Monday, January 18, 2010

Jamaican coffee chocolate brownies

Jamaican coffee chocolate brownies

I know, I know. A month is too much time, even for me. This year I will try to be a better blogger. I promise! I have already written it at the top of my "good intentions for this year" list. I also expect (and hope) that I won't have so much work. If someone tells you someday that working and studying at the same time does not leave you shattered....he or she is lying. It's exhausting.  I think I have never slept so little in my life (and that is to say a lot).

I wanted to post today's recipe for a month, because after the first bite I knew that I had to share it. American desserts are not very popular here: not because they are not tasty, but because they are difficult to find. It's almost impossible to find a bagel and brownies are only sold in Starbucks. I have never tried them because I know they are not vegan, and very expensive anyway. Solution? Bake them yourself: it's cheaper, tastier and healthier.

Jamaican coffee chocolate brownies

It's funny because when I found this recipe with Jamaican coffee, it brought me some memories back. Blue Mountain is considered the best coffee in the world, although I didn't  notice a substantial difference between this and any other fairly good one. It's a pity that the service was awful. I did not use Blue Mountain coffee this time (actually, I have never seen it for sale) but they turned out amazing anyway. After all, this kind of coffee costs an arm and a leg; even if I had some at home, I would prefer drinking it.

Last day I was reading a A-K post about birthday cakes and how what for some people is sad for others is fun (for instance, doing your own cake). I have been cooking all the birthday cakes of my family (including my own) since I became vegan, and I don't think it's something sad at all. The same happens with "veganising" your recipes; "Poor! She can't eat eat eggs and milk", they will think (by the way, I hate when people say that I can't eat this or that. I suppose that they don't understand that it's not an obligation for me, but a choice). Most of people would consider it a pain; I see it like an opportunity for being creative. What can I use this time: apple sauce, mashed banana, tofu, flaxseeds? And what if I substitue that huge amount of butter with olive oil? Of course, it can turn out like a disaster; actually, many of my baked good turn out like a disaster (althoug every time less often) but I am lucky because my family is not fussy at all about it: they will eat any of my creations, including the ones I would label as a categorical failure. Luckily, this was not one of these times :)

Jamaican coffee chocolate brownies

Jamaican coffee chocolate brownies
Makes one 33 cm x 23cm pan (13x9x2-inch)
Inspired in this recipe form Epicurious.

You don't need to use Blue Mountain coffee for this recipe; any coffee will be OK. If you can, use it freshly (and finely) ground. It will add some texture to the brownies, but you won't have the feeling that you're chewing coffee. The original recipe called for cocoa powder, but I run out of it, so I used authentic chocolate instead. Now I think that maybe I should never have cocoa powder at home: (real) chocolate and coffee: can you think about a better combination? I have also omitted the nuts, the chocolate icing and reduced the amount of margarine and sugar. Some people like their brownies fluffy, other almost like a cookie. This one is something in between: dense and hearty, but still very moist and tender. It would do a nice Valentine treat (maybe using a heart shaped tin)

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 tablespoons margarine
  • 40 g chocolate (52%)
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine sugar, margarine, chocolate (broken in pieces), ground coffee, and salt in large metal bowl or a small saucepan.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until margarine and chocolate melts and ingredients are blended (texture will be grainy). Remove bowl from over water.

Mash the banana and add it to the mix. Sift flour over and fold in. Mix in some nuts (the original recipe called for pecans) if desired. 

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool brownies in pan.



Mihl said...

Those looks amazing! I like the cracked top.

Michael Whyte said...

It is quite possible that the so called Blue Mountain Coffee you tried was not authentic. There are a lot of scammers that take advantage of the name of my beloved coffee. I am a third generation Blue Mountain Coffee farmer and coffee connoisseur. There is a lot of hard work, dedication, and love in every single bean Blue Mountain Coffee, without a doubt is by far the absolute best coffee in the world

small homes said...

I like these brownies! It looks moist in the inside. That is what I like about brownies! And the cracked top makes it more beautiful.

VivaciousVegan said...

These look delicious, Would you mind if I use your recipe for Valentine's Day? Credit to you of course!!!! Great idea...
I am soooo glad I found your blog!!!!!

VivaciousVegan said...

Oh Thank you so much! I love that I stumbled upon your blog!!! Feel free to come over anytime and check out my blog, I am adding you right now!!!!!!!!!