Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Ultimate Chocolate Cheat

Sometimes you accidentally discover something so good, you wonder where it's been all your life. Since living in Munich, I make a banana bread about once a week, to eat as breakfast or a snack. Not long ago, I felt like experimenting a bit after going through my cookbooks for inspiration. It was Rens Kroes' recipe for oreos which sparked the idea for the ultimate chocolate treat. It's a bit of a hybrid between a dense cake and a brownie, so you get the best of both worlds. And it wouldn't be my recipe if it wasn't nutritious, so I left out all the sugary buttery stuff! When throwing the ingredients together I just thought it would taste like chocolate banana bread but it turned out to be so much more than that... 

This cake/brownie only contains natural sweeteners and no butter! It's also higher in protein than other cakes because of the eggs, nuts and quark. A good post-work-out treat:) It's also high in fiber!

Since I don't have a scale to weigh my ingredients, I roughly measured out the ingredients the first time I made it. But since I wanted to share the recipe with you, I tried my best to be a little more accurate! 

What you need:
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons of quark
- 1/2 cup cashews (one big handful), soaked*
- 12 small dates (or 6 big ones), soaked* 
- 3 tablespoons of coconut flakes
- 3 tablespoons of pure cocoa powder
- 1 cup of oats
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- a dash of almond milk
- a handful of walnuts 

- 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs
- 2 tablespoons of flax seeds 
- seeds from 1/2 fresh vanilla pod

*before starting to make the brownies, you need to let the cashews and dates soak in water for at least 4 hours, so they get really soft which will give you a smoothier and creamier batter. Just put them in a cup, pour water over it and let it sit. I made this at night so popped the cashews and dates in water in the morning. (or do it the other way around!)

How to make it
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Blend all the ingredients together except for the walnuts. If the batter is really thick, add a dash of almond milk. Because the cashews and dates were soaked, the dough should be all smooth. Pour in a baking tin or a little silicone heart like I did, and crush the walnuts into little bits over the top. If you want to have walnuts inside the brownie, add them directly to the dough. Pop the tin in the oven and leave for about 30 minutes. I check constantly with a knife to see if the dough is still sticky or not. When the knife comes out clean, the cake/brownie is ready! Leave to cool and enjoy just like that or with a little nut butter on top. 

I call it a cake & brownie because the texture is really velvety but not dry like a cake. The cashews and quark make it creamy and rich. For me this is just the ultimate chocolate treat. I swear you can't stop eating it once you've made it! 

This is the brownie you've always dreamt of: the ultimate chocolate brownie experience without the guilt since the ingredients are all nutritious (but still not very low in calories). Give it a try and let me know what you think!

© whiskers & lions

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