is the recipe:

Dark Chocolate Fudgy “Healthy” Brownies

Yield: 12-16 brownies(we had 12 with how we cut it up)
You Will Need
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (I find that adding coconut oil keeps the butter from “burning” as it cooks.  It raises the smoking point.)
  • 1 1/4 cups date paste(*for those of you who need things sweeter, you can add up to 2 cups of date paste instead)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I use all purpose organic, but you could use a whole wheat)
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  1. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan(We used a 7-11 ceramic dish) with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. (This helps when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled).  I just oiled the pan with coconut oil and they came right out.  It’s up to you.
  2. Add enough water to a medium saucepan so that it is 1 to 2 inches deep. Heat water until barely simmering. Combine butter, date paste, cocoa powder and the salt in a medium heat-safe bowl. Rest bowl over simmering water (if the bottom of the bowl touches the water, remove a little water).
  3. Stir mixture occasionally until the butter has melted and mixture is quite warm. Don’t worry if it looks gritty, it will become smooth once you add the eggs and flour.
  4. Remove the bowl from heat and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes until it is only warm, not hot.
  5. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin with a wooden spoon or spatula. Then, add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.
  6. When the batter looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the flour and stir until fully incorporated, then beat with the wooden spoon or spatula for 40 to 50 strokes. (The batter will be quite thick). Stir in nuts, if using. Spread evenly in lined pan.
  7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out almost clean (you want it to be a little moist with batter). Note: Some have found they need to bake an extra 10 minutes, so keep an eye on the doneness of the brownies and use the toothpick test as your guide.(*I needed the extra 10 minutes, most likely due to the extra moisture from the pumpkin and dates)
  8. Cool completely then remove from pan. For the cleanest lines when cutting, place into freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up. Cut into squares.


I LOVE making things that taste good and leave me feeling good.  Not just in my body, but in my spirit, knowing that my family is enjoying food that won’t harm them.  They are in there munching away and I am in the kitchen, listening to their ooh’s and aah’s and feeling a bit like and evil genius… Or the opposite of one.  Enjoy!


(Find the adaptation of the original recipe here at Inspired taste: http://www.inspiredtaste.net/24412/cocoa-brownies-recipe/#ixzz2yMWFrs2t)