I have come to the conclusion that those those two words should never combine.
Actually, they’re not that bad but they are not brownies. The recipe is from Simply Italian by the Chiappa Sisters, a book which has to break my record for the longest preorder ever, I ordered the book in August 2012, after catching their programme where they made pasta embedded with herbs, the book arrived a week or so ago, after lots of publication delays, but the book definitely looks worth the wait. I don’t think you can judge it by the not particularly brownie like healthy brownies, as it’s not in particular a healthy baking book, it just happened to be the first recipe I tried because I fancied some brownies and I’m ‘meant’ to be on a diet. I will give the book a proper review later but the rest of the recipes look delicious and in a very doable way to (unlike Bill Granger’s latest Italian book).
As for the brownies, well they’re butter free and you can tell, the secret ingredient is apple sauce but I couldn’t find any apple sauce, so I substituted whizzed up tinned apples. They’re ok as cake goes but you can’t call them brownies as they’re not chocolatey or squidgley gooey enough. I think when people want brownies, they very specifically want those two features, otherwise they’d go for some other form of cake, so taking out the butter and heavily reducing the chocolate, takes those two crucial features away. (And as an aside, I’m not totally convinced about taking butter out of cakes, obviously don’t go overboard but surely sugar* is the bigger enemy?)
* The brownies have 100g sugar, which could, I suppose, be a lot lot worse.