Monday, October 31, 2011

What I'm Baking

I like to bake. It's probably my favorite hobby that is not art related. (Some people say baking is like an art form, so I say this is still relevant to my blog!) And with what other hobby can you eat the tasty results?!

Since moving to Seattle, I've participated in several vegan bake sales that help raise money for a local animal rescue, Pigs Peace Sanctuary. For this weekend's sale I made pumpkin chip muffins, brownies, and I tried out a new recipe for chocolate pumpkin bread.

Dark Chocolate Walnut Brownies (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar)

3 ounces firm silken tofu (1/4 package of Mori-Nu)
1/4 cup almond milk (any non-dairy milk can be used)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose white flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 handful of walnuts, chopped

*I like to use a mixture of "regular" and dutch processed cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa has a deep, rich chocolate flavor, so if you like dark chocolate things, I recommend trying it out. You can even use all dutch-processed cocoa if you want to.

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch brownie pan with parchment paper, making sure it covers the bottom and the sides.

2. Puree the tofu, almond milk, and canola oil in a blender or food processor until smooth and fluffy. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and make sure you get everything.

3. Transfer tofu mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and use a fork to vigorously mix them together until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix.

4. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Use the rubber spatula to fold and mix the batter until smooth. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out the top. You may need to spread it a little towards the edges of the pan, but it will spread when baking if you don't get it into all the corners perfectly, so don't worry. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. (The original recipe called for 30 to 32, but I like gooey brownies so I bake them a little less. I'd rather have gooey brownies than cake-like brownies.) Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

For Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf photos and recipe click here.

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