I’m not one to shy away from sweet desserts and most of my recipes use sugar, honey or maple syrup as sweeteners. There are times – such as when I am cooking for family members who prefer a lower calorie dessert, or if I simply want a “reduced guilt” option after dinner – when I work with recipes where I can swap out a few ingredients so they are lighter but still deliver that indulgence than I look for in dessert. Born Sweet® Zing™ Baking Blend is a great example of a product that will allow you to cut a few calories from your favorite treats, since it bakes and browns like sugar. It is made with a blend of stevia leaf extract and cane sugar, and it has only 5 calories per serving! Since stevia leaf extract is more intensely sweet than sugar, by using Zing™ Baking Blend in your recipes, you can significantly cut the amount of sugar called for. For instance, if a favorite recipe from your collection calls for 1 cup of sugar, you can swap it for just 1/2 cup of Zing™ Baking Blend.
This fudgy Mexican Chocolate Brownie Pie is a dessert that you would never suspect is a “reduced guilt” option, but it has less than 150 calories per serving! The calorie savings are accomplished by replacing the white and brown sugars you would typically find in a recipe like this one with Zing™ Baking Blend. The brownie uses a generous amount of unsweetened cocoa powder, which gives the dessert a wonderful bittersweet chocolate flavor. Although I love a chocolate brownie as much as the next baker, I wanted to spice this one up by adding cinnamon and cayenne pepper to the batter. These spices are commonly used in Mexican chocolate and add a delicious, but unexpected, twist to a traditional chocolate dessert.
Each slice of this easy-to-make pie is fudgy and tender, with a deep chocolate flavor. Adding a few dark chocolate chunks adds extra richness to every serving. Chocolate chips can be substituted for the chocolate chunks, but I prefer the look of the chocolate chunks in the finished dessert. This is best served while it is warm and it can be reheated for a few seconds in the microwave before serving, if necessary.
Reduced Guilt Mexican Chocolate Brownie Pie
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup Zing Baking Blend
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
6 tbsp (approx 1.5-oz) chopped dark chocolate, divided
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate and dust with cocoa powder. In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, Zing™ Baking Blend, applesauce, egg, vanilla extract and almond extract until smooth. Add in flour mixture and whisk until the batter comes together, then fold in 5 tablespoons of the chocolate chunks. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with remaining dark chocolate chunks. Bake for 14-17 minutes, until the pie is firm around the outer edge and just set in the center. Do not overbake. Allow pie to cool to room temperature before slicing. Heat each slice for a few seconds in the microwave to warm it before serving. Serves 10.
Nutritional information via My Fitness Pal.
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