Tuesday, 14 June 2011

I wanna be a chocolate god: vegan != healthy

This recipe singlehandedly (singlebrownie-ly?) disproves the often-made (erroneous) assumption that vegan == healthy. I modified the recipe from here, making it more spicy and less sweet. And... more chocolatey. I put some of them in the freezer "for later" and discovered that they are reeeeeeeally delicious and highly addictive frozen. Especially made into a brownie sundae on banana soft-serve. I imagine they'd also be good on coconut milk ice cream, but that much coconut at once is probably lethal.

Chai brownies

1 cup coconut oil
200g dark chocolate (I used about 80% cocoa content, leftovers from homemade bars)
1 tsp vanilla
chai spices: 1 tsp cardamom, 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger, ground aniseed and black pepper, 1/4 tsp of cloves. Optional 1/4 tsp of chili powder.
1 cup very strong black tea
1 and 1/4 cups sugar (1/2c white and 3/4 cup brown works best)
2 cups cake or pastry flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 scant cup dutch process cocoa
2 tsp baking powder (omit if you use self-raising flour)
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp flax seeds (ground)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8 x 8 pan, or use an ungreased silicone pan.
2. In a double boiler or makeshift equivalent, melt the coconut oil, chocolate squares and vanilla together. Add sugar and remove from heat.
3. Make tea (3 teabags). After it has steeped and the teabags have been removed, stir the flax into the tea. Let this sit for at least 5 mins. It will thicken into goo.
4. In another bowl, sift together the flours, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
5. When your flax mixture has thickened, add it to the chocolate/coconut oil / Now combine the chocolate/coconut oil/flax/tea mixture with the flour mixture and stir to incorporate. The batter will be less liquid than you are probably used to. Fear not.
6. Spread the batter into the greased baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. Test after 30 mins, but in most ovens that I've used, it takes closer to 40. I did have one very overzealous oven that used to do them in 30, though. Best to check.
7. When finished, remove the brownies from the oven, and *do not try to remove them from the pan*. They need to be completely cool before cutting them. Best is to make them the night before you need them.

I've also made these with Dove's gluten-free flour blend and tapioca flour (3:1 ratio), and they are delish, but need 1 more tbs of flax and an extra 1/4 cup or so of tea.

For the icing, I used 1 package vegan cream cheese (Sheese brand), 1/2 cup icing sugar, and 50 grams melted chai-flavored chocolate (I had some "failed" chai chocolates left over from making them for a friend) and a pinch of salt all mixed with a handblender.

Dancing for the brownies: Suzanne Vega: Nine objects of desire.

1 comment:

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