Modo Mio Naked – reduced sugar chocolate brownies from Tasmania

‘Its not rocket science,’ say Susanne Dobrowski when asked about the secret of her success. ‘It’s chocolate!’ Susanne’s brand of luscious chocolate brownies Modo Mio Naked has oozed its way into the hearts of chocolate aficionados across Tasmania and further afield in the last three years. Much is down to the fact that it’s reduced sugar recipe which allows the flavour and unctuousness of the chocolate to take centre stage.

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Unbelievably, Susanne had never made a chocolate brownie before trying one three years ago to go in a corporate hamper, using a recipe she found online. ‘It was awful, it had so much sugar in, it made my teeth ache, but it had potential,’ she says.
Susanne set about improving things. A keen user of local ingredients, she looked for local product and adapted the recipe to suit. Now she uses hazelnuts from Hazelbrae Farm, walnuts from Howth, local eggs and Duck River Butter. The organic spelt flour is grown and stone-ground locally on the north west coast of Tasmania. ‘The sugar’s from Queensland, there’s not an awful lot I can do about that, and the chocolate’s from Java and Ecuador,’ she adds.
Soon she was selling to chocolate-hungry customers at events and markets, the Modo Mio Naked stall generating a crowd from early morning onwards with people stocking up on not-too-sweet brownie treats and occasionally, if you’re lucky, a ready-to-go waffle mix.

When asked what they like about the brownies, people invariably talk about the texture, the gooey-ness, the obvious handmade quality of the product and the flavours, which are augmented with things like Hellyer Road single malt whiskey, wattle seeds and salted caramel fudge.

There’s also the low sugar factor. Susanne is producing a delicious confection but has reduced the sugar content by some 66% at a time when we all still want the luxury of a sweet, but sugar is being found to have taken over our lives and our palates.

What I like about Susanne’s story is that it’s a success not just for her but for Tasmania, as she’s taking her brownies to the nation. You can now buy online and have a slab of your choice posted to you anywhere in Australia in an insulated cardboard box. And a tasting day at Josef Chromy’s winery last year resulted in an entry into David Jones’ Melbourne CBD store.

Not bad for a woman who is a self-confessed serial avoider of business planning. ‘I wing it,’ insists Susanne. ‘We’re seeing how far it’ll go.’ While the business is still based in the same big industrial shed where it began in Spreyton, it is expanding. ‘We’re just putting in a bigger oven so we can cook thirty slabs at a time instead of six.’

It’s a testament of the impression these brownies make and the potential of the business that people frequently turn up at the industrial roller doors despite a complete lack of signage indicating the company’s presence. ‘They just find me!’ Susanne laughs.

You don’t have to go to a shed in Spreyton to buy Modo Mio Naked brownies. You can find Susanne and her son Spike at events across northern Tasmania, online at the website, and each week at Harvest Launceston farmers’ market.

Have you been lucky enough to try a Modo Mio Naked brownie,
or do you have a favourite low-sugar chocolate recipe
or confection of your own? Leave some comments! 

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