While trying to meet your New Year’s Resolution, the best thing to do is to have support. Thanks to a new friend (shout out to Rhea of The “V” Word blog!), I was invited to her vegan weight loss support group Facebook page. It’s been great to have conversations with those who have the same goal in mind and be able to pick at each other’s brains in the process. One person in the group hit a weight loss plateau and was trying so hard to get back on track. She did everything right and of course the first response is to be more strict/restrictive. Then I remember what my husband (the Crossfit fanatic he is!) once said to me. “In order to break the plateau, the first thing you gotta do is change things up and shock your system!” It definitely sounds like words to live by. So this post I am dedicating to just that…Shocking your system!!!So the biggest tip I was ever given was that once a week you cheat with a favorite food. Of course, when I cheat, the food I choose is definitely vegan but I might indulge in a vegan cupcake or maybe a couple slices of pizza topped with Tofurkey brand Pepperoni (no other vegan pepperoni will do in my eyes!) and Daiya Vegan Cheese. If you watch The Biggest Loser, even Bob Harper has admitted a few times that those contestants (despite everything they go through!) have one day a week to indulge. Now, when I talk about cheat days, this does not mean you have a whole day to eat like crap. If you did that, your goal will be harder to reach and you will wind up hating yourself the next day and no one wants that! The rule of thumb with cheat days is to limit yourself to one meal and only one sensible portion (no running for seconds or thirds!!!!)
So this leads me to a great recipe I discovered from Isa Chandra Moskowitz for Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Brownies. She will be contributing to the new Forks Over Knives cookbook (apparently this is like a volume 2 of sorts to the other cookbook that’s already out). This recipe is probably not a HUGE indulgence but it’s for those who might want to indulge a little without the regret later. The one thing about this recipe, which was posted in Isa’s Post Punk Kitchen blog, is that there was a lot of “fair warning” regarding the batter and bake time that might come off as a tad confusing if you are strictly a visual learner. The blog post shows only the finished product but I stepped in and decided to show you step by step how I made this delicious brownie and with a full review at the end…In order to give this recipe justice, CLICK HERE to get the full recipe!!! I must apologize in advance-these photos were taken in the kitchen with my iPhone in a pinch so the flash is a bit overbearing but without it, the details wouldn’t show up as well…Enjoy!
So I started out by pulling out my ingredients…I followed this recipe to the “T” and used Sucanat as the recommended sweetener.
So the next step is to mix the wet ingredients, melted chocolate, and Sucanat. In this step, it is NOT wise to taste the batter…let’s just say it’s REALLY bitter :p
Once you mix the dry ingredients, the batter is thick but fluffy. It reminded me of chocolate chip cookie dough (minus the chocolate chips). This is the part I would recommend tasting the batter if you feel the urge 😉
While I was mixing/folding the frozen raspberries into the batter, I was trying my best to have a few whole raspberries and very few smashed or scattered ones. I think I did a pretty decent job!!! However, putting the batter into the pan requires your hands…I really wouldn’t recommend any other method or it could get pretty messy!!!
Pardon the flash as it kind of gave the brownies a “bluish” glow, but this should give you the general idea of what to expect when you pull this beauty out of the oven. I placed it in the oven for EXACTLY 16 minutes. Isa mentioned in the comments section of this recipe that if the toothpick comes out clean in these brownies, you overbaked them! the outside will look cooked but the inside is going to be somewhat gooey and doughy….Especially around the raspberries.
These are not the kind of brownies to serve warm. I had my pan in the fridge for about 4 hours before I sliced them into squares (make sure you follow the notes on the recipe on how to slice them). The inside is VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY fudgy!!!
My overall review is that these brownies are more like truffles (texturewise) than any cake like dessert. The inside is a bit doughy around the raspberries but other than that the taste is pure genius!!! Make sure no matter what, you keep them stored in the fridge so the inside is fully set. I love how the frozen raspberries remind me of raspberry jam and the chocolate is not overly sweet but still rich and decadent. It’s definitely a good thing that I still have enough ingredients to make another batch!!!