- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine (I used Ghiradelli)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (1 2/3 oz) all-purpose flours
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup packed (4 2/3 oz) brown sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
- Add 1/2 inch water (about 2 cups) to slow cooker and place aluminium foil rack in bottom* (I used a little trivet that I had, but you can also make a little coil out of foil). Make foil sling for 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf plan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminium foil; first sheet should be 8 1/2 inches wide and second sheet should be 4 1/2 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Lightly grease foil.
- Microwave chocolate in large bowl at 50 percent power for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir, add butter, and continue to heat until melted, stirring once every 30 seconds; let cool slightly. In separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. Whisk brown sugar, egg and yolk, sour cream, and vanilla into cooled chocolate mixture until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Set brownies on rack in prepared slow cooker, cover and cook until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 3 to 4 hours on high (mine took about 2 1/2 hours).
- Let brownies cool completely in pan on wire rack, 1 to 2 hours (I waited 30 minutes until I couldn’t take it anymore). Using ends of foil as handles, lift brownies out of pan and transfer to cutting board; discard foil. Cut brownies into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar, if using. Serve.
*Making a foil rack: To make an aluminum foil rack to elevate your baking pan so water doesn’t seep in, loosely roll a 24 by 12 inch piece of foil into 1-inch cylinder. Then bend in sides to form oval ring that measures 8 inches long by 5 inches wide. After adding water to slow cooker, place foil rack in center, then place pan on top.
Slow Cooker size: 5 1/2 to 7 quarts
Why this recipe works: Making low-fat brownies in a slow cooker is not only easy but yields great results, in part because the volatile compounds in chocolate can cook off in the dry heat of the oven. In the gently heat of the slow cooker, this just doesn’t have a chance to happen, a great advantage when you are using a smaller amount of chocolate (and less fat) but still want a rich, moist brownie. In our first attempts we tested many of the alternative ingredients commonly used in low-fat brownies like prune puree and applesauce to try to replace the missing chocolate, but they all yielded brownies with distracting flavors. We found that a combination of sour cream and brown sugar gave us enough richness and flavor that we did not miss the extra chocolate or butter. To make the batter, we melted the chocolate and butter and combined all the ingredients using a simple bowl method, which allows you to make homemade brownies with minimal work. You will need an oval slow cooker for this recipe. We recommend an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan for this recipe, but you can substitute a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
- Calories: 250
- Sodium: 110mg
- Fat: 13g
- Saturated Fat: 8g
- Carbohydrates: 33mg
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 4g
- Cholesterol: 80mg