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Chocolate Brownies without Chocolate?

Posted on March 31, 2011 by in baked goods

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Chocolate Brownies without chocolate? You’ve got to be kidding me! Oh no, I kid you not, I think I finally cracked it! You see this quest of mine has been going on for months now or at least since my son developed a craving for Chocolate Brownies.
The first recipe I tried asked for 2 slabs of good quality chocolate, which means that just the chocolate for the recipe would be about R60 rand, which is not the end of the world if you were making these brownies once in a while, but here in Nina’s Kitchen I could not keep up with the demand, I had to make another plan…….
I tried various recipes, some with less, but still a good quality chocolate, some with a mediocre chocolate and a few without any chocolate, just cocoa powder. My son was highly impressed with his new job as recipe tester here in my kitchen and at first he rated them all “excellent” because his only criteria was that is was “sweet”. He soon got the hang of it and I had to just smile at some of the comments he said: “Slightly bitter on the tongue,  too gooey, not fudgy enough, not chocolaty enough…. ” After every attempt, I would go back to the drawing board or search engine until finally one day I made this recipe and this was the comment I got: ” Mmmmmmmm, dark, chocolaty, mysterious, fudgy, shiny on the top, slightly cracked like a good brownie should be. ( I guess this is the result of watching too many Food network Challenges).

Eureka people, that was it, I found it, the perfect brownie recipe AND the beauty of this recipe was the fact that it used cocoa and NO CHOCOLATE so one batch of brownies cost me not even a third of my original recipe.  Needless to say I have tried that recipe so many times now, every time with a different twist and all I can say is: ” Wow, it is truly delicious!”

I used this recipe from Very Best Baking and here is my twist on this recipe

Chocolate Brownies without any Chocolate or Cocoa Brownies

Makes 24 brownies

1 2/3 cups sugar(granulated is fine)
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp water
2 extra-large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup  good quality cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup slivered almonds
½ tsp chili powder – optional

Preheat oven to 180C or 350F. Line a 20×20 cm pan with grease proof paper.
Mix  the sugar, melted butter and water in large bowl.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in another bowl and stir into the sugar mixture. Pour into the prepared baking pan and even out with a knife. Sprinkle the almonds over the top and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until it still feels slightly soft when you touch it in the middle. Remove from the oven and cool. Cut into bars and enjoy as is. Or you can serve with ice-cream  or cream! You can add a shot of espresso or change you choice of nuts for a different brownie every time!
  I have some more chocolate Recipes for you to drool over!
Watch this space for a really cool competition coming up!!! We all need a getaway sometime….(wink-wink!)

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48 Responses to “Chocolate Brownies without Chocolate?”

  1. Junglefrog 31 March 2011 at 7:26 am #

    That looks delicious Nina! You would never guess there is no chocolate by the looks of it…

  2. Jos 31 March 2011 at 8:50 am #

    I have been making brownies for years without using chocolate. I use margerine, sugar, eggs, flour,cocoa and vanilla.
    And best of all the kids absolutely love them.

  3. Jos 31 March 2011 at 8:51 am #

    I have been making brownies for years without using chocolate. I use margerine, sugar, eggs, flour,cocoa and vanilla.
    And best of all the kids absolutely love them.

  4. Jos 31 March 2011 at 8:51 am #

    I have been making brownies for years without using chocolate. I use margerine, sugar, eggs, flour,cocoa and vanilla.
    And best of all the kids absolutely love them.

  5. Marisa 31 March 2011 at 10:04 am #

    No chocolate? Could've fooled me. They look deliciously fudgy!

    PS: In my next life I want to come back as one of your kids! 🙂

  6. PinkPolkaDot 31 March 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    This looks delicious!! I like the fact that it is not so expensive!!

  7. bellini valli 31 March 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    When I allow myself a sweet treat I have often thought of a good brownie that I can make with ingredients I always have on hand. This is it.

  8. SavoringTime in the Kitchen 31 March 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Cocoa works for me! I love the addition of the chili powder.

  9. That Girl 31 March 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    I was so very confused, because I always consider cocoa, chocolate. The two are interchangeable for me!

  10. redkathy 1 April 2011 at 5:45 am #

    I love this brownie recipe! I've added cinnamon on a few occasions but never tried the chili powder. That has got to be in my next batch!

    Nina your photos are fabulous!

  11. thecompletecookbook 1 April 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Going to be making these this afternoon.
    🙂 Mandy

  12. KandyKane 1 April 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Oh Lordy! My recently Gluten Free self is wondering if these babies may just be worth the self inflicted headache!

  13. Thea 4 April 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Nina, Ek moes net gou hier kom inloer – ek het so pas hierdie resep uit die oond gehaal. Baie Dankie dat jy dit met ons gedeel het. Hulle het so goed uitgekom, die beste Brownies wat ek nog gebak het.

  14. Anonymous 20 April 2011 at 12:07 am #

    Hi, When you mix the ingredients, did you mix them with a beater or spoon?

    cheers, Janet

    • Betsy 10 February 2017 at 11:55 pm #

      I mixed it with a fork. They came out wonderfully!
      Enjoy your brownies! 🙆🏼

      • nerinatimm 11 February 2017 at 4:37 pm #

        I am so glad you liked them!

  15. 6 June 2011 at 11:14 am #

    I tried the recipe & doubled it. It came out as a very dark, nutty chocolate cake, rather than brownies. ANY SUGGESTIONS WHY THIS HAPPENED? (wasn't a loss though. Drenched it in a thin homemade choc sauce, ate it with homemade custard,mmm choc pudding!!)

  16. javed vardi 14 August 2011 at 10:45 am #

    This is a another way on how to prepare your browni , another way to present your browni to your Family and friends, and how yummy it is, especially the peppermint.

  17. Licia 14 October 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    Hello Nina, wil net weet..oorspronkilike resep vra vir 1 2/3 suiker en jy jy net 2/3 suiker is dit reg?

  18. Anonymous 22 October 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Thanks very much this is really helpful…
    Seeing i dont usually have chocolate that i can cook with this solves my problem!

  19. HannahG 29 November 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    OMG my batch are in the oven baking right now!
    they smell heavenly, also I had a cheeky lick of the bow and they taste divine uncooked! goodness knows how scrumpcious they will be all cooked and gooey and soft!
    Love this recipe, you are a genius

  20. Angela 24 June 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    I've just put mine in the oven! They look and taste good at the moment!! Hopefully They'll taste all right.. Thank you for the great recipe!!

  21. Anonymous 10 July 2012 at 10:28 am #

    I have used this so many times now! This recipe never fails, it is in the favourites on my task bar 🙂

  22. Anonymous 20 July 2012 at 9:46 am #

    I just made these, substituting canned apple for half of the butter (since we ran out of butter).
    They're amazing! 🙂

  23. Alicia 28 October 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    YUMMO!! I just made these and they are the best ever 🙂 first time making brownies and i think i should get a GOLD with YOUR GREAT receipe, Thank u so much 🙂

  24. Nathaniel Hough 2 May 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    For those people living in countries other than america, i converted the measurements into ml. these roughly approximate grams, although i haven’t tested the recipe yet.

    400ml(g) cups sugar(granulated is fine)
    150ml(g) cup butter, melted
    2 Tbsp water
    2 extra-large eggs
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    225ml(g) cups flour
    150ml(g) good quality cocoa
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    150ml(g) slivered almonds
    ½ tsp chili powder – optional

    • izzy 15 July 2013 at 5:16 am #

      thx was very helpful:)

  25. Kyler 6 May 2013 at 2:12 am #

    theese are asweome the best and i repeat the best brownies i will make them again thanks.
    ,Kyler (12)

  26. Anita 17 July 2013 at 7:13 am #

    I’ve just got a batch in the oven now. a 1 & 1/4 recipe to test my maths skills (or lack thereof).
    I added the chili and a small shot of espresso (to boost the choc flavour) and in the middle did a wee sprinkling of dried cranberries as a surprise. Can’t wait to try them out!

  27. CT 16 January 2014 at 10:36 am #

    These brownies are amazing! I’ve made these many times and always receive compliments. I once used basic cocoa powder and it didn’t come out as good, and instead of almonds I use pecans sometimes. I also find that half the amount of chili powder is enough for me 🙂
    Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  28. ritu 15 March 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    this tasted awesome! thank you i have been waiting for a brownies without chocolate!

  29. ritu 15 March 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    this tasted epic!

  30. rach 15 July 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    Thank you so much for this recipe. 2nd time made this week. My electric mixer has broken, last minute friends coming for coffee tomorrow & not much in the cupboard. These are perfect!

    • nerinatimm 21 July 2014 at 8:30 am #

      I am so glad you like it, thank you for visiting my blog!

  31. jaime 6 October 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    this taste amazing looks amazing but the only thing is it doesn’t ell you the tempture for the oven

  32. ella(13) 23 April 2016 at 1:43 pm #

    seems like a lot of sugar to put in, mine are coming out of the oven now

    • nerinatimm 25 April 2016 at 8:35 am #

      It is the sugar that gives it a fudgy texture. You have to no overbake it, that is the trick! Did you like it!

  33. Mary 13 May 2016 at 10:36 am #

    These brownies are amazing. I used only a cup of sugar, no vanilla, a teaspoon of oil and a bit more water. I filled a cup halfway with the batter and cooked it in a 1000watt microwave for 30 seconds. Perfect…!

  34. Anonymous 29 September 2016 at 6:23 am #

    Is cocoa cocoa powder or no?

    • nerinatimm 3 October 2016 at 1:38 pm #

      Yes it is indeed!

  35. Evie 16 October 2016 at 3:26 pm #

    Great recipie, could do with a bit more water due to the fact of it being to dry. Other then that very nive.

    • nerinatimm 18 October 2016 at 1:48 pm #

      Good idea, it is difficult to be too precise, measuring cups and flour differs from kitchen to kitchen.

  36. Corgi 22 March 2017 at 5:23 pm #

    Made the brownies twice now. Too gooey. Nothing like what it looks like in the picture… not enough flour maybe? You can’t even seperate them once it has been cut. Bad recipe.

    • nerinatimm 30 March 2017 at 7:31 am #

      I am sorry you had this experience. I have only had good feed-back on these brownies.

  37. Coco 9 April 2017 at 10:20 am #

    These are delicious! I added a tablespoon of coffee and less sugar and they are just perfect. They are a bit more fluffy than **normal** brownies but I love them ❤️

    • nerinatimm 12 April 2017 at 8:01 am #

      I am so glad you like them, thank you for the tip to use coffee!

  38. ArielView 20 March 2018 at 8:47 am #

    This is perfect to share with my school friends! I can’t bring nuts to school, though so I don’t use almonds. Once for my family I put in almond essence instead of vanilla (accidentally) and it was great!


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