I'm telling you straight out. I am leaving this recipe here as a warning post. These are representative of the standard internet low-sugar low-carb brownie. In retrospect, they were edible because it had been so long since I had a brownie... and the other 3-4 recipes I tried were so so bad the I could not post them. I think brownies are the Great Low Carb No Sugar challenge. You can see the excuses in everyone's recipes ("of course, it's not the same as..." so you KNOW what that means). I ate 4-5 of these and decided I could really do better. The real science chefs have spent a LOT of time with the mystery of the standard brownie - the whole flour/fat ratio on the cake/fudge spectrum. I took that info and diverged into Version 2. Those were not bad at all, and suggested Version 3, which I have dubbed The Final.
As I said, I did not delete this just because it can be a warning.
There are a few recipes out there for low carb brownies, including some recent ones that use cauliflower puree. I was more motivated to stick with a more classic ingredient set and pulled from a few inspirations (including just regular old brownies) for this – including a combine, mix, and bake recipe. I use a high quality cocoa powder. I favor the taste of black walnuts; just remember that they are a lot different from regular walnuts. You could just use regular walnuts and use vanilla extract. The result was more like one of those processed brownies you get as a single-serving on an airplane. The up side on these: the block is solid. The down side: the granular sweetener stands out a bit too much. On the scale of poor to excellent, I'd give these a mid-range good (for a sugar-free and nut-based baked good). I think that shifting towards the cakey-brownies proportions is where I go next. I leave this here because it represents a goodly chunk of what you see in the low-carb recipes. —Brian Coppola
granulated sweetener (Swerve)
sugar-free 100% cocao powder (I use Tudor Gold, which is excellent)
black walnut extract
cashew butter (or almond butter)
black walnut pieces
regular walnut pieces
In This Recipe
Combine all of the ingredients except the nuts in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a hand mixer.
Combine the nuts and mix well with a spatula. Add the mixture to a well-buttered 8x8 glass baking dish.
Cook in a pre-heated 350F oven for 20-30 minutes (start checking at 20 minutes).
Remove and cool in the dish before turning out onto a board and cutting into 2 inch squares.