I've discovered a wonderful NZ online provider of specialty health foods, called Food Compass.
If you're having trouble tracking down specialty ingredients for a recipe, try your luck at Food Compass. You can shop the specials or new arrivals, and you can even filter your searches to make them gluten-free, paleo, nut-free, etc, depending on your dietary requirements.
Food Compass recently sent me a box of goodies to experiment with, so the following is the recipe I came up with. It's an airy, grain-free, dark chocolate brownie that could also work as a gluten-free cake if baked in a cake tin.
If you're after a denser chocolate brownie, try adding 1/2 cup - 1 cup of dark chocolate chunks, although this would increase the sugar content, which I've kept low by using dates and coconut nectar instead of sugar to sweeten.
*Update, the brownie does become denser as it cools. I think it's even nicer after 24 hours.
- 10 dates
- 1/2 cup water
- 130g cocoa butter or cacao butter
- 1t coconut nectar / golden syrup
- 1t vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup almond flour (or almond meal or ground almonds)
- 1/2t baking soda
- 3 eggs
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Place dates, water, cocoa butter, coconut nectar and vanilla essence in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the dates have softened enough to mash and the cocoa butter has melted.
- Tip contents from saucepan into a food processor and whiz on high speed until smooth.
- Add cocoa powder, almond flour and baking soda to the food processor and mix on a medium speed until incorporated.
- Add the eggs, one by one, mixing after each addition until incorporated.
- Pour batter into a greased baking dish and spread to edges.
- Bake at 180°C / 350°F for 18 - 22 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Slice into rectangles and serve warm or cold with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or Greek yoghurt.
This recipe makes 15 pieces and freezes well. It's a perfect Thermomix recipe, as the dates and cocoa butter can be melted directly in the Thermomix bowl, saving on dishes.