Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies

Jumbo shrimp. Airline food. Boneless ribs. Fuzzy logic. Some words just don’t seem to belong together. I’m betting you’d say healthy brownie falls into that category. Au contraire! Every thing a brownie lover loves has been ratcheted up a degree here, including the flavor. How do I know? Because there was a lot of “yumming” in my kitchen as a gaggle of brownie aficionados devoured these. Refined white sugar out; Grade B maple syrup in. See ya white flour; hello almond flour and brown rice flour. Fare-thee-well butter; comeon-down olive oil! Add dark chocolate, walnuts, and cinnamon, and the result is a decadent culinary oxymoron for the ages.

MAKES 16 BROWNIES

1/3 cup almond flour or meal
1/3 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces dark chocolate
(68 to 72% cacao content), chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 organic eggs
1/3 cup maple sugar
1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Line an 8-inch square baking pan (see note) with two pieces of foil long enough to overlap on all four sides. Lightly oil the foil. Put the almond flour, brown rice flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.

Put half of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring often, just until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the olive oil. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until frothy.

Slowly add the maple syrup and maple sugar, whisking all the while, and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla extract, then gradually add the chocolate, whisking vigorously all the while, and continue whisking until smooth and glossy. Add the flour mixture and beat for about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining chocolate and the walnuts. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in to room temperature in the pan, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into 16 brownies.

Variation: For brownies that are more fudgy, replace the rice flour with another 1/3 cup of almond flour.

COOK’S NOTE: You can also use a 9 by 6-inch baking pan. If you do, the baking time will be only about 25 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods. Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.