Friday, November 24, 2023

VEGAN MINT CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES

Mint and chocolate are an absolute dessert classic, and even though they are a wonderful combination year-round, as the holidays approach, they are even more prominent in sweets and pastries. Combined with brownies, the epitome of comfort desserts, it is the pièce de résistance of any gathering.
Deeply chocolate brownie base, light and creamy mint frosting, and a gorgeously fudgy chocolate topping; a match made in dessert heaven. Adding just a tiny bit of lemon juice to the minty frosting simply elevates it and gives it that signature icy flavour, making it perfect with the chocolate.
This type of frosting is one of my favourites for all sorts of desserts, but I find it pairs most beautifully with fudge cakes and brownies. The contrast in textures is pure bliss.
And although I do serve it in very generous slices, it can easily be sliced into sixteen moderate pieces, and served that way. And if chilled very well, or even slightly frozen, it can be sliced into even smaller pieces, to serve a small gathering.


Ingredients
For the fudge brownies
150 grams plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
120 grams light brown sugar
35 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
90 grams vegan block butter
30 millilitres vegetable oil
80 millilitres water
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
small pinch of salt
For the mint frosting
400 millilitres soy milk
45 grams cornflour
120 grams granulated sugar
90 grams vegan block butter, cubed
1 teaspoon clear mint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
For the chocolate topping
100 grams dark chocolate (75% cocoa solids)
50 grams vegan block butter
50 millilitres soy milk

Preparation
Start by making the mint filling, as it needs a bit of time to cool down. Take about 100 millilitres of the milk and whisk it with the cornflour, mint extract, and vanilla bean paste, and set it aside. Pour the rest of the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place it over medium heat, and let it come to a boil.
As soon as it starts to boil, pour in the cornflour mixture, and start whisking. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, until it starts resembling a glossy pudding. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for a minute or two. Add in the vegan block butter, one piece at a time, whisking constantly, until incorporated. Cover the top with cling film or a piece of baking parchment, and let it cool down to room temperature.
To make the brownies, take a small saucepan and add in the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, vegan butter, oil, water, vanilla, and salt, and place it over medium heat so everything melts together. Once everything is melted and hot, but not boiling, remove from the heat and sift in the flour and the baking soda. Mix only until everything is incorporated.
Line the bottom and sides of a square baking pan (18x18 cm) with baking parchment, pour in the batter, and immediately bake in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 15 minutes. Depending on your oven, they may take a bit longer to bake through, so make sure to check them with a toothpick early on, so they stay fudgy, and not overbaked. Take them out of the oven, and let them cool in the pan.
Once the brownies are cool to the touch, and the custard is ready, proceed to assemble.
Place the pudding into a large bowl, add in the fresh lemon juice, and whisk with an electric mixer on high until it becomes creamy, about a minute or two. Place the brownies gently onto the serving platter, close a cake form around them, and add all of the frosting on top. Level it nicely, and place it into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
To make the chocolate topping, chop up the chocolate finely and place it into a small saucepan. Pour in the soy milk and add in the vegan block butter. Melt everything over low heat, and let it cool down slightly. Take the frosted brownies out of the refrigerator, gently and evenly pour on the glaze, tap to level, and return to the refrigerator for at least 6 more hours. Serve with hot coffee, preferably after letting the brownies stand for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Yields 9 rich servings.

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