Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Ill Advised Reunion Tour

People often remark that baking is a science. Scientists love a challenge. Unless of course you're Richard Dawkins, in which case you love hearing about how people agree with you about how great you are and everyone else is an idiot.

Yeah, I have also fallen into that trap before now. However, I got hungry and realised there were important experiments to conduct. Like vegan brownies.

Jeph Jacques creates a webcomic called Questionable Content. It is awesome. https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1679 led to a tshirt stating "Baking Is Science For Hungry People", and I definitely agree. https://topatoco.com/products/qc-baking

Anyway, I also like coffee. Thing is, coffee tends to get paired with walnuts. Yeah, great combo (also pecans and maple syrup go well with coffee too), but it your friends suffer from nut allergies, you need to pick something else.

Too many commas, and not enough cake.

So what did I go for? Pumpkin spice. Yeah. Basic bitch and all that, but no dying from severe nut allergy.

I called it "Ill Advised Reunion Tour", which is quite frankly a terrible pun when you consider the Pumpkin Spice/Halloween/Scary/Scary Spice/Spice Girls incredibly tenuous link there. The cake is definitely better than the joke.

So, recipe. I figure I owe you that much at least.

This recipe assumes you have a set of scales, mixing bowl, a whisk, general kitchen cutlery, an oven, a kettle.

40g creamed coconut (yes, the blocks of it)
100g fresh coffee* brewed with spice mix**
**spice mix was roughly (1/4 tsp clove, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, though feel free to adjust to your own taste)
150g golden caster sugar
Egg substitute (4 tbsp water, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 tsp baking powder. Add to a small cup or similar when ready to use, whisk and add immediately)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
115g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Weigh out the creamed coconut into your mixing bowl (easiest if you're cutting it at room temperature), and add the 100g of fresh coffee (hopefully you've brewed enough for enough left over for a nice cuppa). Whisk until smooth, then add the sugar and whisk in. Add your egg substitute and whisk until well combined. Sift in your flour, cocoa powder and baking powder (pour into the bowl via a sieve) and mix until combined. Pour into a lined, greased brownie pan (grease pan with vegetable oil - use some kitchen roll to rub through and soak up excess. line with greaseproof paper, then rub oil over the greaseproof paper)****. Pop onto the middle shelf of the oven at 180°C (175°C fan oven) for 25 minutes (15 minutes fan oven). Check with a skewer in the middle of the cake. It comes out clean, your cake is ready. Take out, leave to cool before cutting and serving. Keeps about 3 days in an airtight container, but I doubt they'll last that long.

*I used espresso, but if you're not a raging pretentious prick like me using a Bialetti Moka or similar, instant coffee will do. I could list other methods, French Press, Aeropress or whatever, but seriously fuck the snobbery. Instant would work fine for the recipe. You can add some flavoured ones, like Douwe Egberts Smooth Caramel if you want for a quick flavour boost without needing to get technical on it.

*** In my original recipe I used 1 tbsp cocoa powder, and 1 tbsp Milo powder (which contains milk powder, and as such isn't vegan)

****You don't need to line the pan if you're using a silicone brownie pan.

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