Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Healthiest, Fudgy, Chocolatey and Chewy Brownies You'll Ever Eat!

I'm kind of a dork...

I've never been a fan of going out on weekends. For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed spending my Saturdays watching cooking shows on PBS. I curl up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and watch my favorite chefs prepare delicious food. By the time the evening programming starts, I have been inspired to create a new recipe, head to the kitchen and get to cookin'. That's how this recipe came about.

This past weekend, I watched an episode of America's Test Kitchen. They conducted a taste test between homemade and box-mix brownies. Over 50% of the taste testers chose the brownies made from the mix, usually because they preferred the chewy texture. The show then tested recipe after recipe to find the perfect combinations and technique to make better-than-boxed brownies from scratch.

Unfortunately, the recipe for these particular brownies are nearly 250 calories a piece. For some, calories don't matter. But for me, 250 calories is an entire meal. There is no reason to sacrifice delicious food for a skinny waist, and that's why I set out to revamp the ATK recipes to be flavorful and chewy, but bold in flavor. They don't taste healthy, but they're 100 calories less per brownie than the original recipe. Like I've said before, anything can be made more nutritious with a few substitutions and a little know-how.

By replacing butter with low-fat Ricotta cheese and the majority of oil with applesauce, we maintain the moistness of the original recipe, but remove tons of unneeded fat and calories. I also made a few changes just to make these brownies that much more delicious, like using coffee instead of water. They don't taste like coffee, but the chocolate flavor is so much more pronounced. But, don't take my word for it. You'll have to try them yourself! Enjoy!

The Healthiest Fudgy, Chocolatey and Chewy Brownies You'll Ever Eat

Makes 24 2-inch Brownies
Adapted from Chewy Brownies

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling coffee
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
5 tablespoons low fat ricotta
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 egg whites
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350, line a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick foil. Move oven rack to lowest position.

In a large bowl, whisk cocoa and boiling coffee until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in Ricotta cheese, applesauce and canola oil.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites and vanilla until frothy, about 2 minutes. Add egg mixture to chocolate mixture, whisking until smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in granulated and brown sugar until fully incorporated. Stir in flour and salt with a rubber spatula until combined.

Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted half way between the center and edge comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 28-33 minutes. Cool in pan, and cut into 2 inch pieces. Top with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Click below to enlarge nutrition facts


  1. Healthy, chocolatey, chewy AND fudgy? I am very impressed, these look amazing! I love that the recipe uses ricotta- never thought to use that. Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  2. See Keaton, what you're not getting is that the people who admit that they might be a little dorky are actually the cool ones; the ones who try to be the cool ones are the end up as social failures ... It all has to do with confidence, of course; I'm confident in my dorkiness, and so it works. Think of Weezer - kind of like that.

    Aaaanyway, the brownies look delicious. Fantastic. Highly desirable and supremely edible.