Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chocolate Nut Brownies with Candied Orange Peels AKA Vegan Brownies


It has been awhile since I have attempted a vegan dessert but, there was a time when butter, eggs, and cows milk were not a part of my life. So I decided to revisit a vegan recipe I used to love for brownies. The original recipe is from The New Farm Cookbook.
I highly recommend this cookbook for vegetarian or vegan cooking. My copy is so well worn and written in that I have replaced it twice. Most of the recipes tend to be on the bland side so use them as a starting point. With that in mind here is my updated Vegan Brownie recipe based on the New Farm's recipe:
Chocolate Nut Brownies with Candied Orange Peels
Mix 1/3 cup flour with 1 cup strong coffee (or water).                                                                         Cook until thick and let cool completely.
Heat 1/2 cup coconut cream (not milk because this is a substitute for the margarine). Add 2/3 cup cocoa and stir until smooth. Cool.
Beat 2 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1teaspoon vanilla into the cooled flour mixture, then add the cocoa mixture.
Mix together 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and add to the mixture.
Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts. I used walnuts                                                                                                 1/8 cup diced candied orange peel                                                                                                  1/2 cup bitter sweet chocolate bar chopped or chips.
Oil a pan. The original recipe calls for a 9x13 at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I used a smaller baking pan and cant really give reliable baking temps because my oven has a mind of its own and constantly changes the temperature during bake times! Arrgh!
These come out moist and fudgey. The coffee deepens the chocolate flavor and the coconut adds a german chocolate taste. You can leave the orange candy out or add zest. The orange taste is very subtle and only really hits your taste buds after the chocolate flavor has drifted away. I don't really think you can tell these are vegan... you decide! Just don't forget that white granulated sugar is not considered vegan. I used sugar in the raw and pulsed it in the food processor to make it more easily dissolved like bakers sugar.

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