Most nights, we treat ourselves to a small square of dark chocolate for dessert. It is not too guilty of a pleasure, since dark chocolate is packed with cell-protecting antioxidants, known to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Of course, that is exactly what I’m thinking about as I savor my portion and wash it down with the last of the red wine in my glass. Ha! My brain, likely high on the released endorphins, is screaming “OMG Chocolate is AWESOME and I feel GREAT!”
As an extra special treat, I whipped up some dark chocolate brownies and made us even more health conscious. (That’s what my brain is telling me, and who’s to argue?) We love the warm, smoky spice of chipotle peppers with chocolate, and capsaicin, the substance that makes chile peppers hot, also is overflowing with health benefits. Don’t you want brownies that fight cancer, inflammation and heart disease, provide pain relief, burn fat, reduce cholesterol, boost immunity, and relieve congestion? Of course you do! There is only 1 teaspoon of ground chipotle in the recipe, which produces a subtle warmth. I recommend using more, or supplementing it with one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, to make a spicier brownie.
This recipe is modified from Elana’s Pantry (Espresso Fudge Brownie), and is gluten-free, grain-free, and depending on your chocolate source, dairy-free. Use high-quality dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao, to make the most
decadent, rich, gooey, delicious healthy brownies. Remember, these are purely medicinal!
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle, or to taste
- Optional: one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely minced
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup coconut palm sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- additional coconut oil for greasing baking dish
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 8×8-inch baking dish.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and silky smooth. (I use a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan with simmering water.) Remove from heat and stir in the ground chipotle and/or chipotle pepper.
In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, palm sugar, and vanilla. Beat together, and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the sugar to break down (it will blend in easier when hydrated). Pour in the chocolate mixture, a small amount at a time, beating well in between pouring. Stir in the almond and coconut flours and salt. Beat until well combined, then pour into the buttered 8×8-inch baking dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour. Enjoy, to your health!
But it’s medicinal! And yummy! Now, for something to listen to while you “take your medicine” we have a pair of ladies to croon. First up, ex-Atlanta native Kelly Hogan with I Like to Keep Myself in Pain. Hogan called out among her musical friends for songs “you’d like me to sing” and folks like M. Ward, Jon Langford of the Mekons and Andrew Bird, among others, responded. The resulting album is a masterpiece of southern soul, with a crack band (including Booker T. on organ!). One of my favorites of the year.
When she’s not doing her own album, Hogan performs with the sublime Neko Case, as on 2009’s Middle Cyclone. Case exists in a place all her own, each album further solidifying her unique brand of country/rock/folk stylings and of course, that jaw-dropping voice. So, have a medicinal brownie and listen to the ladies!