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Low carb chocolate brownies

This recipe is by a fab blogger I really respect – Kellie Anderson on Food to Glow. Click here for the recipe. It was right out of my baking comfort zone. Low carb is not something I have much experience of. Basically that’s because I love carbs. I love bread, cake, iced buns, squidgy cookies, pasta, potatoes, etc etc insert your fave carb here…

However I am always up for trying something new, so here goes! I decided to make these for our staff meeting at work. The original recipe contains eggs, but someone at work doesn’t eat eggs so – something new again – find an egg substitute.

The sugar substitute was easy enough to find but I was slightly taken aback at the price. The pecans are from Lidl – I highly recommend all the nuts from there. They are always fresh and good quality. Plus a good price. Toasted and ground in the blender the smell was amazing.

The egg substitute – I decided to use ‘chia eggs’ – you mix a 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg you need, and then leave to ‘gel’ for 5-10 minutes. I’ve never tried this before, but it seems quite standard in vegan cookery. I didn’t make the recipe entirely vegan though because I did use butter.

Far right – chia seed ‘eggs’. Top left – Xylitol – it looks just like ordinary sugar.

How did the bake go? It was very straightforward to mix. The baking time was slightly longer than 21 minutes – it looked decidedly not cooked after that time, but a couple of minutes later it was – probably. It did set as it cooled, but was very squishy. It did work, and the chia seeds added a certain texture that some people liked. The flavour was really good – dark chocolate. The fudginess was nice. I wasn’t so keen on the very greasy feel.

The first batch, eggless and super squidgy. But also quite oily..

So I had another go! This time I used proper eggs. And because I had just about used the whole packet of Xylitol I had to use a mixture of that plus erythritol. I have to say that this worked better. The texture was better, and overall the flavour seemed more rounded too. Verdict? Chia eggs don’t cut it. Sorry! You can get other egg substitutes so maybe I could try something different next time.

The second batch – more like the texture of a traditional brownie, and not as oily. It was difficult to get a good photo because they are very dark.

I think low carb baking recipes are interesting. But not necessarily for everyone. The sugar substitutes are something I will continue to experiment with, although I have to say the price does somewhat put me off.

NB my brownies weren’t quite as low carb as the original recipe because my dark chocolate chips were only 68% cocoa solids and to get really low carb you need to be at the 85-90% mark.