Healthier LoveStruck Brownie Cake
I MEAN…. !!!!!
If this isn’t what love looks like, I don’t know what is.
In general I tend to hate on Valentine’s Day for being the cheesy, annoying, fake holiday that it is. But there are some upsides to this corporate-created monster, and it is chocolate. Because after weeks of ACTUALLY sticking to my healthy-eating resolutions (sorta), I deserve a big, fat, sugar-laden break. And that’s where this cake begins.
This recipe is a bit of an oxymoron because it’s a healthier brownie — aka: NO BUTTER — that I then drowned in a melted chocolate filling + chocolate ganache. Does this really make sense? No. Is it delicious anyway? YES. And because this is sans butter, that healthier label is staying.
You start by combining flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt, then whisking sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Next add full-fat vanilla greek yogurt (it MUST be full-fat) and vanilla extract until smooth, then slowly incorporate the flour mixture. As soon as your batter takes shape, SHUT OFF the stand mixer. I apologize for the incessant caps, but this is actually super important. The less over-mixing you do — aka, the less air that enters the batter — the denser the brownie will be. And for this cake, you want the brownie nice and thick.
Spread half the brownie batter into a greased springform pan — heart-shaped is cutest, clearly — then pour over with melted chocolate chips. Things might be looking a bit messy right about now, but that’s okay. Roll up your sleeves, lick a finger or two, and keep going.
Lastly cover the melted chocolate layer with the remaining brownie batter, spreading as evenly as you can. This part may drive you crazy, but take a breather. So long as most of the melted chocolate is covered with batter, you’re good. Finally, bake for 35 – 40 minutes until set (gently shake the pan and make sure the center doesn’t jiggle), then completely cool. At this point you can serve the brownie as-is, OR you could smother it in chocolate ganache. Obviously I went the ganache route, and I don’t regret it for one second.
The ganache takes all of 8 seconds to prepare — warmed heavy cream + chocolate! — and once it’s set?
This cake is luscious, dreamy, decadent, amazing. Not only is it insanely rich in texture and flavor, but the butter-free brownie truly makes a difference! It adds necessary levity to this dessert, keeping it from being wayyy too heavy to just perfectly right. Plus, those sprinkles?
Cupid would totally approve. xo
Healthier Love-Struck Brownie Cake
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- a pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup full-fat vanilla greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 tsps vanilla
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 – 2 tsps canola oil
- shortening to grease
- sprinkles to decorate
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Generously grease a 9″ springform pan with shortening.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt, whisking until combined. Next, in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the sugar and eggs on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the Greek yogurt and vanilla, mixing again on medium speed until incorporated. Lastly add the flour mixture, slowly, until the batter takes shape. Do not overmix.
- In another, large mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips and canola oil, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave for approximately 1 minute until melted, stirring every 20 seconds.
- When ready, spread approximately half the batter along the bottom of your greased pan, using a spatula to spread to the edges as evenly as possible. Next, pour over with the melted chocolate sauce — I used about 85% of mine — then lastly cover with the remaining batter. Spreading this top layer can be annoying, but just do your best! As long as the chocolate is almost completely covered, you’re good.
- Bake on oven middle rack for 35 – 40 minutes until the brownie is just cooked but not overdone. Cool completely, at least 1 hour.
- Once completely cool, remove the brownie from the springform pan and transfer to an elevated wire rack. Next, prepare the ganache. In a small saucepan warm the heavy cream over a medium flame until a rolling boil is reached, then immediately whisk in the chocolate. Cool for about 20 seconds, then pour all over the brownie cake, spreading as needed with a spatula. As the ganache solidifies cover with sprinkles as desired, then once solid, EAT. This can be saved in the refrigerator (covered) for about 1 week.