Belleau Kitchen’s Date And Almond Brownies

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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.

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