You may have read my recent rant on the supposed poison that is sugar. I wrote that just after I was sent some Natvia to try in my baking. I’ve tried coconut sugar, agave syrup, organic maple syrup, honey and medjool dates to sweeten in the past so I was open to experimenting with this product. What I loved about it even more was the fact that you can bake 1:1 so there is no awkward conversions required. If your beloved cookie recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you use 1 cup of Natvia. Easy!
Natvia is the number 1 all 100% natural sweetener (Stevia based sweetener) with close to zero calories and no bitter aftertaste.
I took a brownie recipe that I have used time and time again and adapted it to include Natvia in place of sugar and swapped the butter for coconut oil. It didn’t turn out to be such a great experiment as the mixture was literally drowning in coconut oil as it cooked. I drained the excess oil off and returned it to the oven to continue cooking and although it was yummy when warm, as soon as it cooled, the entire brownie set as solid as a rock which made it rather difficult to eat. Uh oh!
Determined to not to toss it in the rubbish after using such quality ingredients (you know how much coconut oil costs right?!), I redeemed it by creating these Brownie Berry Yoghurt Cream Cups for dessert. The combination of all three elements meant it worked and the flavours blended nicely to balance out the sweetness, the yoghurt and cream cut through the intense richness of the brownie and the berry coulis added an extra dimension of texture and fruity flavour. Phew!
My honest feeling on this product is that again, if you have issues with digesting sugar or are unable to use it for health reasons, then the ease of using Natvia would make it a perfect substitution, but the flavour is so different from sugar and noticeably so that I didn’t personally enjoy it. My kids and husband didn’t complain though and ate it without a mention. It seemed so much sweeter to me – and though it took me a couple of days to figure it out, I finally was able to identify the sweetness as like glucose powder. You know that intense top-note sweetness icing sugar has? It reminded me of that.
I think that is why when combined with unsweetened greek yoghurt and cream, and the fruit flavour of the berry coulis, the sweetness of the brownie is over-ridden and the sum total of this dessert was wonderful. Of course made with regular sugar or any sweetener of your choice, this dessert is a winner.
- 300ml fresh whipping cream
- 300 g The Collective Yoghurt or any Greek Yoghurt will do
- 1 C frozen berries
- 2 T Natvia or sugar substitute
- After baking and cooling brownie, break it into small pieces to use in your layering. Set aside.
- In a small pot, bring the frozen berries and sugar to the boil and gently simmer to reduce for 5-10 minutes over low heat, until the mixture has thickened a little. Set aside to cool.
- Whip cream until soft peaks form and gently fold through the yoghurt.
- Into each glass layer brownie pieces followed by a tablespoon of coulis and a couple of dollops of the yoghurt/cream mixture. Repeat, finishing with cream and garnish with a few extra crumbs of brownie.
- Serve and devour.
- These can be made half hour to 2 hours in advance to enable the flavours to combine and the texture of the brownie to soften.