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Fudgy, gooey brownies made with olive oil and cocoa powder — an easy recipe with deep chocolate flavor.
Brownies baked with olive oil (instead of butter) might seem strange, but trust me here.
When you want chewy, fudgy brownies made without dairy and nothing else will do, these babies are the ones.
Can you make brownies with olive oil?
Yes, you can! And if you’re into the healthy side of life, olive oil and cocoa happen to be two ingredients that are loaded with all the good stuff that helps the sugar go down.
That would include good things like antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids and who knows what else.
I used my everyday extra-virgin olive oil and unsweetened cocoa powder for the brownies pictured here.
There’s a pleasant olive oil flavor that comes through. If you prefer, substitute olive oil with a roasted nut oil, such as hazelnut or walnut, which both pair beautifully with cocoa.
Cocoa powder for brownies
Using good quality cocoa is another key. For this brownie recipe, it doesn’t matter if you use Dutch-processed or natural cocoa (which is simply cocoa that isn’t treated with an alkalizing agent).
But using one with a high percentage of cacao will make these brownies taste even more like the deep, intense chocolate bomb you crave.
I couldn’t help thinking of Nigella Lawson when I made these brownies. Some of my all-time favorite food words come from Nigella, especially when it comes to her Chocolate Guinness Cake, which she describes as “magnificent in its black dampness”.
I suppose you could say these brownies are dark, moist and rich, but black dampness is so much more sensual and tempting, don’t you think?
More of my favorite chocolate recipes:
- Salted Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Flourless Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Olive Oil and Cocoa Brownies
- ½ cup (70 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (80 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt, or ½ teaspoon sea salt or other brand of kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1¼ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (125 g) cacao nibs, optional
- Heat oven to 325 (160C) degrees with a rack positioned in the center.
- Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with olive oil. Cut a piece of parchment to fit just the bottom of the dish and oil that too.
- Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl (a mesh strainer is perfect for this job).
- Beat the eggs in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for a minute. Increase speed to medium-high while adding the sugar 1/2 cup at at time. Beat until the eggs are pale, thick and creamy.
- Decrease mixer speed and slowly add the oil in a thin stream, as if you were making an emulsion like mayonnaise. Add the vanilla extract.
- Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture in 3 or 4 additions until just incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the cacao nibs over the top, if using.
- Bake 30- 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies emerges with some moist crumbs.
- Cool the pan completely on a rack before cutting into serving pieces.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- The brownies will keep well 1-3 days at room temperature.
- If you don’t love the taste of olive oil, substitute with a roasted nut oil such as hazelnut or walnut, or a neutral oil like canola or avocado.
- Note on salt: I bake with Diamond kosher salt, which is about half as salty as other brands of kosher salt. Reduce the amount of salt by half if you’re not using Diamond.