1 Dish, 2 Spoons: Brownies!

9 Dec

This week’s edition of 1 Dish 2 Spoons takes a sweet turn in to baking.  That’s right, we’re making brownies! Can you even contain your excitement? We know, we couldn’t either. So without further ado, here are Tess and Jess’ respective takes on Brownies!

Jess’ Take:

Brownies= chocolate.  I know that’s kind of a “Thank you, Captain Obvious” statement, but it’s what instantly pops into my mind whenever someone so much as utters the words.  Followed by: mmmm chocolate.

This week, Tess and I decided we’d each do our own take on brownies.  Since I’m the veggie of this duo, I figured I’d offer you guys something in the way of vegan baking.  Now, I’ll be completely honest and admit that I am nowhere near as confidant a baker as I am a cook.  Hand me some key ingredients, a few spices and herbs, and I’ll whip up a savoury meal for you no problem.  Stick flour, butter, sugar, and an egg in my hands and I start to panic, grasping for a recipe, any recipe, to get me through this.

Help?

Cooking, to me, is an art; one that’s all about imagination and improvisation, guessing which flavours will go well together.  Baking, on the other hand, is a science and I am no scientist.  Pretty sure the last science class I took was Grade 11 biology and then my high school’s science department heaved a huge sigh of relief when I focused on the arts and humanities.

I went to business school, what do you want from me?

So when we decided to give you a brownie recipe for 1D2S, I scoured the internet looking up various vegan brownie recipes, trying to get a grasp of the basic formulas.  The one that seemed to make the most sense to me, and where I had all the ingredients already, was from the vegan baking goddess herself: Angela of Oh She Glows.

I didn’t follow her recipe to a “T” as I was baking these brownies for my family, and a member has a nut allergy, so adjustments had to be made.

One of the keys to vegan baking is finding the right egg replacement.  The egg in baking acts as a binder, that which holds your dry and wet ingredients together to create your masterpiece.  There are several methods used for this: applesauce, vegetable oil, mashed up banana, flax seed, etc… The one Angela chose, and I subsequently followed, is the Flax Seed egg.

To make a Flax Seed egg, simply mix 1 ½ tbsp ground flax seed with 3 tbsp of water, whisk thoroughly and allow to sit until it forms a very sticky almost paste-like texture.

Once that’s done I combined my dry ingredients together: Flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

Next up I needed to prep my wet and sticky ingredients: chocolate, oil, sugar, flax-egg, and vanilla.  Since I apparently live in the 1920s and don’t own a microwave, I need to go the old fashioned route to melt my chocolate:

Combine your chocolate and vegetable oil in a medium sized bowl.

Bring a sauce pan full of water to a rolling boil and place the bowl over the boiling water.

Stir until chocolate is melted then remove from heat.  Add in your sugar, flax-egg and vanilla.  Try to refrain from eating the chocolate sauce. Try!

Fold the chocolate mixture into your dry ingredients, mix together thoroughly and then add in your remaining chocolate chips. As Angela mentions, this mixture will be fairly dry- don’t be alarmed, just go with it.

Once it’s all mixed together, pour batter into a greased baking dish and insert into an oven that’s been preheated to 350.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until fork comes out clean.  Let the brownies sit for an hour before removing from pan.

Again, try and show some restraint and share with friends and family.

Double Chocolate Vegan Brownies

Adapted from Angela’s Vegan Brownies, (the non-GF version)

Ingredients:

1 ½ tbsp ground flax seed

3 tbsp water

2 ¼ c. All purpose Flour

½ c. Cocoa powder

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ c. + 2 tbsp canola oil

½ c. + ¼ c. non-dairy chocolate, divided

1 ¼ c. sugar

¼ c. + 2 tbsp soy milk

1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F

In a small bowl, whisk together flax seed + water, set aside.

In a larger bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.  Stir to combine thoroughly and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine chocolate and ½ c. chocolate chips.  Bring a large sauce pan of water to a boil and place chocolate over the water, stir constantly until melted.  Remove from heat. Add in sugar, flax-egg, and vanilla, stir to combine.

Fold chocolate mixture into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until combined.  Add in chocolate chips.  Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and flatten out evenly with your hands.

Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until fork comes out clean.

Let cool for at least an hour before removing from pan.

Enjoy!

Tess’ Take:

Baking makes me feel like a kid again.  My family didn’t cook many fancy dinners, but man, did we bake!  Come on, we were a house of 7 women…. what do you expect?  So in complete contrast to Jess, I actually feel very at ease with baking recipes and ingredients.  If I flub something, I usually have an idea of how to fix it (though I generally eat what I make regardless of whether or not it turned out the way it was “supposed to”), and when in doubt, add more everything!

Since I have a limited number of indulgent meals left before I start contest prep, a dessert seemed like a logical and necessary item for this week.  Having said that, I’ve eaten WAY too many healthy and delicious desserts over the last couple years to be willing to compromise my diet that greatly, just for the sake of a brownie.  Cooking recipes are undeniably easier to “clean up” than baking recipes, but there are so many tricks and swaps that you can utilize in baking that make your wicked little treats just a little less sinful 😉

Which brings us to this recipe that I found on my favourite healthy website: Clean Eating Magazine

Black Bean Fudge Cakes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 oz dark organic chocolate (70% cocoa or greater)
  • 1 1/2 cups soft-cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 heaped cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup raw organic honey
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup unsalted walnuts, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mist 8 individual ramekins or 1 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Melt dark chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat with 1 tbsp water mixed in.
  3. Combine melted chocolate, beans, eggs, egg white, oil, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla, applesauce and honey in a food processor; process until smooth. Stir in walnuts and pour mixture into prepared ramekins or baking dish.No sign of black beans here!
  4. Bake in preheated oven until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides, about 20 minutes for ramekins and 30 minutes for baking dish. Garnish each piece with a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt, if desired.The best part about baking? Licking the spoon!!! John caught me in the act lol

Serves 8

Calories: 230, Total Fat: 12 g, Carbs: 28 g, Protein: 5 g

This was honestly one of the cleanest, easiest desserts I’ve made (from scratch) in a long time!  Melt chocolate, then blend all ingredients in a blender.  Wow.  I think I could have even bypassed the chopping of the walnuts and just thrown them into the blender too.

But what’s really important is the taste.  They were SO GOOD!  A little lighter than a traditional brownie, I suspect because there was very little oil, no butter, no sugar, and no flour.  But they certainly didn’t lack any of the richness of a brownie, and you would never be able to tell that there were black beans in there.  I didn’t try mine with the recommended greek yogurt, but I honestly don’t think it needed anything because they were pretty moist (I always err on the side of caution with baking and take my things out a minute or two before they’re “definitely done”.  I like the middles to be a little mushy still 😉 ).  I also loved that what the recipe deemed to be “one serving” was actually a very good size, and for the low low cost of 230 calories I don’t feel bad in least about giving into my sweet tooth this week 🙂

-Tess 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “1 Dish, 2 Spoons: Brownies!”

  1. Vicki December 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Looks delicious ladies! Tess I love that you took a picture of you licking the chocolate off the spoon lol.

    • Tess and Jess December 9, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

      (Tess) John snuck up and caught me in the act! lol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: