Be a doll and grab me a brownie...
It's Monday morning, most of the glitter from the weekend got washed from your skin in your rushed shower, some more shimmered down your coat and off your fingertips as you hurried to work and then the last of it fell to the ground when you glanced at the clock and it read 10 o clock.
Well, you need a brownie and you need one fast.
But don't just go and grab any old brownie! When you get home, bake these little lovelies...
Cardamon Spiced Plum&Chocolate Brownies
Because baking will soothe your soul and ease your stressed mind, the cardamon spice will warm your tired body, the plums will be juicy and sweet and remind you that Spring is on it's way, and the chocolate, well, it's chocolate isn't it?
Brownies aren't something that have always been in my life. Shocking, I know.
They were just never around in my parents house when I was growing up. Sweet pies? Yes. crumbles? Oh most definitely. Cakes and cookies? Oui.
But brownies never seemed to make an appearance, in fact I think I was 18 before I had my first brownie!
It was in Brighton, from a cafe near the seafront. I was with C and his sweet tooth was almost as bad as mine. We had already devoured popcorn at the cinema and candyfloss from the pier when we spotted the cute little cafe. We went in for coffee and came out with two brownies wrapped up in a napkin. They had looked so soft and gooey, just sat on the shelf behind the glass window.
C had asked if I wanted one and I had beamed back at him.
It had tasted glorious.
I made C promise to bring me back a stack of them when he next came home, but alas, the cafe changed their menu and never seemed to make them again.
So I forgot all about them.
And it was a few years until I ate another.
It wasn't until recently that I decided to bake some, I'm not sure why I hadn't tried it before. I think I just assumed that without the egg in the mixture they just wouldn't have the right texture. But boy was I wrong!
And now that I know the secret to wonderfully gooey brownies, I believe they'll become a regular in my kitchen.
So here it is folks!
Cardamon Spiced Plum&Chocolate Brownies
1 Can of black beans - drained and rinsed
1 oz Almonds - toasted and ground
1 oz Hazelnuts - toasted and ground
2 oz Date caramel
2 oz Apple sauce
2 oz Agave syrup
3 tbsp Cocoa powder
2 tbsp Flax seed - mixed with 4 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
Splash of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Ground cardamon
Zest of half a lemon
Coconut oil - for greasing the tin
Dark chocolate - optional, for chocoholics to drizzle
First of all, lay the hazelnuts and almonds on a baking tray and toast them in the oven, about 200 c for a few minutes, until the skins have come off the hazelnuts and the almonds are golden inside.
Now grind them up to fine crumbs and set aside.
Drain the can of beans, rinse them and then pop them in your favourite mixing bowl. Use a hand blender to blend them until they're smooth.
Now stir in the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. The mixture will be quite thick, don't panic!
Now add the apple sauce, date caramel, flax seed, vanilla extract and agave syrup. Give it a good stir, the mixture should loosen up now.
Stir in the ground cardamon and lemon zest and then the ground nuts. Mix it up well so that everything is combined into a chocolatey, gooey batter.
Use a little coconut oil to grease a deep muffin pan, I then dusted it with cocoa powder to make sure they didn't stick.
Slice the plums in half and remove the stone. I then sliced them again so that I had 8 slices from 2 plums. If you wanted you could use 4 plums and use a whole half for each brownie, if you like it extra plum-y!
Fill each muffin whole to just over half way with the brownie mixture, and then a piece of plum into the batter.
Bake them in the oven at 175 c for about 50 minutes - 1 hour. Test them with a cake tester around the sides, but don't worry if the bit beneath the plum is still a bit gooey, because that'll firm up as they cool.
Leave them to cool completely before taking them out of the pan.
Once cooled, I melted some dark chocolate and drizzled it over the brownies, for extra chocolatey goodness.
These brownies are so soft and the juicy plums make them so good you'll want to eat them all! It's something about fruit and chocolate that just works, the plums make these brownies refreshing and you don't get that I-ate-too-much-chocolate-now-I-feel-a-bit-sick feeling after eating the whole batch.
Enjoy with a cuppa chamomile tea.
Happy baking! x