Best Backcountry Brownie Ever

I’ve spent the last week in my wee kitchen (which is approx 2 metres by 4 metres) cooking up a storm for my splitboarding / ski touring adventure next week. Before I share ‘The-All-Time-Best-Protein-Rich-Energy-Enhancing-Delicious-Backcountry-Brownie-Recipe-Ever’ (adapted from Pete Evans Paleo Chef) I’m just going to share with you the reason I’m SO excited about what I’m in the middle of creating.

I LOVE food. And I LOVE yoga. And I LOVE Splitboarding. And I LOVE the mountains (even just sitting up on a mountain makes me feel good.) And I LOVE camping. And I LOVE hiding away from the madness of this world we are currently inhabiting. (There’s lots of other things I LOVE like my family and my dog and all my friends and shoes and my Liberty bed sheets but we’ll save those for another blog (yawn)).

Anyhoo, further to 4 years of working on a variety of incredible snowboard workshops and split boarding trips in France, Switzerland, and Iceland where I’ve taught yoga, cooked and talked about the importance of using food (as thy medicine), I decided I’d bring together a lot of the things I loved into one special experience in my homeland of NEW ZEALAND, where I can help change peoples lives for the better.

I’m noticing more and more with my nutrition and yoga clients how STRESSED everyone is. The pressure modern living is placing upon people is immense, and if everyone could just unplug from this world for 3 days, they’d feel so much better.

When I’ve been describing this experience to people, I’ve struggled with a catchy one liner to encompass what this is, but here we go.

Say goodbye to the modern world for 3 full days.

On Friday, 10 of us will fly by heli to 1640m. There, our Geodesic domes await. For the next 3 days (2 nights) we will splitboard or ski tour to any terrain we fancy, returning to these to sleep, eat and do yoga.. (NB Most people coming haven’t backcountry toured before but are experienced snowboarders or skiers.) Depending on the weather, we’ll lengthen and strengthen with yoga morning, or / and night.

The view from our dome dining is down onto the magestic McKerrow Mountain Range, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. Dining….hmmm…. the food…..normally when I have partaken in ‘sleeping wild’ expeditions our food is out of a bag and full of e-numbers and chemicals. For this experience I have carefully prepared a menu that is gut healing and nurturing from local growers and breeders.

So essentially it’s like a gwinganna retreat (without the robes) at altitude, in the mountains, doing what ‘we’ love the best….

Here’s my gift to you, LE BROWNIE, which will be fuelng everyones legs over 3 days.

Serves 20

400g 95% chocolate

370g coconut oil

60g Raw cacao powder, plus 4 TBSP to dust

12 eggs

500g maple syrup

400 g activated nuts of your choice, chopped or crushed with your hands

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Grease a 18 x 28 x 5cm backing tin, then line with piece of baking parchment

Melt the 95%, coconut oil and cacao powder in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stir occasionally with a spatula until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and 330grams of honey in the bowl with an electric mix and beat at high speed until the mixture doubles in size and is fluffy. Fold the egg mixture into the chocolate until incorporated.

Thoroughly wash and dry the mixing bowl and whisk attachment. Add the egg whites to the bowl along with the remaining 170g of honey. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the egg-white mixutre into the chocolate mixture until combined, then gently fold in the walnuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and level the top with a palette knife.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. The brownie will puff up a little during cooking. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting. Turn out the brownie onto a cutting board and cut into portions. Dust with extra cacao powder and freeze or serve.