Snowed in and held captive by sharp-speared icicles threatening from cracking branches overhead, this epic Arctic storm has all of Eugene snuggled up indoors. While 10 inches of snow might not seem like a big deal to folks in the Northeast, it’s a record breaker for us, leaving the city scrambling to clear roads, remove branches, and restore power with less than adequate preparation or resources.
All that said…damn is it pretty! Crystal clear ice jewels encase lichens, tiny fig buds, spiky Oregon grape leaves, and each individual conifer needle, magnifying their beauty as if preserved in glass. (It’s okay. Please ignore the strange lady staring at and touching all the ice-covered plants in your front yard. She’s from Florida.) Absolutely mesmerizing.
When the storm began, I nervously peeked in my cupboard for reserves. To my happy surprise, I found that I had everything needed to make parsnip apple soup, pickled jalapeno quesadillas, coconut chickpea curry with wild rice, huckleberry pancakes, and some kind of chocolate yum yum. Then, after two giant maple branches fell on our car sounding the alarm and causing damage, I decided that I really needed to make a flourless chocolate treat to ease my winter weather woes.
This recipe is super chocolaty, rich, creamy, melty, silky, and not as guilt-inducing as it could be thanks to the lack of flour, pure dark chocolate, and virgin coconut oil! One of my favorite fats, good quality organic and unrefined coconut oil has been linked to all sorts of health benefits from boosting metabolism, to supporting healthy thyroid function, to nourishing skin and hair. Plus, it tastes like paradise and makes a great replacement for other semi-solid fats, like butter for example.
Served hot out of the oven, this recipe can be considered a flourless chocolate cake or torte, but after it’s refrigerated, it becomes more of a brownie bar that is smooth and fudgy with a satisfyingly crisp top. This is the perfect dessert to make for any gluten-free person in your world – but everyone will want a piece or two.
flourless coconut brownie bars
6 oz chopped organic dark (or semi-sweet) chocolate
1/4 cup organic butter
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil (buy the good stuff here)
2/3 cup organic sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
3 organic farm eggs
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch round pan with coconut oil. Using a double boiler, gently melt the chopped chocolate, butter, and coconut oil together and stir well. Whisk in sugar and salt until well combined. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in one egg at a time. Grab your wire mesh strainer and sift in the cocoa powder (along with any other optional dry ingredient) and mix well. Add vanilla extract and stir. Pour batter into the greased pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Watch for the top to become bubbled and firm (like traditional brownies). If the sides begin to brown too quickly, wrap a little foil around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes on a wire rack. Flip over onto a cutting board to remove the cake from the pan, and then flip right-side up again. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or more cocoa powder and slice.