Gluten free salted espresso and blueberry brownies

I think the brownie has to be one of the most universally loved sweet foods. Ok, well maybe not universally. And maybe not, because I haven't done any research on the topic. All I know is that everybody I have brunched with swoons at the sight of brownies in the little cabinet next to the coffee machine. Does that count as empirical data? I vote yes. 

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Sometimes I feel like people are lying to me when they say that the healthy counterpart of a traditionally flour and sugar laden dessert 'tastes the same.' Please don't try and tell me that this raw Oreo tastes like a normal one. That is a flat out lie. That being said, I think healthified brownies CAN be the exception to the rule. They don't actually need the horrendous amount of sugar (in pure and chocolate form) and butter and flour that is in them. It's not necessary, and if you're anything like me, the guilt and ill health post brownie consumption borderline outweighs the joy of eating it in the first place. 

These ones are gluten free, have barely any refined sugar (excepting the chocolate, although you could use unsweetened choc if you're hardcore) and have a bit of protein and good fat from the almond meal, a bit of caffeine for life, and then the antioxidants related to the cacao and blueberries. Great. 

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups almond meal
½ cup cacao powder
100g butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoon strong espresso
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
½ cup blueberries 

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METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and turn the stove onto a medium heat. Pop a medium sized saucepan on, half filled with water, and a steel bowl atop that, making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl. Double boiler style. Add the chocolate chips and the butter, and melt.
2. When the chocolate butter is melted, take it off the heat and stir in the espresso, cacao, salt, maple syrup and the almond meal. Follow this with the vanilla extract and milk, and finally, when you're sure you won't scramble them, the eggs. 
3. Gently mix in the blueberries, and then pour the brownie mixture into a well greased tin. You might want to line the base of it, just in case. Leave the brownies in for around 20-30 minutes, depending on how squishy you like your brownies. Done!

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