I happened to catch an episode of the America’s Test Kitchen TV show this past weekend and was suprised – and delighted – to see that it was about making low-fat versions of two chocolate favorites: brownies and chocolate mousse. Naturally, I quickly scrounged around for a pen and something to write on (I ended up with a napkin – which, incidentally, I do not recommend for general recipe writing because it’s too easy to accidentally thrown them away while you’re working in the kitchen) before they read out the recipes so that I could give them a try.
I decided to make the brownies first. The goal for the test kitchen crew was to come up with a low fat brownie recipe that (a) tasted as good as full-fat brownies, (b) didn’t need a tiny portion size to qualify as low in fat and (c) didn’t have any unusual, non-brownie ingredients in them. As a result, these brownies don’t use any applesauce, prune butter, etc., even though they only have 2 tablespoons of butter! The trick, it turns out, is to play up the chocolate flavor of the brownies as much as possible without focusing only on the added fat. The brownies use both cocoa powder and some melted chocolate for richness.
I ended up making a couple of adjustments to the recipe anyway, but the brownies were great. They did taste like “regular” brownies and had a very strong, rich chocolate flavor. They had a chewy/fudgy texture and, although they still felt less dense than a traditional fudgy brownie, they were super satisfying. They definitely did not taste low fat and I would say that they had a much better texture than most of the “low fat” brownies that I’ve tried because they were not cakey or gummy.
delicious, with a lovely chew and a fudgy feel. don’t taste low fat or light at all. excellent dakr chocolate flavor.
The two big changes I made were using a round cake pan to make a slightly thicker brownie than the original recipe would have made and leaving out the “secret ingredient.” The ATK secret ingredient for this recipe is Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Adding only a tablespoon or two of it to the batter will, supposedly, enhance the chocolate flavor of the brownies and help give them a shiny top. Mine didn’t have a shiny top, but I don’t think that I really missed out on much by not adding the syrup, especially since it is corn syrup based.
Low Fat Fudgy Brownies
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2-oz bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp low fat sour cream or yogurt
1 large egg
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease it.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, melt together bittersweet chocolate and butter. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk chocolate mixture with sugars and sour cream. Whisk in egg, egg white and vanilla extract. Gently mix in the flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of flour remain. Batter will be thick.
Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.
Cool brownies completely in the pan. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 12 brownie wedges.