Jun 26 , 2022
I'm not a fantastic baker. As a matter of fact, pretty much all of the TreeBee family will attest to the TERRIBLE bakes I've done over the years. From Jam Roly Poly (that ended up being more of a jam and sponge layered slab cake?) to Biscuits that not even the birds would touch, I'm definitely not going to be a contestant on Great British Bake Off anytime soon. Most of my attempts are either under-cooked, that end up over-cooked when I pull them out of the oven after putting them back in, or taste so awful, you need entire cans of custard or cream to mask the taste.
I think the problem is, I have this idealistic view of baking, from when I was a child, with my Grandmother (who, by the way, could give Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Prue Leith AND the entire cast of Masterchef, a Triatholon's worth of run for their money). Every week we baked something for me to take home to my parents, and every week, despite having the input from a small child, each bake turned out delicious and fantastic. I presumed it was because I was super talented and clearly had a knack for folding mixture, but no, turns out it was Granny Reade all along!
When I started looking for recipes that included Honey, I didn't just want the usual Honey Glazed Carrots, or Honey Glazed Ham. Firstly, I wanted recipes that were as little effort as possible, because unlike in the Bake Off Tent, I don't have 3 hours to create an elaborate marbled mountain of a cake and a further two to decorate. Secondly, I wanted them to be something that people maybe hadn't thought of, or tried before. Honey is a pretty versatile food - it's sweet, but it can go in such a wide range of things, either as part of the cooking process, or on the side, in drinks or eaten entirely on it's own.
I think it's safe to say I shouldn't be baking and creating my own recipes in some sort of test kitchen, so I decided to adapt recipes instead. I came across this recipe for Brownies from the States, but it was asking for Unsweetened Apple Sauce, which isn't really a thing here in the UK. I think you could get it in some specialist supermarkets, but I think that's few and far between. So, I switched the Unsweetened Apple Sauce, for TreeBee English Blossom Honey, but stuck to the same amounts. The beauty of our Pure English Blossom Honey is that it's not made from any specific nectar. It's fantastically sweet, because it's made up of everything that the Bees have foraged on, whether that's the Nectar of Trees, Wildflowers, Fruit or Vegetables, or even a beautiful bloom from a much loved flower bed, in a gardeners paradise. This gives the Honey a great, all round, sweet taste, making it perfect for cooking with.
As for them being Diet Friendly Chocolate Brownies, that's because you're adding sweetness using English Honey rather than the sweetness coming 100% from sugar. Compared to sugar, Honey is mainly made up of Fructose, Glucose and minerals, like Iron, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium. This makes it naturally sweeter than sugar, meaning you're getting more sweetness for less sugar by using Honey in your cooking. Plus, if the Honey you're using is Pure, Raw and Unpasteurised (like ALL TreeBee Honey is), it retains all the health benefits of eating honey, which are usually lost when Honey is heated or mixed in with sugar substitutes. I must make the point though - Honey is still quite calorific, so as you would with any food, moderation is the key!
Sounds Delicious! So How Do I Make My Own?
- Two Mixing Bowls
- A Wooden Spoon or Spatula
- Scales to Weigh
- A Tray to Bake the Mixture in (I used a bread tin)
- A Whisk (I’ve got a hand held electric one, but a regular one can work)
- An Assortment of Spoons
- An Oven at 180C/350F
- Turn on your Oven and pre-heat to 180C/350F
- Warm your Honey slightly in the microwave (or over steam) to thin it out slightly. This makes it easier to mix in your dry ingredients.
- Add in your Sugar, Sweetener and Cocoa Powder to the Honey and use your Whisk to blend them all together. You should end up with a dark, smooth chocolately mixture.
- Add in the Vanilla Extract and the Egg and whisk well.
- In your other Mixing Bowl, add the Flour, Baking Powder and a pinch of salt.
- Add in your smooth, runny Chocolate mixture and fold it in till all you have is a smooth Chocolate batter.
- Add in the Chocolate Chips
- Spray your baking tin with Fry Lite (or other Low Calorie Spray)
- Pour in your mixture and bake for about 25-30 minutes
- When the Brownies start looking crispy on top, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly before cutting.
And one final tip...
Once cooled (or, if you're like me and can't wait till then, once they're not so hot they're removing your finger prints), serve with Fruit, Yoghurt, OR Ice Cream, Cream, a lovely cup of coffee.
They're perfect for lunch snacks, Elevensies, for your tea break or as a something a little sweet before bed!