Using dates in place of sugar results in very fudgy chocolate brownies with no added sugar required. The dark chocolate chips are optional! These brownies are slightly cakey; if you prefer a denser brownie, use only 1 egg instead of 2.
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175g pitted deglet nour dates (see note)
250ml hot water
120g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
40g wholemeal flour
30g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
85g dark chocolate chips (optional)
Method Prep:10min › Cook:20min › Extra time:20min › Ready in:50min
Place dates in a small bowl and pour in hot water. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line an 20cm square baking dish with baking paper, leaving enough paper to hang over the sides of the dish.
Drain dates and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until dates are completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. If date paste is too thick, add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until completely pureed.
Add softened butter to the food processor and pulse to combine, about 30 seconds. Add eggs and vanilla extract; process until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add wholemeal flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Pulse until mixture is just combined, about 30 seconds. Gently stir in chocolate chips (if using) by hand. Pour brownie mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven until edges just begin to set, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove brownies from pan by gently lifting up edges of baking paper. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Slice into 16 equal pieces.
Deglet nour dates:
Deglet nour dates are lighter in colour than medjool dates. They have a sweet, and slightly more delicate flavour than medjool dates. They are available in larger supermarkets.