The Can-Do Candida Diet: I Can’t Believe it’s not Caramel: Sugar-free Brownies are Nutritious and Delicious
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

I Can’t Believe it’s not Caramel: Sugar-free Brownies are Nutritious and Delicious

Sea salt, caramel, brownies: three little words that charm me like a magic spell. 

If you’re in the mood for a super decadent, chocolaty treat, this is the recipe for you.  Though these brownies may look junky at first glance, the key to their springy softness is purée of black bean, making them full of protein and nutritious, candida-safe starches.  And since they are sweetened only with stevia, they are a sugar-free dessert that will deliver the glee of indulgence with none of the guilt. 

This Can-Do dessert is the answer to every dieter’s late night chocolate craving, and for an added bonus, this recipe is a snap to make.     

When it comes to brownies, people usually divide into two camps: fudgy or cakey. 
With a fudgy texture and a deliciously delicate cake taste, these black bean brownies have something for everyone.  Worried they will taste savory?  Don’t! 
Trust me, it’s pretty hard to find a fault in these brownies.  Even my sugar-eating friends couldn’t tell the difference.   

If you like to entertain, this recipe is easily doubled or tripled, and is a cinch to make en-masse for parties.  Now no candida diet can stop you from being the hostess with the mostess! 

Note: I used a food processor for this recipe.  If you do not have this tool, a blender or hand blender will suffice to purée the black beans.  After this step, simply follow the directions for mixing the batter, but do so in a large mixing bowl instead of in the bowl of your food processor.


For the brownies:

1 15 oz. can blackbeans
4 tbsp. butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup espresso
1 tsp. liquid stevia
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. almond flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Open the can of black beans and rinse them of excess starch.  To do so, pour the contents into a colander, and rinse until the water runs translucent. 

Pour the rinsed beans into the food processor (at this stage, you can also purée the beans using a blender or hand blender.  If you use one of these tools, simply transfer the bean purée to a separate bowl to finish mixing the batter).

Purée the beans in the food processor until they reach a thick, soupy texture (more like cake batter than chicken broth).  Once the beans are pureed, pour in your beaten eggs, melted butter, and espresso.  Pulse these ingredients together to mix.  Next add the stevia, vanilla, salt, almond flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder into the food processor.  Let the food processor run until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.  The color and texture should resemble chocolate cake mix: a rich, nutty brown with a light cocoa smell.  

I added the ingredients in this order, but there is no need to stick to it.  Don’t panic if you have to throw something in at the last minute because it slipped your mind; as long as everything is well blended, this brownie recipe is fool proof.   

Grease a baking dish, either metal or glass, and pour the batter in.  Place the brownies into the 350-degree oven.  My brownies were spread about ½ inch thick, so I baked them for a total of ten minutes, rotating the pan at the five-minute mark to ensure even baking.  If you would like thicker brownies, adjust your baking time accordingly, and test for doneness with a knife. 

Allow brownies to cool for at least ten minutes before slicing. 

For the stevia caramel sauce:

½ cup stevia granules (I used Truvia brand)
2 tbsp. water
4 tbsp. butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup heavy cream

I based my recipe off of a video that can be found here. 

This process requires rapid response and careful attention, so make sure you have all ingredients measured out and within reach when you begin. 

Pour the stevia and water into a medium sized saucepan.  Place the pan on medium heat, stirring the water and stevia together.  While stirring constantly to avoid burning, let this mixture cook for a few minutes.  Small bubbles should appear and the mixture should brown slightly. 

When this stevia solution appears slightly sepia toned, remove it from the heat and carefully pour in your melted butter (it may spit).  Stir in the butter, then add the vanilla, and lastly the heavy cream, continue stirring. 

The sauce will appear very thin in texture.  Pour it into a heat-safe container, and allow it to set up and thicken in a cool, room temperature setting. 

Once your caramel sauce has reached the desired texture, drizzle it over your black bean brownies.  You can do this individually, or you can apply the caramel to the whole sheet of brownies before cutting into it.
Lastly, top the brownies with a light sprinkling of finely ground sea salt.

These heavenly bites were rich in flavor, and the espresso really came through, packing a bold, mocha punch.  If you are not a fan of coffee, you can use a diminished amount of espresso in your batter.  That said, I would recommend leaving some in as it boosts the presence of the chocolate.  

All-in-all, I would say this recipe is extremely successful, and the perfect thing to offer your candida-skeptical friend.  You know, that one that always makes a face when you have to pass on the twizzlers at the movie theatre or the Girl Scout Cookies at the street corner?  Now is your chance to show them that you don’t say no to everything, that these tasty brownies are a total Can-Do. 

So go ahead, and dare them not to like it.