I am firmly in the camp that believes as much butter and sugar as humanely possible should be shoved into brownies. My favorite brownie recipe – from the one and only Nigel Slater – requires a whole block of butter and an eye-watering amount of sugar. The resulting brownies can only be eaten one at a time (unless things really are getting tough) as they are so rich.
I thought this was my brownie recipe of choice for life, until I stumbled across this these sweet potato brownies. This recipe is from the queen of vegan smugness, Ella Woodward, who writes the blog Deliciously Ella. Once you get past her insufferable writing style, waxing lyrical about how ‘awesome’ quinoa is, the recipes on her blog are actually pretty inspired. This recipe uses sweet potato and dates to give the sweetness to the brownies, and, to add to their virtuousness, they don’t contain any butter. Ella calls them ‘gooey bites of heaven’. But she would.
The texture is not quite what you’d expect from a brownie, and they don’t have that melting ooziness that copious amounts of butter provides. But they are pretty convincingly brownie-like in taste, and if you need an excuse to eat a whole batch of brownies in one go, these might just be the ones.
Recipe from ‘Deliciously Ella’ by Ella Woodward
Makes 10-12 brownies
2 medium sweet potatoes
14 Medjool dates, pitted
80g ground almonds
100g rice flour
6 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks. Boil until soft, about 15 minutes.
Add them to the bowl of the food processor with the pitted dates. Blend until smooth. Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, then mix in the sweet potato mixture. Place the mix into a lined baking dish and cook for 20-30 minutes until you can pierce the brownie cake with a knife and it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. This will help them to firm up.