My adventures in raw and plant based dessert and the occasional savory recipe creation!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Vegan Raspberry Chipotle Brownies
I would have to disagree with whoever said diamonds are a girl's best friend. Many times chocolate is a girl's best friend. Afterall, you can't eat diamonds, only look at them, and if you lose them you feel really bad. You can always get yourself some good quality chocolate for a lot cheaper. Brownies are a fabulous way to enjoy it, and so I made some yesterday because I thought they would be the perfect dessert for me to enjoy on Valentine's weekend.
I have to say, I would be far more impressed if a guy baked me some good brownies from scratch than simply gave me some diamond earrings. Since I don't have a guy, I have to make my own brownies. That is ok, since I like to make them a little different than the usual plain chocolate.
This time I decided to add raspberries, thinking little red berries would be beautiful in the rich brown dough as well as add little bursts of flavor throughout. I didn't stop at the raspberries however, I added a bit of ground chipotle powder to spice things up. I like a little kick to my dark chocolate and am always adding ground chipotle to my hot chocolate and mousse. Raspberries also go wonderfully with the spicy chipotle powder. You may be skeptical about this combination, but once you try it you will love it!
I used my vegan brownie base which is enriched with coconut oil to give it a smooth sweetness and silkiness that oil and butter do not have. I always add a little extra sea salt to my brownies as well, because it hightens the intensity of the chocolate. So once the batter was all mixed, and poured into the pan I enjoyed what was leftover in the bowl and on the scraper. Afterall it is a sin to not lick the bowl, and it is part of the enjoyment of being the baker. I have to say, the batter was really good, rich and gooey like fudge...I couldn't wait to taste the finished product! My kitchen smelled like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, and I wanted to dive into the warm brownies as they emerged from the oven.
I had to wait unfortunately, because I wanted to cut them into cute little hearts with a cookie cutter so they needed to cool completely. It was hard to practice restraint, but I sped up the process by placing them in my freezer to chill quickly. Once they were cool, there was plenty for me to enjoy, since the hearts left lots of delicious scraps of brownie just for me! The brownies were super decadent! The deep intense fudgy chocolate base with a hint of chipotle that was subtle at first but then had a kick of an afterburn once it melted on my tongue. The raspberries were tart sweet red jewels of flavor a perfect match for the chocolate and chipotle!
It was my best friend as I enjoyed it and it brought me to my happy place. Since I didn't want to be selfish...I have since shared some with some loved ones, and they enjoyed them as well! If you have someone special in your life, you should whip them up a batch of brownies for Valentine's day. They will definately feel loved. Or even better make some for yourself!
Vegan Raspberry Chipotle Brownies
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground chipotle powder
1 cup coconut oil
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup pureed silken tofu
2 Tbsp framboise
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 12 oz containers raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, sea salt, and chipotle and set aside. In a large bowl, place chcocolate and oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between to melt the chocolate, until the chocolate and oil are smooth and well combined. Whisk in agave nectar, along with vanilla, tofu, and framboise, and whisk to blend until well incorporated. Whisk in vinegar until well blended and there are pale swirls throughout the batter. fold in raspberries until well incorporated, and pour into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes until set, starting to pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out fairly clean. Do not overbake! Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then lift foil out by the edges and cool on a rack. Let set for at least an hour, then cut into 24 bars (or larger if you are like me).