Monday, 15 October 2012

Best-Ever Bizarre Brownies


bizarre brownies Title

Brownies.

There are so many different types of brownies. Vegan or otherwise, they can be all sponge-y and cake-y (boo) or they can be all dense and fudge-y and goo-ey (yay!)

After some debate in my household, we decided brownies should be dense and fudgey.

In other news : what do you do when you have half a sweet potato hanging around?

bizarre brownies 1

I joke, back to the brownies!

But keep those potatoes in mind!

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How many recipes for brownies have you seen that use Applesauce? loads? me too - but let's think about the desirable texture we previously ascertained as optimal.

Dense.

Fudge-y.

Not two qualities I'd associate with Applesauce really!

Sweet Potatoes on the other hand . . . ! - I have seen a few recipes for Sweet Potato Frosting hanging around the internet, and I figured if I could use Sweet Potatoes in frosting, then I could probably use them in the cake . . . If I can use applesauce in cake - then I can probably use the Sweet Potatoes.

The cogs started whirring. . . and here you go.

bizarre brownies collage

The way I like to bake (vegan-style) is the wet into dry method. These brownies are nothing new there. Unlike traditional baking, where you would cream the fat and the sugar together, then add in the oeufs and fold in the flour, this doesn't really work for vegan cake.

No problem!

I did a quick Google around as I was writing this up to see who else has put Sweet Potatoes into Brownies (sadly) I'm not the first (I thought I was a genius!!) Although not Vegan, a couple sound really good. These use Honey instead of Sugar (and although I'm dubious about using Honey, Agave could also work) and these suggest using ginger spiced chocolate (how yum!?).

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These brownies (because I didn't put any sugar in them - you're welcome) just asked to have some brown sugar sprinkled on top.

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Don't they look all pretty lined up?

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Am I making you hungry yet? would you like to know the recipe?

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Oh go on then, here you go :)


   Recipe:

Prepare your tin! an 8" x 10" rectangular tin works best. (see Notes)
Preheat the oven to 160°C

   2 cups Plain Flour
   1 cup Soy Flour (see Notes)
   1/2 -3/4 cup Sugar Substitute (see Notes)
   2 tsp Baking Soda (see Notes)
   1 tsp Salt
   1 Cup Cocoa (see Notes)
   1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (see Notes)
   1/2 cup Sunflower Oil
   1 1/2 cups Non-Dairy Milk (see Notes)
   1 tbsp Black Treacle
   4 tsp Red Wine Vinegar ( see Notes)
   1/2 Cup Sweet Potato Mash (Approx 1/2 of one Large Sweet Potato)

1. Sift together the Flour, Baking Soda, Salt and Cocoa into a large mixing bowl.
2. Stir in the sugar substitute and the chocolate chips.
3. In a separate bowl mix the Oil into the Sweet Potato Mash.
4. Stir in the Black Treacle and Red Wine Vinegar.
5. Slowly pour in the Non-Dairy Milk whilst whisking constantly.
6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, constantly whisking.
7. Quickly scoop into your tin, the mixture will be quite thick, not runny like cupcake batter, this is good - this is how it needs to be in order to make a dense textured cake.
8. Bake at the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.





   Notes:

To prepare the Sweet Potato Mash, I took approximately half of a large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes. I then placed it into a small microwaveable bowl. I covered the sweet potato with 3 tbsps of water. I covered the bowl with Clingfilm (Saran wrap) and microwaved on high for 6 minutes. Mash with a fork.
I used a small IKEA roasting tin, I think they are used for roasting small chickens, as it would fit just one chicken in them. They are the perfect size for making most of my traybakes and if you ever find yourself in IKEA I highly recommend them, they are pennies! 

   Substitutions:

Sugar - I didn't use sugar, well I used Splenda-style (I say Splenda-style, because it's supermarket own brand) sugar substitute, but if you wanted I think that Agave or Honey could be easily used, just cut back on some of the liquid later on.
Soy flour - I like to use Soy Flour in recipes that need to be a little dense, but if you don't have it or can't get it, Soy Flour can be substituted for Corn Flour (Corn Starch) or omitted completely.
Baking Soda - Baking Powder or Bicarbonate of Soda works well
Cocoa - I sometimes like to use Carob Powder. Carob creates a more bitter, dark chocolate-y flavour, but I do find that if you use only Carob instead of say 1/2 Carob 1/2 Cocoa you will probably need to increase the sugar content.
Chocolate Chips - I didn't use manufactured Chocolate Chips, instead I roughly chopped about 50g of Chocolate. Manufactured Chocolate Chips would work as would Carob nibs. They are not a fundamental part of the recipe so you don't actually need them!
Non- Dairy Milk - I used Rice Milk, because it is quite naturally sweetened, Soy, Almond or Hazelnut are nice, but you can also use water for the liquid content in this recipe.
Red Wine Vinegar - I like to use Red Wine Vinegar, but you can use Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar. I have used Malt Vinegar (hey, it's cheap!) in other cakes but not in these Brownies. Malt Vinegar has a more distinctive savoury taste, but works and is usually undetectable in the final product.


   Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

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