The pear and Brazil nuts give these brownies a lovely subtle flavour. And what’s more, Brazil nuts are an excellent source of minerals, particularly selenium (important for thyroid function and the immune system). Cut the brownies small and freeze any left over. They make a great after-dinner treat.
- 60 g pitted dates, finely chopped
- 60 g coconut oil (or unsalted butter, softened), plus extra to grease
- 3 eggs
- 100 g ground almonds (almond meal)
- 1 pear, quartered and cored, skin on
- 140 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 25 g Brazil nuts, chopped
- pinch of salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 20 cm square cake tin.
Put the dates in a small saucepan with a splash of water. Cover and gently simmer for 3-5 minutes or until they soften. Allow them to cool, then blend them with the coconut oil in a food processor or with a hand blender. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the eggs, then the ground almonds, and beat until everything is incorporated. Dice the pear into ½-cm squares and stir it into the mixture, too.
Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, a pan of steaming water (or microwave it on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes). Allow it to cool a bit before stirring it into the brownie mixture with the Brazil nuts and salt. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake it for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Delicious with a dollop of crème fraîche, if you like.
Recipe and image from The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book (Simon & Schuster Australia, $35, pbk). Photography by Joe Sarah.