Lora Brody once said “Don’t wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty” but I find this hard. Food guilt is something that I struggle with, which does tend to clash terribly with my passion for the stuff.
It’s good, then, that there are recipes out there for those of us who would like to indulge but also want to feel as virtuous as possible. Angela Nilsen of BBC Good Food has developed a brownie recipe in her ‘ultimate make over’ series which has a reduced fat content compared to your 'average' brownie.
You will notice that the recipe contains a somewhat unorthodox ingredient. Go on, scan the list below... See anything strange? Yep. Mayonnaise. When I saw it listed, I knew that I had to give it a try which coincided nicely with my egg-induced baking frenzy. The recipe is nice and easy to follow though making brownies isn’t exactly rocket science, I know. They came out of the oven looking as you would expect any normal condiment-free brownie would. Then came the taste test. Taking a big bite (for research purposes...), I chewed and waited to see if there was any hint of strangeness to the cake but it didn’t come. It’s just nice, stodgy, chocolatey brownie. But then again, I might be biased. I tried it out on The Boy, who approved, and then my workmates. Each time, I let them take a bite and asked them what I thought of my new recipe. None of them were any the wiser and were surprised when I let them in on the secret ingredient. But as one of my colleagues pointed out, mayonnaise is pretty much just eggs and oil.
I don’t think that they’re quite as nice as my favourite Allegra McEvedy recipe for brownies but it’s good enough to warrant giving it a try. So banish your food guilt and give in to a chocolate hit!
‘Made Over’ Brownies
85g dark chocolate
85g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g golden caster sugar
50g light muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp low fat yoghurt (Angela's original recipe uses butter milk but I had more of this to hand)
1 medium egg
100g mayonnaise (I used Sainsburys low fat)
- Preheat oven to to 180c.
- Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water and then leave to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, line a 19cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
- Sift together flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.
- Stir both sugars into the melted chocolate and then add the coffee, vanilla and yoghurt. Stir in 1 tbsp of warm water to loosen.
- Beat in the egg and then stir in the mayonnaise until smooth and glossy.
- Pour chocolate mixture into the flour and fold until combined.
- Pour batter into your prepared tin and even out with a spatula then bake for 30 minutes.
You can find Angela Nilsen's original recipe on the BBC Good Food website here.