follow us on

The Secret To These Proudly Sugar Free Brownies? Homemade Date Sugar

Study after study confirms that refined white sugar is indeed a big culprit in our battle against the bulge. But being raised on a diet of sugary snacks and drinks, we can’t help craving for sweet treats every now and then, with sugar-free products gaining in appeal. However, studies have cautioned against the overuse of artificial sweeteners which are found in most commercial sugar-free products.

So what do we do? Well, moderation is always key, but if you’re looking for a truly all-natural sugar substitute, then why not make your own, using dates which can add a sweet and flavorful dimension to your desserts. Admittedly, the process is time consuming as the dates have to be baked until hard and dry, then ground into a fine powder. You can use it to bake this sugar-free version of traditional chocolate brownies. But if you don’t have the time to make date sugar, then coconut sugar will do the trick. You can also use sugar-free dark chocolate instead for a truly 100% sugar-free dessert.

 

Sugar Free Chocolate Brownies

Serves 4 to 6

 

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar or date sugar (recipe below)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour              
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts or any nuts 

 

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with baking paper. Brush soft butter on the sides and the base of the pan. Set aside.

 

2. Melt butter and dark chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat and set aside.  

 

3. Combine coconut or date sugar (recipe below), cocoa powder, and flour in a bowl. Gently add to the melted butter-chocolate mixture, trying not to create bubbles. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

 

4. Fold in the walnuts.

 

5. Pour brownie mix into the prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. 

 

 

DATE SUGAR:

  • 20 dates, pitted and chopped

 

1. Arrange dates on a baking tray or sheet. Bake for about 2 to 3 hours in a preheated 250ºF oven. Turn off the heat and leave the dates inside the oven overnight. The dates should become candy hard.  

 

2. The next day, place dates in a food processor and process into powder form. If they clump together after a while, put back in the processor and process until dates turn into powder again.  

 

 

This recipe first appeared in FOOD Magazine, August-September 2014 issue

Styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz

Photography by Paulo Valenzuela