HomeBakingBelleau Kitchen’s Date And Almond Brownies According to Dominic Frank, author of the Belleau Kitchen blog, the key to creating a healthy yet equally delicious recipe is replacing refined sugar with tasty alternatives – such as honey, dates or apple puree. Dominic’s sugar-free date, almond, fennel seed and banana brownies make an ideal sin free sweet treat. Tasty and made from only natural ingredients, they’re nice without even a hint of naughtiness. Ingredients • 200g pitted medjool dates – chopped • 100ml boiling water (used to soak the dates) • 1 very ripe banana – mashed • 50g wholemeal rye flour • 25g ground almonds • 75g unsweetened cocoa powder (or raw cocoa powder) • 130g unsalted butter • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds • 2 large free-range eggs • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste • 100g almonds – roughly chopped Method 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin. 2 Place the chopped dates in a bowl, pour over the boiling water and leave to soak for about 15 minutes. 3 Gently melt the butter in a small pan along with the fennel seeds so the flavour infuses into the butter. 4 After the dates have been soaking for 15 minutes, spoon them into a blender or food processor, along with the banana and blitz until they are shredded. Then pour in the melted butter and fennel seeds. 5 Next, add the two eggs and vanilla bean paste to the food processor and blitz. Then add the flour, cocoa powder and the ground almonds. Blitz again until you have a thick glossy paste. This can also be done in a large mixing bowl if a food processor isn’t available. 6 Finally, stir in 2/3rds of the chopped almonds, being careful not to break them up too much. Now spoon the mixture into the brownie tin. Sprinkle the remaining almonds on top. 7 Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the top is firm to the touch – set aside on a wire rack to cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares. Recipe courtesy of Belleau Kitchen for Leisure.