Sometimes I think I am very clever; very clever indeed. And then the universe does its best to disabuse me of this notion and show me that my ever-so-clever ideas don’t always have the expected ever-so-clever outcomes. I suppose the universe is trying to take me down a peg or two, show me a little humility and all that. Well, I am not so easily humbled, it would seem. As long as the imperfect results of my clever ideas are still edible, I am usually still rather pleased with myself. Take, for example, these low carb Chocolate Brownie Donuts. Donuts made with brownie batter! That is really quite clever, you must admit. Who wouldn’t want a donut shaped brownie? All the more reason to eat brownies for breakfast, if they are circular with a hole in middle. But they didn’t quite rise properly, although the edges rose very well, so my donuts were entirely concave on one side. Weird little circles of rich, chocolate brownie. They were still delicious, so I threw some chocolate ganache on them, shook my fist at the universe, and figured I’d tell you about them anyway.
This brilliant idea came to me as a way to showcase some flourless brownies I made with while away on vacation. I happened to post them on Instagram and got several requests for the recipe. I always like to be innovative, and just putting up a recipe for flourless brownies seemed kind of boring. But the same brownie batter poured into a donut pan? Brilliant! Or not. I was ever so sure of a good outcome, so it gave me pause when I saw the way they were rising. For the next set, I tried lowering the oven temperature, but that meant it just took them longer to rise into exactly the same shape.
In the end, I just had to laugh. Okay, so Chocolate Brownie Donuts is still a really clever idea, but perhaps this flourless brownie batter is not the best vehicle with which to make them. When I made the regular brownies on vacation, the sides also rose more quickly than the rest. Many brownie recipes, even conventional ones made with flour and sugar, are prone to this particular defect. All I did there was cut off the edges, to even out the brownies, before I glazed them. And I kept the deformed edges to eat as a little snack, because they were as tasty as the rest of the brownies. So perhaps I should have expected this outcome with the brownie donuts, but I did not. Aha! Perhaps I am not so clever after all. Or maybe I am really, REALLY clever, because I have now invented brownie donuts you can stack neatly into each other.
So here’s the deal. Make these as brownies or make them as donuts. Either way, they will rise weirdly on the sides and not as much in the middle. If you’re making them as brownies, you can cut the edges off before glazing and they will look perfect. Your guests will never ever know they didn’t come out of the pan that way. If you’re making them as donuts, you can claim it’s a new baking method that allows you to stack your donuts for easy storage, like tupperware. No one will care once they get a taste!