on virtuous eating

whole grain
I have a difficult relationship with whole grains. I know they’re better for you but the refined, processed stuff just tastes so good. I’ve gradually tried to incorporate more whole grain stuff into my diet. I don’t mind brown rice, barley, quinoa, and the like. I’ve been eating a lot more whole wheat pastas and breads. But desserts. Desserts are the last frontier. If I’m going to splurge on a cookie, cake, or brownie, dammit, I want it to taste like a really good cookie, cake or brownie. I’ve always saved the whole wheat flour for breads and pizza crusts but avoided them for desserts. Until now.

I recently started subscribing to Everyday Food was intrigued by a whole-wheat brownie recipe in the back. Curiosity piqued, I had to try it and I’m happy to report that I love it! The texture is more cake-like than fudgey but the taste is rich and chocolatey. I made a few minor changes to the recipe (adding vanilla and chopped toasted pecans). This recipe is a definite keeper!

Whole-Wheat Brownies
Adapted from Everyday Food

Ingredients
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups of chopped, toasted pecans
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish; line with parchment leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, applesauce, vanilla, and egg. Place butter and 6 ounces chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water; stir until melted. Stir chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir in flour mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour into pan and top with remaining 2 ounces of chocolate.

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Use parchment to lift cake from pan and cut into 16 squares. (Store in airtight container, up to 5 days.)

Yield: 16 brownies

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4 responses to “on virtuous eating

  1. Wow, hard to believe that whole wheat flour tastes ok in brownies!
    You are doing much better than I am with the whole grains if you eat brown rice, barley, and quinoa. Sadly, I can’t seem to give up my white rice.

  2. i dunno. i remain skeptical. plus, i like my brownies to be more dense & fudgey…although who knows, maybe i’ll give it a whirl once the heat finally breaks. b/c really, can you beat a “baked” brownie??? i swear i gain 5 lbs every time i make a batch of those; i give away half and eat the other half while i’m cutting the brownies up. SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD!!

    • If you compare this to the Baked brownie, it will definitely lose but I would say for how low in fat this is (about 3 grams), it’s pretty damn amazing. I love the Baked brownie but I can’t have more than one before I have to give the rest away.

  3. I saw this recipe in that issue and wondered about it. Since you say it’s great, I am taking your word for it. I’m going to make it!

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