Unlike 50% of marriages which end all too soon, mine is going on 22 years together and 14 years officially married. Considering we have spent mostly every waking (and sleeping) hour together, it is truly remarkable that we are still a force–particularly since his parents divorced and mine should have. Luckily, we have learned together and had plenty of laughs, a generous number of highs and even some lows, but we never gave up.
The yin to my yang (and vice versa), we balance each other well. His strengths tend to not be mine and mine tend to not be his, though there is that grey area that unites us philosophically, spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. Considering how easy it is to throw in the towel when things get difficult, we have much to celebrate as we rejoice in 14 years of marriage.
The Queen of Desserts
As the official dessert queen, I asked what he wanted me to make for this momentous occasion. Knowing his answer would be Chocolate Angel Pie, I was a step ahead of him and quickly reminded him this was “our” anniversary not just his, so we needed to choose something new and different. And definitely something chocolate.
I scoured some Paleo cookbooks from the library and sadly came up empty-handed. While there were a few desserts that looked good, I did not want to spend all day in the kitchen whipping up something overly detailed and decadent, so I suggested brownies. He agreed and added “with ice cream.”
Done. In my epicurean world, ice cream is one of the four major food groups…
Having made dozens of varieties of brownies over the years, from super rich and gluttonous to gluten-free, I have never made a Paleo brownie specifically using coconut flour so I decided to trust Danielle Walker’s recipe for Dark Chocolate Cake Brownies. She claims to have made the recipe 20 times before she got it just right and proclaims these brownies are worthy of rivaling their whole-wheat counterparts.
Though they might be a tad bit more difficult than a boxed brownie, they are miles better. I cut back on the honey a bit and they were just sweet enough. Serve with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream and I assure you these gluten-free, sugar-free and Paleo brownies will cement your relationship for at least another 14 years.
Dark Chocolate Cake Brownies (Paleo)
- 1/2 cup Spectrum shortening plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate Baker's chocolate works well
- 5 pastured eggs
- 1/2 cup honey the original recipe calls for 3/4 but that seemed excessive and 1/2 cup was just perfect
- Pinch of kosher or sea salt
- 1/3 cup coconut flour sifted
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips Enjoy Life brand, plus a few more for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with Spectrum shortening.
Place the shortening and chocolate in a bowl and set it over a small pot of simmering water. Whisk until melted and smooth. Do not boil and set aside.
Sift the coconut flour and cocoa powder together and set aside.
Place the eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer and add the honey and salt. Beat on medium and then add the coconut-cocoa mixture, vanilla and baking soda and beat on low until everything is incorporated. Then beat on high until smooth.
Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat on medium until the batter thickens. This should take about 15 seconds.
Stir in the chocolate chips by hand and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon or an off-set spatula and then drop another small handful of chips over the top of the brownies.
Place in the oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or your flavor of choice and don't mention to anyone they are Paleo. Let the compliments start rolling in and just smile. Store any leftover brownies in the fridge.