Last week was a friend and fellow vegan's birthday, Happy Birthday Lee! Seeing as I'm in the middle of a fast (today is day 13!) and I'm totally jonesin' for a juicy blog entry, I figured I'd post the delicious brownies I made for him! I mean, you don't wanna hear about juicing do you? Or do you..... haha! (thoughts of future juice blog entry swirl about in head)
If you've ever done a cleanse or juice fast, whatever you wanna call it- hunger strike of some sort- you know that willpower is KEY. I sure tested mine to the absolute limits when I made these stinkers, holy CRAP did they look GOOD! I swear, I didn't have a crumb! :)
I trust they were good though, as they vanished off their silvery platter right quick as they swooped around the room. This is a recipe I developed last summer, and the first time I made them I put flax seeds in thinking they could mimic the eggs. No good. I did not like the mouth-feel of them, nor the taste of the sorta fishy/flaxy taste when you hit one amongst the divine chocolate sea of flavor going on in the mouth. Blachk. I'll save the flax for my smoothies salads and raw crackers, but they won't be appearing in my baked goods again...
save bread perhaps.
Alas, my recipe needed tweaking and I think it came out quite desirable! I also was out of baking soda, which I would just assume put in, but didn't since my neighborhood grocery was out of stock (really? baking soda?) and I was running out of time. I have to imagine if they would have been a touch more elevated if I had used the BS. haha The result was a dense, fudgy and super chocolaty brownie, sent from the heavens. Also, Lee just finished and released his latest brewing of a new delicious stout called "Coffee Rain", brewed with a fine Nicaraguan coffee, so I thought it was appropriate to add a good amount of coffee flavoring in there. :)
Should you like to try your hand at them, which I encourage you too, please try the recipe! Play with it if you like, you could add walnuts too which would be delightful. Here it is:
Mocha Brownies- yield about a dozen
1 cups flour, unbleached white
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder
1 cups chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup cooked sweet potato purée
1/4 cup + 2 T. Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup instant espresso powder, rehydrated with 2 T. hot water
1 cup evaporated cane juice, aka sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 t. egg replacer powder (i used Ener-g), whisked in 1 T. soymilk or warm water
2 T. Coffee Liqueur (i used Borghetti)
1/2 cup additional chocolate chips, to poke in the top *optional- but good
1) For the sweet potato purée, I simply peeled, cubed and steamed a small sweet potato in a small saucepot with some water until soft and then mashed it up. You could alternatively pre-meditate this venture and bake them, scoop out the flesh, and mash or whizz it up in your food processor. Steaming is much quicker. :)
2) Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9"x 12" pan, and also, if you like, line it with parchment paper. I used a metal sheet pan, so I lined it and they came out flawlessly.
3) Start a double boiler to get your chocolate chips melted. They can melt down while you're getting everything else blended together. Keep stirring occasionally to ensure even melting.
4) In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.
5) In a stand mixer start by mixing together the Earth Balance and the sugar. Once they're combined, add in the sweet potato, vanilla, salt, egg replacer mixture, coffee liqueur, and espresso. Start to drizzle in the melted chocolate while the mixer is running. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl if you need.
6) On a slow speed, start adding increments of the flour, cocoa, baking powder mixture. Once combined, pour the batter into your pan and smooth out the surface. If using, poke the remaining chocolate chips into the surface.
7) Bake for about 25-30 minutes. They should still be slightly soft to the touch in the middle, but if you poke it with a toothpick or knife it should come out clean. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting. If you like, serve with ice cream, berries, or just eat them naked! (you can interpret that!) :D