Well, well, well, we meet again my little fat-free baking book… I swear I probably got this cookbook when I was in high school and I believed the myth that fat is the enemy lol. I really don’t subscribe to that way of thinking anymore, because there are so many ways that fat is vital for our health. And I’m talking about nutritious fat here, not the 41 grams of fat in a XXL Grilled Stuft Beef Burrito from taco bell -_-
Fat is critical in our diets for normal bodily functions and for our physical, mental and emotional health to thrive. If you want to learn more, take a gander over to the post I wrote all about fat and it’s importance in our food and in our bodies HERE 🙂
Back to our featured program here – cooking from my cookbooks! I couldn’t leave out The Secrets of Fat Free Baking from this little series, because this cookbook has been with me for over ten years. Wow! Twice as long as most millennials (including myself, so no shade) have worked at the same job! This cookbook has seen some things… just kidding, I’ve only used it like three times. But I think I’ll still keep it. For the memories. And in case I ever feel like overloading on sugar. Or if I ever need a use for an entire bag of prunes. If you know what I mean.
Let’s pause here. Up to this point, I was doing SO WELL with these brownies. I followed the recipe, and I used all the ingredients in the correct quantities. I was on a roll! But then, the oven timing sort of went haywire. I baked these sweet little brownie morsels for the full 25 minutes described in the book. But they still didn’t look quite done, so I left them in for another 3 minutes. At that point, I was just so excited and proceeded to pull them out of the oven without sticking them with a toothpick to check if they were done. I was patient and I waited the full 10 minutes to cool the brownies before I cut into them. They looked pretty solid and set on the edges, but the top still looked pretty shiny. I know, I know, I should have poked it to test it. I KNOW. I cut into the first piece and… pure batter. Straight up, hot and fresh brownie batter soup!
I quickly turned to my handy dandy phone and googled how to fix under-cooked brownies. Thank goodness for Food52’s discussion forum – I found others like meee! I returned the cooled brownies to the cooled oven and turned the oven back on to heat up to 325 F again. And after another 20 minutes, the brownies were [mostly] finally done! Yay! *throw chocolate chips in the air, skip around the kitchen, spread brownie batter around like silly string*
By this little mistake, I actually uncovered a secret or even a valuable treasure, some might call it. Alton Brown has a method to create ooey-gooey brownies using the same mistake I made, but on purpose! Bake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven & cool for 15 minutes. Bake for another 30 minutes. Why on earth would this work? When the brownies cool and then are inserted back into the oven, it takes more time for the batter to heat back up in temperature to cook more. Therefore, the outsides and the insides cook slower & more thoroughly. Don’t believe me? Try the cocoa brownie 2.0 recipe from mad scientist/chef, Mr. Brown himself.
I am putting the recipe below, in case you wanted to make yourself some fat-free brownies. I’m also putting the nutritional information because “fat-free” doesn’t mean ZERO fat, but it is pretty close to zero. But when food is fat-free, you also need to take a close look at the amount of sugar and salt, because a lot of times these are increased to add flavor and volume to foods. BEWARE.
Honestly, I made these brownies to test a recipe from this cookbook as part of the challenge for myself to cook/bake/assemble at least one recipe from each of the 50 cookbooks currently sitting on my shelf. Would I recommend you bake these? 100% no. They are so sweet that I could literally feel my teeth decaying and falling out of my gums. Ok, not literally. But these are like sickeningly sweet and I think only a little gnome or elf would enjoy these. It doesn’t fall into one of the four main food groups of elves (candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup) but I’m sure they’d enjoy these too.
fat-free fudge brownies
from The Secrets of Fat-Free Baking by Sandra Woodruff
– 3/4 cup unbleached flour [I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Blend]
– 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa powder [unsweetened]
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
– 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
– 3 egg whites
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional) [I opted for chocolate chips instead – you do you]
– Preheat the oven to 325 F.
– Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
– Stir in the applesauce, egg whites and vanilla extract.
– Fold in the nuts if you want nuts.
– Coat a 8-inch square pan.
– Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
– Bake for about 25 minutes, or until edges are firm and a toothpick comes out clean. [If they’re not even close to being done, take them out for 15 minutes to cool. Then put them back in the oven for another 10 to 20 minutes, when that toothpick comes out relatively clean.]
– Cool for at least 10 minutes and serve. Good luck :p