I spend an unnatural amount of time thinking about things like how exactly chick-pea water works as an alternative to eggs (it couldn’t….could it…??). Or what the exact reaction is that happens when you whip butter and sugar together. Or why 180 degrees celsius in two different ovens is never the same. I guess it’s what comes with the territory when you are both a scientist and a food blogger. A double occupational hazard of sorts.
Lately my neurons have been firing about incorporating vegetables and legumes into sweet baked goods like cake and brownies. Throw stones at me if you will, but I have to say, I’m not convinced.
From the point of view of adding moisture without adding fat, I suppose I get it. Sort of. But for the purpose of ‘hiding’ veggies to boost one’s veggie intake? Unconvinced. I for one would rather beetroot roasted and tossed with chunks of salty fetta and baby spinach, the whole thing doused with a squeeze of lemon juice, than lurking sneakily in a cookie. If I soak a batch of white beans, it’ll be to toss them with parsley, chilly and olive oil, not conceal them cleverly in a mudcake.
So here are my brownies. Gluten free and moist with coconut oil which will make your skin shine. They sing with cardamom notes and are brought gently down to earth with the richness of dark chocolate and pistachios. Like most of the baked goods on this site, the sweetness is subdued so feel free to add a little more sugar if you like things a little sweeter. And not a vegetable or legume in (or out of) sight .
Dark Chocolate, Cardamom and Pistachio Brownies
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
Seeds scraped from 1/2 a large vanilla bean, or 2 tsp vanilla paste
Seeds from 6 cardamom pods, roughly powdered
1/2 tsp cinnamon
120g good quality 70% dark chocolate, melted
3/4 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Grease and line a shallow oven tray with grease-proof paper
In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add sugar, vanilla, cardamom and cinnamon and beat with an electric mixer until a smooth mixture forms.
In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate either in a bain marie or in 20 to 30 second bursts in the microwave. Stir through coconut oil, also melted. Stir this mixture into the egg mixture until a smooth mixture forms.
Gently stir through the almond meal, salt and baking powder, followed by the pistachios.
Pour the mixture into the pan and bake on the top shelf for 18-22 mins. Remove from the oven when the middle of the slab is still a bit undercooked, and leave in the tray to cool. Slice and serve!