Comment on Fruit Puree Fat Replacement Recipe by hazeleyes.

It stands to reason that if we replace 6 ounces of butter or other fat called for in recipes for baked goods and keep only 2 tablespoons of butter, that is a significant reduction of fat calories. If we use homemade prune puree we can vary the hydrating liquid from water to black coffee to orange juice and have even-more delicous results.

For example:

Tasting is Believing Whole-Grain Brownies
These whole-wheat brownies are the treat we serve when we’re trying to convince folks that baking with whole grains doesn’t have to be an exercise in deprivation! Moist, rich, and deeply, darkly chocolate, these brownies are the ones to go through life with.

We discovered something interesting when sampling these. Their texture is greatly improved if you wait 24 hours before cutting them. Why? The wait gives the wheat bran a chance to soften and “disappear”, texture-wise.

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (15 ounces) light brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but recommended
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, organic preferred
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly just till it’s hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling. Don’t worry if it separates; just stir it briefly to recombine a bit. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Add the eggs, stirring till smooth; then add the flour and chips, again stirring till smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, until a cake tester or sharp knife poked into the center reveals wet crumbs, but not raw batter. The brownies should feel set on the edges and in the center. Remove them from the oven, and cool completely on a rack. Cover and let sit overnight before cutting and serving; this gives the bran a chance to soften and become “invisible” in your mouth.
Yield: 2 dozen brownies.
Adjustments for less fat:

Since these whole-grain brownies have to sit for a day before cutting in order for the flavors and textures to ‘marry’, it’s possible to cut 6 ounces of the fat by using 6 ounces of prune puree instead of 6 ounces of the butter, and the equillabration time will result in a brownies whose texture is similar to the butter brownie,perhaps even better, and that contains significant fiber (fights body fat). Using only 2 ounces of butter (4 TBSP) is enough to make these brownies delicious.

Prune puree is made by simmering seedless prunes (DRIED PLUMS)in water, then pureeing in food processor or blender.

1-1/3 cups (8 oz) pitted prunes
6 Tbsp hot water

Combine prunes and hot water in a saucepan. Simmer covered over low heat until prunes soften, adding hot water by tablespoons if necessary to get prunes very soft and well hydrated. Blend softened prunes and their liquid using on and off pulses until prunes are smooth, adding hot water by tablespoons if necessary to blend easily. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two months but check weekly for mold.

For enhanced, deeper chocolate flavor, instead of using water to simmer prunes, use black coffee. For another appealing twist, use 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice or 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate and 3 tablespoons of water to hydrate prunes.

**Prune Puree can be used in cakes and other chocolate baked goods as a delicious substitute for butter.
And it has been discovered that prune puree added to ground beef for meatloaf and sausage, ground pork for sausage, and other meat and fish used as ingredients in ground or blended meat products adds significant moisture, texture,fiber, nutrition, and flavor. For more info see below.

“Functional Benefits of Plums – For baked goods, plum ingredients not only help replace fat but it adds additional good nutrition in the form of fiber and vitamins. Plums contain naturally occurring quantities benzoate which extends shelf life and can replace commonly used calcium propionate.”

“For meat products, plums are high in natural antioxidants and natural anti-microbial agents. Late breaking studies have shown plums have an antimicrobial effect against common meat pathogens including E. coli 0157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella typhimurium. This application alone is a great reason why you should consider using plum in meat products. The antioxidant effect of plums have proved it’s usefulness in helping to prevent Warmed Over Flavor which are lipid oxidation off flavors common in pre-cooked meats. So you can see, there are many bonuses to using a plum product in your meat application today!”
If we try it we might like it better than the butter-brownies recipes we’ve been using, even if we use white flour! :-)