There was no way that I wanted to have this post be about cookies. We’re obviously all looking for a slight change of pace this week after a full month of those deliciously chocolate studded, sugar filled circles of addiction (ummm…does it show that cookies are actually my kyptonite, so I’m totally not sick of them? I figured you all would be though, so I thought I better mix it up a bit or risk the wrath of the entire internet. You know, because every single human on the planet with literacy skills is totally reading this blog…right??? RIGHT????). Inspiration rained down on me in the guise of Kevin saying “Hey Amber, I have this event I’m doing, did you want to bake something for it?” Of course I do!!! He gave me the skinny on what it was about so I could try and incorporate the concept into my baking (not that it mattered whether or not I did that, but as I’ve said many a time, I’m a sucker for a theme 🙂 ). Essentially it was about making a strong first impression and not doing what all the other guys (and gals) do. This immediately had me thinking of making something that looked like some regular dessert, but had something unexpected about it that would make you do a double take (hopefully in a good way and not in a horrified way of course 🙂 ).
It’s been quite a while since I’ve made brownies, so that’s what we’re dealing with here today people. These aren’t just any brownies though. Because…why just do hum drum been-there-done-that brownies when you can do…anything else?!!! Although they just look like regular brownies with a little sea salt on top, they’re actually filled with cinnamon, ginger, cayenne paper and, for extra zazz, a bunch of chopped up candied ginger. And that oh so delicious looking fudgy topping? That has a mere whisper of orange flavour added to it (I just feel like the citrus zing cools these down a little. Also, I love citrus. I’ve been known to peel and eat whole lemons. Who needs enamel I say! 😉 )
I think part of the reason I rarely make brownies is that, despite their apparent simplicity, it’s deceptively easy to end up with what is essentially chocolate cake. I mean, if I wanted chocolate cake, I would make chocolate cake right? If you’re one of those people who says they like cakey brownies, just tell everyone the truth and say that you love chocolate cake, but you’re clearly missing the oh so essential gene that provides you with a love of all things fudge. In the gene battle of fudge versus cake that exists within my own DNA, I must admit that the fudge gene is usually the winner. Maybe it’s because the fudge gets more training in? 😉
Brownies in my personal opinion, should be that delicious mad science experiment that neatly straddles the worlds of both fudge and cake. It’s the original hybrid dessert (although I suppose that would make the brookie a tribrid dessert? Is that even a thing? Did I just blow your mind with that neologism? Speaking of genes, my language show-offy gene is clearly taking center stage at the moment)
Yield: 20-25 brownies
- 2 egg replacer
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3/4 cups chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup heated kahlua or other coffee liqueur (optionally just use boiling water)
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- a few pinches of coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the cocoa powder, 3/4 cups of chocolate chips, instant coffee powder, salt, spices and kahlua.
- Mix as best you can into a paste (basically you want the chocolate chips to melt, so you may need to microwave this at 30 second intervals to make this step easier. Alternatively, you could melt the whole thing in a double boiler on the stovetop).
- Add the sugar, butter, coconut oil and vanilla to the cocoa mixtures and blend with an electric mixer until fully mixed together.
- Using a spoon, stir in the 1/4 cup chocolate chips and candied ginger.
- Trying not to over mix the dough, add the flour mixture in 2 batches and stir in with a spoon. The mixture will be very thick and you may need to mix it together with your hands.
- Press mixture as best you can into prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- While this is baking, in a small bowl mix together the 1/3 cup chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon coconut oil and orange extract.
- When you remove the brownies from the oven, immediately sprinkle the orange chocolate chip mixtures on the stop. Allow to sit for a minute so the heat from the brownies will start melting the chocolate. Spread as best you can and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.