Saturday, October 23, 2010

Emergency Brownies in a muffin tin

I have been trying to be good. I made black bean brownies as an emergency substitute for all the Halloween candy that’s been appearing at the front desk, left by evil people who want us all to gain weight just in time for our relatives to visit us over the holidays and notice how much weight we’ve gained. Not fair. I’ll still gain weight eating the brownies, but at least they’re healthier than several mini Hershey’s chocolates, a couple of Reese’s cups, and a Snickers bar. The original recipe for these black bean brownies came from Living Without.

Somehow my little bag of brownies fell out of my purse and landed on my driveway. Eric came home to find a hungry gang of squirrels attacking a Ziploc bag with what he said he thought were “dog turds.” He threw it away. Now, I wouldn’t eat brownies that had been ravaged by squirrels anyway, but I am concerned that my husband’s first thought was that my brownies were turds.

It’s true that I’m not that great at making food look good. Eric is better at that. One time he made me a plate of celery and cream cheese and he cut them up into attractive bite-size pieces and placed them in concentric rings on a dinner plate. He understands presentation. I, unfortunately, approach food in the same manner that my mother did. Both of us make food that tastes really good, but sometimes you have to close your eyes before inserting the first bite into your mouth. The other day when I told my husband that my brownies didn’t look that great, he said that they would probably taste great. My husband is well aware of my cooking style. Still, I wouldn’t have said that my brownies looked like turds.

So, last night I was still craving the chocolate that I should have had, and made one of my desperation mixes. Most of the time when I crave chocolate I just throw something together and eat it even though it tastes weird. This time I decided to actually put a little effort into it, and the result was incredibly rich and chocolatey—a first. They still look kind of like turds.

Here was my process:
I poured a cup of Bob’s Red Mill baking mix into a bowl. Then I threw in about a half a cup of dark chocolate cocoa powder. Then I added some eggs and a big dollop of cream cheese (why not?). I had some leftover coconut milk (just the juice, not the solids, which I used in something else), so I threw that in. Then I figured it should have some oil because it looked a little dry, but the only thing I had left was extra virgin olive oil, so that went in the mix too. About ¼ cup.

Here's a neater version of my recipe, as if I'd actually followed directions:
1 cup all purpose GF flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
½ cup Hershey's Cocoa-Special Dark
¼ cup agave nectar
2 eggs
2 tbsp honey
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup coconut
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup coconut milk (just the juice, not the solids)
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of sea salt

Mix together. Bake in cast iron muffin pan for 45 minutes.
Here's a trick I learned after destroying several muffins a year ago: To get muffins out of the cast iron muffin molds, place thumb and forefinger on either side of the muffin and rotate it slightly in the mold. It should then pop right out instead of leaving half of it on the bottom.

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