VEGAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
For a variety of health-related reasons, I’ve been attempting to go vegan. What helps a LOT is when I find a vegan recipe that is easy, unusual, and delicious. In this case, I was looking for something that combines sweet potatoes and chocolate – the former because apparently they are good for you, and the latter because a strong part of my spiritual practice is to have chocolate every day, plus it masks the sweet potatoes. Online I found numerous iterations of the Four Ingredient Brownie Recipe, and I added a few tweaks to improve the flavor and texture. Having made this recipe half a dozen times now, it’s great to have a reliable, not-too-sweet chocolate base for homemade ice cream sundaes, or just on its own (or with a little homemade dark chocolate sauce.)
THE BROWNIES – these can be scaled up or down; I find this quantity makes two dozen flat round cakes when I use muffin tins instead of a cake pan.
One 15 oz tin organic sweet potato puree – I pick up extra in the holiday sales
1 cup almond butter
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder; Hershey’s does well enough, but gourmet cocoa powder is better because with this recipe you really taste the chocolate
¼ cup organic agave syrup – or to taste. I add just enough to offset the cocoa bitterness.
A generous pinch of sea salt
Plus… (optional and to taste)
½ tsp each cinnamon and cardamom
½ tsp baking soda
A slosh or two of coffee liqueur, such as Tia Maria, Kahlua, or the equivalent
And, at the end… half a packet of small chocolate chips, or about 6 ounces.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Lightly oil or butter the muffin tins.
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat together until smooth. Add optional spices, liqueur and chocolate chips at the end; make sure they are incorporated evenly.
Using two spoons, place dollops of the batter in the bottom of the muffin tins. Spread each one out to the sides of its receptacle.
Bake for 20 minutes, more or less. Because these brownies are only ½” deep, it’s easy to overcook them. I like them still to be soft and springy on top.
Pull the muffin tins out of the oven, and turn the oven off (unless you plan to bake something else right away). Set the tins onto racks and let cool for half an hour.
Gently lever the brownies out of the pan. I usually eat two – the ones I couldn’t get out cleanly – and put the rest away in a sealed container, which I then stick in the fridge if they are not immediately required for a potluck or dinner party.
OPTIONS (or here comes the fun stuff):
As a dinner-party dessert, serve a warm brownie with a small scoop of homemade ice cream on top, and a little hot chocolate sauce as a garnish.
Place a brownie on a small plate, add a spoonful of homemade chocolate sauce, and warm the whole thing for 15 seconds in the microwave.
These brownies are also excellent with warmed fruit – I love sour cherries, but you could also use fresh raspberries or any other fruit that goes with chocolate.
Baked bananas also go down a treat served on a base of vegan brownies.
Use these brownies as layers in a parfait with fruit and whipped cream.
Click HERE for the printer-friendly .pdf file.
By the way, this recipe will be in my soon-to-be published Healthy Holidays cookbook!