Thursday, April 18, 2013

Almost Gwyneth's Fudgy Brownies

My less-healthy version called almost Gwyneth Paltrow's fudgy brownies. Still made with spelt, they are chewy and chocolatey and delicious!

I was sitting around the house this past Monday (actually on my laptop making comments on many of the movie-inspired #SundaySupper posts  – so many fabulous ones!) and suddenly, on Facebook (yeah, okay, you got me, also reading Facebook) a link popped up for these brownies.  It was posted by a friend who is trying to eat more healthily (Hi, Claire!) and she said that, for healthy brownies, they were pretty good.  More cake than brownie but good.  Well, I just happened to have some spelt flour I bought on a whim a few weeks ago, (I was under the mistaken impression that it was gluten free.  It’s not!) so I decided to give them a try.  Of course, as these things usually go, I didn’t have maple syrup or agave nectar or soy milk.  So substitutions were made.

If you’d like to make Gwyneth’s actual recipe, here’s the link with metric measurements and imperial measurements, but I can tell you that, after comparing results with my friend, my brownies were chewier and more brownie than cake.  Not as healthy perhaps, since they have sugar.  But hey.

And while, I’m but hey-ing, what’s with all the hating on Gwyneth?   I think folks are just jealous.  Are you a Gwyneth fan?

2 cups or 200g spelt flour
1 cup or 80g cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark.)
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
Healthy pinch fine salt
1/2 cup or 125ml canola or other light oil
1 cup or 250ml honey
1/2 cup or 100g light brown sugar
1/2 cup or 125ml strong brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup or 125ml milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 175g semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your baking pan by greasing with a little canola oil or baking spray.   This is supposed to make 12 brownies so I used my square brownie pan but I must admit it was very full.  (You’ll see what I mean later.  Nothing ran over during baking though, so I guess it was just big enough.)

Gwyneth’s instructions said to sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together but when I tried sifting the spelt flour, the bigger bits just got stuck in the tiny holes in my sieve, so I tipped the flour into my bowl and then sifted in the cocoa, and added the other ingredients, including the light brown sugar.  So you can probably do the same.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the canola oil, milk, honey, coffee and vanilla.

It doesn't really want to mix.  Just do your best. 

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Gwyneth said, "Don't stir too hard," so I didn't.

Pour half of your batter into the prepared baking pan.  Sprinkle with half the chocolate chips.

Now cover the chips with the rest of the batter.

Top with the rest of the chocolate chips.

See how full?!  I was a little worried, I'll be frank. 

Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean.  I think underdone is better than overdone when the item is brownies.

All the chocolate chips sank.  But maybe that made them more chewy so I'm not complaining.

Let them cool for about 10-15 minutes and then cut into squares.  These were fabulous warm!


And since I substituted honey for the maple syrup, I am submitting these chewy brownies to 
We Should Cocoa, hosted by Choclette of the ChocolateLogBlog where chocolate is a food staple and April's extra ingredient is honey.  Go on over and visit! 



  1. I literally JUST put a pan of brownies in the oven, sat down at the computer, and saw this post! I'll have to make it a habit to check you blog immediately before I bake anything from now on - these sound great!

  2. I am sure your brownies will be divine, Melissa! But, of course, it would make me very happy if you come by whenever you are going to bake. :) Have you seen these from way back when? Not a healthy thing about them but ooooooh, so goooood.

  3. Gosh, the darkness of these brownies is really striking - they are almost black. The addition of honey can only be an improvement in my book, although surprisingly I've never tried it in brownies before and I've made enough of them. Thanks for entering them into We Should Cocoa, they sound fabulous.

    Spelt flour isn't gluten free but many people with wheat intolerance can eat it with no ill effects as it is low in gluten - not celiacs though.

  4. Oh my word! These are THE MOST incredibly chocolatey brownies I have ever seen! So unique that the recipe uses spelt flour which I've only seen in bread recipes. Always great to learn something new, so thanks for sharing this recipe! I would like to think Gwyneth is nice :-)

  5. Thank you for hosting, Choclette! Honey turned out to be a great addition to these brownies. Despite a whole cup of the stuff, the flavor was subtle and that allowed the chocolate to shine. Good to know that about the spelt flour. Thank you.

  6. I would like to think so too, Jaime! My friend said the cookbook was written with warmth and intimacy. I can say that the brownies were indeed incredibly chocolatey.

  7. SUCH FUDGINESS! Mmmmmmmmm

    And eh I feel neutral about Gwyneth. I think people are hating because she is just so out of touch with what it means to be normal so it's kind of frustrating (in her book or something she gave a like...cheaper alternative to some outfit and the cheaper choice was still a few hundred dollars which is like...not cheap lol) But she is the child of celebrities and knows nothing else. Can't really hate her.

  8. Love Gwyneth and your blog! You have a great writing voice :)

  9. Can I use all purpose flower instead of spelt flour? If so, same amount? And what makes these brownies rise as there are no eggs in it? Thanks in advance!

  10. Hi, Shar. I haven't tried it, but the friend who shared the original link used regular flour because she didn't have spelt so, sure, go ahead and substitute. While there are no eggs, there is a whole tablespoon of baking powder which makes these rise beautifully.

  11. As I said to Kayle in another comment, I think we use the word hate too easily nowadays. How can people really hate someone they don't even know. Honestly! I'll say this for Gwyneth, she's got some great recipes!

  12. Even if those aren't brownie-like per se, they still look super rich and awesome! Very chocolatey!

  13. I am WAY behind on my reading this week......Underdone IS better than overdone with brownies! :) They look fantastic. I just got that new brownie pan (one for giveaway and one for me!) and have been looking for a brownie recipe to use just after I make brownies with the one that's on the wrapper - I love this. Now, I just have to find spelt flour! :)

  14. Mine were actually quite brownie-like but then, I didn't follow the recipe exactly. My friend made them as instructed, except for using normal flour instead of spelt and she said hers were more cake-like. Maybe it's the spelt flour that makes the difference. I'd love to hear from someone who made them exactly as Gwyneth's recipe described. I can say they were awesomely chocolatey, Joanne.

  15. I am always up for a new brownie recipe, Kelli. My girls love the one on Baked Bree and they are good, but I hate fiddling with the ice bath. Have a look and see what you think.

  16. Hmmmm....interesting. I wonder what the ice bath does for it? probably steams them a little on top? I pinned it, so I must try them too!

  17. I think it is supposed to stop the cooking so they turn out chewier. Or something. The brownies are good, I must say. I just can't be bothered. And when the girls are home, they make them themselves.

  18. They didn't turn out so divine after all! I burnt them. I couldn't read my own handwriting and baked them at 160 rather than 180 and then had them in way too long. What can I say? I'm just a rookie! But the praline ones look delicious! I'll have to try both of yours now.

  19. I have a love/hate relationship with Gwyneth, but it can be love again if she gives us a recipe for brownies!

  20. That's the spirit, Dervia! And they are pretty good brownies at that.


Where in the world are you? Leave me a comment! It makes me happy to know you are out there.