Friday, November 21, 2014

Low Carb Chocolate Brownies

I’ve tried many different low carb brownie recipes using different kinds of ingredients in place of sugar and flour. My assessment after countless experiments is that they all suck. They always come out dry and crumbly. I came up with my recipe based on Alton Brown’s episode of Good Eats. Brownies can be made from cocoa or chocolate. The difference is that cocoa lacks fat, so extra butter is needed. Low carb cocoa brownies come out too dry in my experience. I opt for using unsweetened 100% cacao chocolate instead. There are a few other tricks I employ. I add blackstrap molasses for flavor and to increase moisture. I use powdered erythritol to give the mixture the “bulk” that the sugar would have provided. Vegetable glycerine also keeps the brownies moist. I add a tablespoon of honey substitute for flavoring and because it contains thickeners that helps the starch-free flour bind better. I use sifted Carbalose flour, not Carbquik. Carbquik contains baking powder, which is a no-no for brownies. What? Your mom always made brownies with baking powder? Those aren’t brownies. Those are chocolate cake squares masquerading as brownies! Anyway, if you don’t have Carbalose flour or want to avoid gluten, try something else like almond meal or ground up pecans.

UPDATE 2016-6-3: Slicing cakes, breads and brownies is annoying because whatever you use sticks to the food. I bought a Zyliss Dessert Knife and it works great. It’s safe enough to use while the brownies are in the silicone pan. Just press the knife straight down to make a cut.

UPDATE 2016-7-12: I’ve been experimenting with Scharffen Berger chocolate and it’s expensive, but worth it! I also tried doubling the recipe and cutting the brownies into 12ths. They need to bake for 30-35 minutes.


4 large eggs
28 drops EZ-Sweetz
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (20 g) blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons (38 g) vegetable glycerine
1 tablespoon (20 g) Nature’s Hollow Sugar Free Honey Substitute
1 cup (100 g) powdered erythritol
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (52 g) Carbalose flour (not Carbquik), sifted
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 °F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch silicone baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or electric hand mixer in a 4 cup Pyrex mixing cup, beat the eggs at high speed until fluffy and light yellow.
  3. Add EZ-Sweetz, vanilla extract, molasses, glycerine, and honey substitute and beat on high as before. Gradually add powdered erythritol while mixing at medium speed until it’s all integrated. Beat on high to ensure the mixture is airy and fluffy.
  4. In an 8 cup Pyrex mixing cup or microwave safe bowl, add butter and chocolate and microwave on high for 1½ minutes. Beat with an electric hand mixer at medium-high speed to ensure the melted butter and chocolate are combined. Make sure it isn’t hot enough to cook the eggs when we eventually add them to the chocolate. If you’re in a hurry, you can quickly cool the chocolate/butter mixture in the refrigerator for a couple minutes, but be sure it doesn’t get solid again.
  5. Slowly fold in the egg mixture ingredients while mixing on low to combine. Do not mix at a high speed. Mix until batter is even and oils combine.
  6. Fold in the sifted Carbalose flour and salt. You can use the electric hand mixer on low to do this. Do not use Carbquik since it contains baking powder and will result in “cakey” brownies.
  7. Pour the batter into pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it’s done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it’s mostly cool. A large pizza cutter works well.
Makes 9 brownies, approximately 4 x 3 inches each



UPDATE 2014-12-12: I made some white chocolate brownies substituting the 6 ounces of chocolate for 5½ ounces cocoa butter and 2 tablespoons of LC Foods Milk Powder. Came out great!

White chocolate brownies.

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