Recipe: Chocolate and Pistachio Brownies

Christmas is fast approaching and that makes it a time filled with socializing, entertaining and family events. It is also often the time of year that over-indulgences of all descriptions abound.

Whether you are trying to watch your waistline or have medical conditions requiring you to be a little more careful with your diet this is a time of year that can be quite trying.

Carolyn Hartz has taken some of the sting out of decadent desserts with her Sugar Free Baking cookbook and we are thrilled to be sharing a couple of recipes with you.

These brownies look divine, and relatively simple to make.

Chocolate & Pistachio Brownies
Makes 16


  • 150g raw almonds, ground
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 20g cacao powder or good quality cocoa, sifted
  • 200g raw pistachios, finely chopped
  • 100g Raw Dark Chocolate (recipe page 124) or good quality sugar-free dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g Perfect Sweet® xylitol
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed (approx. 125g)

Chocolate Ganache

  • 50ml whipping cream
  • 20g Perfect Sweet® xylitol
  • 125g Raw Dark Chocolate (recipe page 124) or good quality sugar-free dark chocolate, chopped
  • Edible gold leaf, to decorate


Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Line a 20cm square baking pan with baking paper.
Mix the ground almonds, baking powder, cacao and pistachios in a large bowl until combined.
In a saucepan, bring water to the boil and remove from heat. Place the chopped chocolate into a bowl and place over the saucepan and melt while stirring.
Carefully remove bowl from the saucepan and set aside to cool slightly.

Use an electric beater to beat the butter and xylitol in a clean bowl on high speed until soft and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate, eggs and banana and beat on medium speed until combined.

Combine the chocolate mixture with the ground almond mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20–25 minutes but do not over bake as the brownie should be fudgy in the middle. Leave to cool in pan before covering with ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

Gently heat the cream and xylitol in a small saucepan, do not boil. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Spread over the brownies and when the ganache is cool, slice into squares and top with edible gold leaf.

Carolyn Hartz has created some of her favourite Christmas treats and desserts without using refined sugars or replacing them with hidden sugars like honey, rice malt syrup or agave. Instead, Hartz uses Perfect Sweet xylitol, a natural sugar-free alternative that looks and tastes like sugar with no aftertaste, and it helps manage sugar cravings.

This Christmas you can enjoy 100% of delicious decadence without the lingering guilt.

RRP: $29.95 and stockists are listed on

Sugar Free Baking is also available from Angus & Robertson Bookworld and Booktopia.

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