Friday, August 13, 2021


Few desserts are as timeless as brownies. Be it summer or winter, they are one of the best choices for an everyday dessert or a lovely base for a glamorous after-dinner treat.
Although many of my brownies are quite swift to make and enjoy, this is not a quick recipe. This brownie symphony does require a bit of time to cool down and set up, but it will reward on every bite, with its fudge base and frosting, and tiny crunches from the dark chocolate glaze.
Fresh raspberries are indeed optional, but I simply love the combination of raspberries and chocolate, so I opted for a handful of so, for the decoration. If you prefer another berry, do adjust to your tastes and preferences, of course.
I love this recipe because it is reliable, forgiving, and lovely for novice bakers; and the only thing that is slightly fiddly is the baking time. Every oven is a little bit different, so do keep an eye on them while they bake, and check them with a toothpick. They are usually considered done and baked when a toothpick comes out with just some moist crumbs sticking to it, and the centre is set.
However, if by any chance they do get overbaked, all is not lost. Just let them cool completely, cut them up into tiny pieces, divide them between dessert glasses, drizzle some coconut milk over the pieces, and add generous amounts of the fudge frosting. Top with the dark chocolate, and serve as you typically would, with a glass of cold milk or strong espresso.

For the fudge brownie base
100 grams plain flour, sifted
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
½ teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
100 grams brown sugar
100 grams dark chocolate (70%)
150 grams coconut yoghurt
100 millilitres cold water
30 millilitres vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the white chocolate coconut frosting
300 millilitres coconut milk
40 grams cornflour, sifted
50 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon coconut extract
a pinch of salt
50 grams vegan white chocolate, chopped
80 grams vegan block butter, cubed
For the decoration
100 grams dark chocolate (70%), melted
30 grams pistachios, chopped
fresh raspberries, optional

To make the white chocolate coconut frosting, pour the coconut milk into a saucepan, sift in the cornflour, add in the sugar, vanilla and coconut extracts, and whisk very well. Place the saucepan over medium high heat, and as soon as it starts to gently bubble, start whisking, to prevent burning.
Once it starts to boil, cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to resemble a thick pudding. Remove from the heat, add in the salt, and let it cool down for a minute. Whisking vigorously, add the pieces of vegan butter and white chocolate, one at a time, until incorporated. Whisk until everything is melted together and the frosting is glossy and smooth. Cover the top with cling film, and let it cool down to room temperature.
To make the fudge brownie base, melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, and set it aside to cool slightly. Take a large bowl, add in the coconut yoghurt, water, oil, and the vanilla, and whisk well. Add in the sugar, followed by the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix briefly and add in the melted chocolate. Stir until only combined. Line a rectangular baking pan (18x18 cm) with baking parchment, pour in the batter, and immediately bake in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for about 10-12 minutes. Make sure you check with a toothpick to make sure that the brownie base is not overbaked. Let the brownie cool down to room temperature in the pan.
Once the base and the frosting are cool to the touch, take an electric mixer and mix the frosting, on high, for about 2-3 minutes. This will make it even creamier. Spread the filling evenly over the base, and place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, so the frosting can set up nicely.
When you are ready to serve, slice the dessert into 9 equal pieces, drizzle everything generously with dark chocolate, sprinkle on the pistachios, and decorate with raspberries, if desired. Serve chilled. Yields 9 rich servings.

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