The sensuality of the Valentine’s Day meal is only a preparation for the sensuality of the night to come (one hopes!). How awesome would it be if your Valentine’s dessert didn’t put you a food coma and render you uninterested in taking your clothes off?
These three chocolate desserts do just that, giving you gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, low-sugar and Paleo options. And don’t think for a moment that these healthier chocolate recipes are not incredibly indulgent. I’ve got your back — and your belly. Don’t forget to use the best chocolate you can find so your desserts will be as good as I have promised.
Happy Valentines Day!
1. Olive Oil Dark Chocolate Brownies Recipe
I set out the make the best and healthiest brownie ever and was faced with the following critical dilemma: Do I make the most-delicious-possible health food brownie, or do I make the healthiest possible delicious brownie?
I opted for the second. I knew the answer as soon as the first batch, sweetened with dates, came out of the oven and was tasted. Quite good, but kind of gross. Brownies are not supposed to taste gross. It’s that simple. I want my brownies to taste like an Italian chocolatier made them, and I’d like them served with a perfect espresso … and maybe a shot of grappa.
Rules for creating the healthiest possible delicious brownie:
- Use the best quality dark chocolate and lots of it.
- Use the smallest amount of unprocessed sugar possible to make brownies just sweet enough, in this case 1⁄4 cup coconut sugar.
- Replace some of the obligatory butter with a different fat that provides brain and heart healthy omegas: In this case, extra virgin olive oil which, flavor-wise, brings out the “dark” of dark chocolate.
- Replace white flour with a more nutritious choice: In this case, protein-rich, fiber-containing and free-of-gluten almond meal.
And there you have it. Enjoy!
- 1 bar (3.5 oz) 70% best quality dark chocolate, like Green and Black’s or Valrhona
- 1 bar (3.5 oz) 85% best quality dark chocolate, like Green and Blacks or Valrhona
- 1⁄2 stick salted butter
- 2 organic eggs
- 1⁄4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil + extra for greasing pan
- 1⁄2 cup best quality cacao powder (100% chocolate-unsweetened)
- 1⁄2 cup almond flour
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8, or equivalent area, baking dish with some olive oil. Melt chocolate bars over low heat with butter in a pan. Set aside. Whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl. Add olive oil, cacao powder, almond flour and salt and whisk. Add melted chocolate and whisk until well mixed. Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
*Note: when you take the brownies out of the oven, you will see a lot of bubbling liquid. This is the olive oil. Don’t worry. It will settle back down as the brownies cool.
2. Mini “Once You Go Black” Flourless Chocolate Cakes Recipe
“Once You Go Black,” you will never go back to any other chocolate dessert. These non-dairy, gluten-free cakes are all about the chocolate, not the sugar, and use healthy fats, so you can satiate your cravings while still sticking to your diet. You know you are going to eat dessert anyway, so why not make it in the best way possible? Plus, they are so easy to make.
Use eight 5-ounce ramekins
Recipe can easily be doubled
- 1 block (7 oz.) 70% chocolate (Valrhona or Cordillera are my favorites)
- 1⁄8 cup good cacao powder, not Dutch cocoa
- 1⁄6 cup sugar (eyeball half of 1⁄3 cup)
- 4 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup hot strong coffee or weakened espresso (good decaf okay)
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
- 1⁄2 can unsweetened coconut milk (not lite)
- 4 drops coconut extract (optional)
- Powdered sugar for topping
- Coconut Bliss non-dairy ice cream for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease each ramekin with virgin coconut oil. Chop the chocolate into 1-inch pieces. Place the chocolate, cacao powder and sugar in a food processor and pulse until well chopped.* Add hot coffee and pulse until well melted. Add eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut extract and pulse until well mixed. Pour mixture evenly into the 4 ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool a little bit and serve warm with Coconut Bliss non-dairy ice cream.
*Don’t have a food processor? Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil and coffee. Then add the chocolate powder and sugar. Take off of heat. Let cool. Add eggs and coconut milk mix well. Continue as instructed.
3. “Doctored Up” Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Brownies with Sea Salt Recipe
Who knew that the best brownies in the world would come from a box, take five minutes and zero brain power, be gluten-free, and all be bought with a one-stop shop at Trader Joes for under $10? I call these brownies “doctored up” because I add an extra 6 to 7 doses of chocolate, plus a sprinkling of sea salt on the top. I personally like to cut them up into small brownie bites and stick them in the freezer. Expect them to disappear quickly.
- Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Brownie Mix
- 1 egg
- 1 stick of butter
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄2 cup of Trader Joe’s cocoa powder
- 3 oz Valrhona or Trader Joe’s 70% Dark Chocolate Bar
- Coconut oil or butter (for greasing the pan)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan with coconut oil or butter. Combine the brownie mix, cocoa powder, water and egg together in a large mixing bowl. Melt the dark chocolate and butter together over the stovetop and then let cool just a bit. Add the butter and chocolate mixture to the brownie mixture and mix together until well combined. (It will look more like dough than a batter). Spread the brownie mixture evenly in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool. Cut into small squares and stick in freezer if you like.