Friday, 26 November 2010

Chocolate & Clementine Brownies (gluten free and/or vegan)

There are some days when if a youf in a hoodie pulled a gun on me in the street I would cry out in relief and say ‘Yes! Do it quick!’


Do you have days like that? When you wake up in the morning with a dark, black cloud where your brain should be? 
Rubbish, isn’t it?

Last week I had one of those days. I was supposed to be up and at ‘em, giving my latest assignment hell (I’m doing a journalism course), biking in the forest with my dog and generally being pro-active, positive and perfect.

Hmm, yes.

I just about managed to walk the dog. And the waves of gloom coming off me must have been extremely repellent because even the dog ran away. Although that might have been something to do with the bunny she saw and that killer hunting-dog thing she’s got going on.

As I waited for her to come back I pondered my melancholy mood.

I suspect it is a mini mid-life crisis, of the kind that many women experience. The children are getting older. I’m not getting any younger. Why did I do a degree when all I do is the washing? What can I do to earn money and still be at the school gate at 4pm without selling my (sagging) body for illegal purposes?

And you’ll be pleased to know I came up with a solution.

Cake.

Thick, chocolatey, gooey, squidgy, comforting cake.

That, I thought, will solve all my problems.

So I came home, made it, photographed it and ate it.

I can confirm that it did not solve all my problems, but it was bloody gorgeous.

So if your mood is in need of a lift, I urge you to make these brownies today.

Anyway, can’t stop, just digging out my Agent Provacateur lingerie. Maybe selling my body isn’t such a bad idea after all? Hours to suit and all that...

Chocolate & Clementine Brownies

Well it turns out that it was either a very short-lived mid-life crisis, or bad PMS. Why do I always forget about PMS? Feeling much better now and I have PMS to thank for this lovely recipe  :-)

All Versions:
250g DF, GF dark chocolate
150g dairy free margarine (or butter/other margarine)
250g sugar
60ml golden syrup
4 clementines
1-3 tbsps orange juice
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
4-7 tbsps rice milk (or other milk)

Egg free, Dairy Free, Gluten free version:
The 7 ingredients for ‘all versions’ (see above) plus:
3 heaped tsps egg replacer (I used Orgran ‘no egg’)
2 tbsps ground linseeds
¼ tsp xanthan gum
6 tbsps sunflower oil
7-9 tbsps rice milk
140g rice flour
40g sorghum flour
(Or you can use 180g Doves Farm GF plain flour and omit xanthan gum below)
½ tsp xanthan gum

Gluten free with eggs

The 7 ingredients for ‘all versions’ (see above) plus:
Use 3 eggs
140g rice flour
40g sorghum flour
(Or you can use 180g Doves Farm GF plain flour and omit xanthan gum below)
½ tsp xanthan gum

Egg free with wheat flour :
See ingredients for the Egg free, dairy free, gluten free version and replace the 180g of flour with 180g of wheat flour and omit the ½ tsp xanthan gum

Method:
  • Heat the oven to 170˚ Celsius
  • Grease and line a 31x18 cm brownie tin with baking parchment
  • Cut the clementines into quarters – don’t remove the peel - remove any pips and blend in a blender until smooth. Add the orange juice if needed to make a thick paste (but the blender should still be able to turn it, no turgid movements please)
  • If using an egg free version, mix the egg replacer, ground linseeds, xanthan gum, oil and rice milk in a small bowl using a mini whisk. If it’s very thick, add a bit more rice milk, you want a good, bulky consistency, not too sloppy
  • For all versions place the dark chocolate, margarine/butter and syrup into a saucepan and heat over a low heat until melted. Add the sugar and stir
  • If using eggs, beat them in a small bowl and add them to the chocolate-filled saucepan, stir. Or, add the egg replacing mix to the chocolate-filled saucepan and stir
  • Add the bicarbonate of soda to the Clementine mix, stir and then add to the saucepan. Stir to combine. Inhale the vibe of chocolate and Clementine, oh yeh, sista’
  • Add the flour and xanthan gum/wheat flour and stir to combine. Add enough rice milk / other milk until you have a thick, glossy mix which will drop languidly from your wooden spoon. Ooo, I went all poetic then
  • Scrape the mix into the brownie tin, level off a bit and put into the oven. Brownies are a curious beast, they don’t need too long, they don’t need too short, so watch them carefully. When the mix has risen and is firm, but still a bit gooey in the middle, then remove them. They should go a bit waxy on the top, but I’ve never really got mine waxalicious; they always seem a bit inferior to the brownies of our Atlantic cousins
  • Leave the brownies to cool and then – golden rule coming up – place them in the fridge before you slice them
  • Slice them up and then get ‘em down you. Feel your worries ooze away
  • Place your online order for Agent Provocateur lingerie. Use it to your best advantage


© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

16 comments:

Potty Mummy said...

HALLELUJAH!!!!!!! I have ALL the ingredients!!!! This is a red letter day in the Potty household, I am clearly - for once - a well organised mum and only 1 step away from Pigliness in my strive for domestic perfection!

caroline said...

Hey honey, I feel your pain! I've been having quite a few of those moments recently and had come to the similar conclusion that it was my mid-life crisis. Actually I think I suffer from S.A.D. and the weather has been PANTS of late. My dilemma is the opposite of yours, I feel I am working too much and not seeing my little darlings. Anyway, glad your mood has lifted. A journalism course? Fantastic.

Expat mum said...

I must admit that on my blah days, baking would just put me over the edge. Instead, I will live vicariously through you Pig, and enjoy your posts and photos.

Mimi said...

Held my breath as I opened your post, hoping there'd be a vegan version, and YES, Pig didn't dissapoint!
Thank you, on behalf of vegan daughter, and I have all the ingredients,(bit of a fright when I saw xanthan gum, "what the heck is that??", then realised I don't need it with wheat version) so bye for now as I don the apron!

Elsie Button said...

I love you Pig - you and your choc brownies are amazing

Elsie Button said...

lots of rum (left over from christmas pud recipe) on evening of 27th Nov.

YouFool said...

Pig, youre a bad woman...but we love you. Made your brownies for the out-laws last weekend and they went down a storm. If your body is for sale, can I purchase it so that it can reside in my kitchen and concoct more mouth watering recipes to widen my waistline?!

Leah Vanessa said...

What is golden syrup and do you know if it's sold in the US? Is it something I can make myself? I'm worried that the equivalent here is corn syrup but I've got an awful corn allergy - what do you recommend?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

PottyM, woohoo! (but I think you are a little off the domestic perfection a la Pig, but do keep trying) ;-)

Caroline, we are damned if we do (work) and damned if we don't. And I thought mid-life crises were just for men! Why not get a S.A.D light? I used one once during the winter and I think it worked...

Expat Mum, I can't imagine you ever having blah days!

Mimi, glad my services are of use to your vegan daughter! Keep a watch on her iron level won't you? I can recommend Floradix supplements (from health food shops), great for a boost and to put your maternal mind at rest. Also spirulina is the miracle iron-rich food I've learnt recently, tablets might be best coz i reckon it will taste cack. That totally unsolicited advice about iron is yours for free ;-)

Elsie Darling, thank-yuou! (have you been on the sauce?!)

Elsie, aha!!! you HAD been on the sauce!!

YouFool, well! I would be very happy to come and reside in your kitchen provided you have one of those modern ovens that heats up in 5 minutes, a range cooker (not an Aga I can't work those), another person also residing there to do the washing-up, lots of worktop space, a kitchen aid (purple), a kitchenaid blender (also purple), TONS of silicone spatulas in a range of pretty colours, some Mason Cash mixing bowls, granite worksurfaces and, umm, a hot tub. And taps that run on champagne not water. Just pop a contract in the post and I think we'll be in business. Glad the out-laws loved the brownies!

Carrie, You're very welcome dear. I've just made another batch and they smell gorgeous. Yum.

Hi Leah Vanessa, Golden syrup is made of refined sugar (i think) http://www.sugarindia.com/golden.htm You could just use honey instead I reckon, a 'firm' (solid) honey might be better than a runny one, but it wouldn't make much difference. In fact, the best might be if you use half honey and half blackstrap molasses. Hope that helps! (you could also use agave nectar)
cheers,
Pig x

Pig in the Kitchen said...

PottyM, woohoo! (but I think you are a little off the domestic perfection a la Pig, but do keep trying) ;-)

Caroline, we are damned if we do (work) and damned if we don't. And I thought mid-life crises were just for men! Why not get a S.A.D light? I used one once during the winter and I think it worked...

Expat Mum, I can't imagine you ever having blah days!

Mimi, glad my services are of use to your vegan daughter! Keep a watch on her iron level won't you? I can recommend Floradix supplements (from health food shops), great for a boost and to put your maternal mind at rest. Also spirulina is the miracle iron-rich food I've learnt recently, tablets might be best coz i reckon it will taste cack. That totally unsolicited advice about iron is yours for free ;-)

Elsie Darling, thank-yuou! (have you been on the sauce?!)

Elsie, aha!!! you HAD been on the sauce!!

YouFool, well! I would be very happy to come and reside in your kitchen provided you have one of those modern ovens that heats up in 5 minutes, a range cooker (not an Aga I can't work those), another person also residing there to do the washing-up, lots of worktop space, a kitchen aid (purple), a kitchenaid blender (also purple), TONS of silicone spatulas in a range of pretty colours, some Mason Cash mixing bowls, granite worksurfaces and, umm, a hot tub. And taps that run on champagne not water. Just pop a contract in the post and I think we'll be in business. Glad the out-laws loved the brownies!

Carrie, You're very welcome dear. I've just made another batch and they smell gorgeous. Yum.

Hi Leah Vanessa, Golden syrup is made of refined sugar (i think) http://www.sugarindia.com/golden.htm You could just use honey instead I reckon, a 'firm' (solid) honey might be better than a runny one, but it wouldn't make much difference. In fact, the best might be if you use half honey and half blackstrap molasses. Hope that helps! (you could also use agave nectar)
cheers,
Pig x

Pig in the Kitchen said...

ooo look, I posted my last comment twice. I really do love the sound of my own voice it seems.

Flo'bear said...

These look amazing. I am going to make them in these muffin pans, http://www.cakescookiesandcraftsshop.co.uk/acatalog/Christmas-Mini-Snowman-Cake-Tin.html , because it would be wrong not to.

I've just made your gingerbread men with my kids for our school Christmas Fair, and they are addictively, brilliantly delicious.

And your Christmas Cake is currently nesting in its layers, waiting for its next feed. Hm. That makes cake sound like a dormant vampire. Unintentional. Christmas Cake looks like heaven, and I'm embarrassingly excited about icing it next week.

The point is, Pig, you're a genius.

xxxx

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Flo'bear, I'm simpering with embarrassment at your very lovely comment! (and grinning very widely) thank-you! I may add it to my bragging wall on the front page...

FoodAllergyMom said...

Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my blog, for I find some of my favorite blogs this way! I will be adding you to my blogroll. It makes my life so much simpler when I find recipes made for the same allergies we have (even mustard), it's like they were tailor made for me. :)

Flo'bear said...

So I made these, and they are delicious, natch.

But son objects to the fact that they "taste of orange". To make without clementine, I'd just omit the, er, clementine, right? Do I need to add anything to make up for the lost juice and pulp?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hello FoodAllergyMom, thanks very much for visiting! And another mustard-allergy-sufferer...how weird is that?!

Flo'bear, Tsk that your son does not love my recipe in its original version!! Umm, I suppose you would just omit the clementine, but you'd have to add some rice milk in to make up for it I would think, use your excellent judgement. Or you could try apple juice if his higness would prefer ;-) Hope it works!

Pig x