Danielle's Deep N Delicious BROWNIES

Deep N Delicious BROWNIES! Who could resist a thing like that? No friend of mine.   Do you, or did you, enjoy McCain`s ...

Deep N Delicious BROWNIES!

Who could resist a thing like that? No friend of mine. 

Do you, or did you, enjoy McCain`s Deep N Delicious cakes? I vaguely recall that I liked them as a child, but it's been ages since I had a piece, or snuck a piece at 4 am like their ad campaign endorses. My husband liked them too, in fact he used to buy himself a Chocolate Deep N Delicious cake with his allowance for his birthday every year as a kid. 

I dreamed up today's recipe after seeing several billboards around Toronto advertising new and improved Deep N Delicious cakes -- revamped with better-for-you ingredients. I admit, I was mildly intrigued. So I checked out their website and the ingredients and sure enough they've snuck in some healthier ones and more identifiable ingredients like coconut oil and flaxseed.

That positive development aside, the new McCain products still contain refined-sugar, soy, gluten and eggs and are therefore totally off-limits for me. 

But dammit the huge billboards made me want some! So I made a Danielle-friendly Deep N Delicious creation.  

Danielle's Deep N Delicious Brownies! 

These brownies are beautiful -- inside and out. 

These brownies are deep and totally DELICIOUS.

Healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, and refined-sugar-free.

Did I mention these brownies are insanely delicious? Dense, fudgey and oh so chocolatey with a smooth and rich chocolate frosting that will leave you scraping the pan. I ate half the lasagne tray I made them in! For me, that's a lot of brownies, but I couldn't resist! Good thing for me these amazing brownies are insanely good for you.

Amazingly there is only 1/3 cup of flour in the whole huge batch!  

The brownie base is packed to the brim with protein  -- a can of organic salt-free black beans to be exact. They get a superfood boost from low-heat processed cacao butter, energy-boosting maca powder, protein and nutrient rich amaranth flour (a seed not a grain), and omega loaded chia seeds and ground flaxseed. They are naturally sweetened with maple syrup and a touch of raw honey (but you can substitute agave if you don't eat honey and want to keep these brownies vegan).

I highly recommend trying the healthy chocolate frosting too! It tastes and looks decadent and pipes perfectly to create that Deep N Delicious look I was after. It is naturally sweetened with dates and a touch of maple syrup and firms up nicely in your refrigerator thanks to a little low-heat-processed healthy cacao butter.

Do I really need to say more? Just look at them.

Deep N Delicious Brownies
Makes 1 lasagne tray of intensely fudgey yet healthy brownies
Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Make the "chia-flax eggs" before starting this recipe *see Part V*

Step II:
Make the Batter by following these steps:
Part I:
  • 1/4 cup low-heat processed or raw cacao butter (solid)
  • dash coarse sea salt

Add Part I ingredients to your food processor and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Scrape off sides and add next set of ingredients.
Part II:
  • 1.5 tbsp raw honey (or agave nectar)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Add Part II ingredients to cacao butter mixture and blend until it forms a somewhat grainy paste.

Part III:
  • 1/3 cup 100% cocoa powder or cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp raw maca powder (maca acts as an emulsifier in this recipe)

Add Part III ingredients to your food processor and blend until it forms a fudgey and smooth paste (takes a few seconds only). Scrape down the sides and blend for 30 seconds.Scrape down sides.

Part IV:
  • 1 small can organic unsalted black beans (rinsed in several changes of cold water and drained)
  • two dashes coarse sea salt

Add the beans to the food processor and blend to incorporate, stopping often to scrape the sides of the processor.

Part V:
  • 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp soy-free vegenaise
  • chia-flax "eggs" (1.5 tbsp chia seeds +1.5 tbsp flax seeds mixed with 1/2 cup water and left to gel 10 minutes)
Add the oil, vegenaise and "egg" mixture and blend thoroughly.

Part VI:
  • 1/4 cup 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup (organic brown rice flour + amaranth flour -- mixed to make 1/3 cup)

Add to processor and blend until smooth.

Part VII:
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp raw honey, or agave or maple syrup
  • dash coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pear sauce

Add Part VII ingredients and blend until smooth. Scrape sides and blend again.

Part VIII:
  • 1/3 cup water mixed with 1/2 tsp brown rice vinegar

Add and blend until very smooth.
  • 1/2 tsp raw honey or agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp raw maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp soy-free vegenaise

Add and blend until very smooth. If it looks a little grainy add extra vegenaise and blend until smooth. Add extra salt if needed and extra raw honey/maple or agave syrup to make the batter as sweet as you prefer. Once satisfied, scrape batter into a lasagne pan or a square baking pan and bake until risen with a darkened top in 350F preheated oven. This should take 30 minutes if you use a lasagne pan like I did, it may take a  little longer if you use a square pan. The cake will look underdone or feel soft to the touch but it will set firm in the fridge as it cools and there is no raw egg so have no fear!

Once the cake has cooled on the stove slightly, transfer to store it in your freezer for about 30 minutes. Make the icing while it cools.

Pipe-able Dark Chocolate Frosting
(Naturally Sweetened)

Part I:
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates
  • dash coarse sea salt
Pulse then blend until dates form a smooth ball in the food processor.

Part II:
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 heaping tbsp 100% cocoa powder

Add Part II ingredients to the food processor and blend until it forms a dark brown ball.

Part III:
  • 2 heaping tbsp unsweetened pear sauce
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Add Part III ingredients and blend, stopping to scrape sides and blend more.

Part IV:

  • 1/2 tbsp vegenaise
  • 1 tsp raw honey or agave nectar or maple syrup

Add Part IV to the mixture and blend until smooth.

Part V:
  • 2 hunks low-heat processed or raw cacao butter (about 2 heaping tbsps)
Add the cacao butter to a saucepan over the lowest heat. Melt gradually. Once melted completely, add to the food processor mixture and blend briefly until smooth.

Part VI:
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • dash coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp 100% cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp chocolate extract

Add Part VI ingredients to the mixture in the food processor and blend until smooth. Taste. Add extra maple syrup if mixture is not sweet enough to be used as frosting. Blend. Scrape into a small bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hour before piping onto cake or brownies.

Pipe the mixture using a star tip and frosting piping bag to create the desired Deep N Delicious cake look. 

After frosting these babies, I put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes before serving. I recommend it as it makes them and the icing super dense and fudgey. After that, the leftovers (ha!) can return to the freezer for another 30 minutes and then move down to the fridge so they don't go rock solid. 

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