Healthier Walnut Brownies

These are a healthier take on conventional brownies, using extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, maple syrup (and a touch of stevia) instead of loads of caster sugar, plus with the addition of almonds, walnuts and prunes. But, despite their health credentials, they are fudgy and totally delicious, just like a proper brownie should be. 

If you're a fan of coconut oil, you can use that instead of the olive oil - go for a virgin coconut oil and gently melt it before using. If you want a lower-fructose option, you can replace the maple syrup with brown rice malt syrup, or use a mix of both.

Ingredients

100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/8 heaped teaspoon pure stevia extract powder

130g (140 ml) olive oil (or virgin coconut oil)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

3/4 cup (115g) plain flour

1/3 cup (35g) quality cocoa

1/3 cup (40g) almond meal

1/2 cup (60g) chopped walnuts

1/3 cup (70g) pitted prunes, chopped (optional)

  • Makes 16

Method

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin.

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan filled with half-simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Use a metal spoon to stir occasionally until the chocolate melts and is smooth. (Alternatively you can place bowl in preheating oven for 3-5 minutes, stir and repeat until melted and smooth). Remove from heat.

Place eggs, maple syrup, stevia, olive oil and vanilla essence in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Whisk through melted chocolate until well combined.

Combine flour, cocoa and almond meal in a separate bowl, stirring well to break up any lumps. Fold egg mixture through flour mixture, stirring to combine. Add half of the walnuts and prunes (if using) and stir to combine.

Pour mixture into prepared baking tin. Sprinkle over remaining walnuts and prunes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until firm (they should hold together nicely but still be soft and fudgy). Set aside to cool. To serve, cut into 16 squares.