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Lent for Chocolate Lovers

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February 27, 2015 / English / By
Nicola

Each year, millions of people around the world decide to participate in the Christian event of Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday (the day following Shrove Tuesday – otherwise known as Pancake Day!). It lasts for 40 days, during which people are encouraged to make a sacrifice. Nowadays this usually means giving up something indulgent or unhealthy, but it can be any sort of vice or undesirable behaviour. Lent finishes at Easter, which has turned into an opportunity for everyone to splurge and feast on everything that they have been missing out on.

 

If you’ve given something up for Lent this year, you’ll know all too well that we’re almost two weeks in now – and there’s still about a month to go. Chocolate is one of the most common foodstuffs which people choose to give up for Lent, but with its high, addictive sugar content it can be really difficult to give it up completely for so long.

 

Surely there has to be an alternative, to tide you over with a sweet fix until you’re allowed to eat chocolate again. Luckily, carob is a brilliant substitute which is actually much healthier than chocolate. Carob contains about half the calories of chocolate; it is much more nutritious and does not contain any caffeine.

 

This means that it’s all good news for anyone who’s given up chocolate for Lent, as it’s possible to make some very delicious brownies using carob instead.

 

'Brownies' by Cristiano Betta

 

 

Ingredients (to make 12 good sized brownies):

 

200g carob (you can buy it in the form of chips, much like chocolate chips – these are very quick and easy to melt)

40g plain flour

115g butter

70g white sugar

210g brown sugar

3 eggs

3tsp vanilla extract

 

Method:

 

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F or Gas Mark 4). While it’s heating up, start to prepare your ingredients.

 

Combine the carob and the butter in a bowl and place it over a pan of simmering water. Try to ensure that the bowl never touches the water otherwise your ingredients will burn. Stir the mixture from time to time, in order to make sure that both the carob and the butter melt evenly.

 

As soon as it has melted, remove the pan from the heat and the bowl from the pan; remember to use heatproof gloves as the bowl will be hot! Stir in the brown sugar, the white sugar and the vanilla essence.

 

In a separate bowl, combine the three eggs. Beat them lightly, then stir them into the rest of the mixture. Sieve in the flour, and make sure that everything has been mixed thoroughly.

 

Take a square cake tin which has sides 9 inches long (or an equivalently sized cake tin) and lightly grease it with butter or line it with greaseproof paper. Carefully spoon the brownie mixture into the tin and level it out so that it lies with an even thickness throughout.

 

Place the tin in the warm oven for around half an hour; when it’s ready it should feel springy to the touch. These are absolutely delicious when served warm alongside double cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but try not to remove them from the tin straight away. Leave the brownies in the tin for a few minutes until it’s cooled slightly, then turn them out and cut into individual brownie pieces. This will help them to better hold their shape.

 

You’ll soon see that you don’t have to use chocolate to create a wonderful sweet treat. You’ve got a month left to try out this recipe before the end of Lent, then share it with your friends so you can all still indulge after you give up chocolate next year!


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