Friday, March 01, 2019


Brownies are a classic. Abundantly topped with chocolate glaze, and flavoured with rum and orange blossom water, they make for a wholesome family dessert. From start to finish, including the glaze, they can be done in under an hour. They are wonderful in their simplicity.
These brownies have perhaps an unusual ingredient – fresh zucchini. Zucchini provides lots of moisture when used in baking, and when finely grated, nobody can tell that it was used in the recipe, thus making these brownies more appealing to those who might object to using zucchini in desserts. It will make these brownies soft and moist, giving them a tender texture, almost like a fudgy cake one.
Since every oven is a little bit different, keep an eye on them while they bake, and check them with a toothpick. Brownies are usually considered done and baked when a toothpick comes out with just some moist crumbs sticking to it, and the centre is baked and set.
When they come out of the oven, they will be too soft to serve, so let them cool down completely before slicing up. They will firm up, and you will be able to get nice, clean cuts for serving.
And because they are so rich in flavour, and they have a glaze, they do not need any other toppings; and my recommendation would be to serve them with a tall glass of cold milk, or strong espresso, if you like your desserts with coffee.

For the brownies
160 grams plain flour
30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
200 grams light brown sugar
100 ml vegetable oil
60 ml boiling water
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons dark rum
1 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon orange blossom water
200 grams finely grated zucchini
For the chocolate glaze
150 grams cooking chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

They are quite simple to put together, so start by sifting together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda, and set it aside. Mix the espresso powder in the boiling water, and let it cool down. Take a large bowl, pour in the vegetable oil and the sugar, and mix until combined. Add in the coffee, rum, vanilla, and the orange blossom water, and mix again. Tip in the dry ingredients, and give them a brief mix. At this point, it will have a very coarse and dry texture. Take the peeled zucchini and grate it directly into the batter, and fold it through.
Let the batter stand for 5 minutes, give it one last gentle mix, and pour it into a small square tin (18x18 cm), preferably with a removable bottom, lined with baking parchment. Bake the brownies in a preheated oven, at 180°C (350°F), for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. A few moist crumbs are fine, but they should be baked throughout. While they're baking, melt the chocolate with the oil, either in a double-boiler or in the microwave, and glaze the brownies as soon as they come out of the oven. Let them cool down completely, and serve.