Oh my God, are you excited just SEEING that picture? As if passing on the baton in a brownie relay race..come..I shall share with you, so you too can be Princess of the brownies in your very own kitchen…
There is this whole vegan and gluten free trend that I’m TOTALLY into. Legumes! Using them in cooking is nothing new, but they now lounge in cookies, cakes & frosting. They fake ‘fish’ and provide a satisfying crunch for a salty snack. Beans are the new ‘black’.
I am always looking for ways to find out how to make goodies that are sin free but feel as though they come from the devils bakery. Why? so I can eat them when I want, feel GREAT about it and stay my svelte self. Bean flour (and coconut flour) has been opening up new doors for me as I scouted to find a way of HAVING, without flours that make me feel.. blegh! My adventures led me to the door (website) of Happy Herbivore’s LOW FAT black bean brownies (thanks a million for the recipe!) I checked my map – sugar free, low fat, gluten free, vegan – yep, X marked the spot. black bean chocolate brownies I of course changed the recipe to make it my own…just a tad.
You are now only minutes away from dark fudgey treasure.
From your food chest you will cluster…
15 ounces of black beans (440ml or 1 1/4 cups) – I think cooking your own is best – make loads and then stash your remaining loot in the freezer
2 whole ripe bananas
1 cup organic gluten free oats I used Bob’s Red Mill
1/3 cup agave (I had run out so I blended a mix of 6 juicy prunes and dates)
1 tbs fruit sweetened marmalade (optional)
1 tbs fruit sweetened cranberries (optional)
1/4 cup unsweetened pure cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coffee granules – pour over 1 tbs boiling water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
a couple of shakes of chili powder (purely optional)
Heat your oven to 350f (175) and line a 8 x 8 pan
1. with the exception of the oats & the cranberries, put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and using a hand blender, blend until smooth.
2.fold in the ground oats and cranberries and mix well. If you wanted the brownies less fudgey and more cakey then add 1 tsp baking powder.
Bake for 35 – 40 mins. Check them after 30mins. leave in pan for 5 mins and then gently lift onto a rack to cool.
I love my work…..Yesterday, I got to hang out in London with the genius behind ACCIDENTALLY VEGAN and a driving force (actually he’s so relaxed/patient about it all…so probably best to say strolling) for the mainstreaming of vegan food….DRUM ROLL PLEASE….
|Introducing Alex Burton!…readers…Alex, Alex….readers..Hi.Hello.|
I met Alex through a chocolate eclair….
|thank the Lord for my fully functioning taste memory!|
I attended a book signing with the LOVELY Sarah Kramer in May 2011 and this very chocolate eclair had me HANKERING for more. Who was this alchemist of VEGAN French Patisserie? (Can I collect DNA and clone the talented rascal????. ) I rooted around, made enquiries and found it was Alex ~Burton, the owner of Accidentally Vegan, a vegan baker with a French flair. So, I emailed him to say…. ‘Hi Alex, I ate one of your amazing eclairs and I am now smitten. Here’s the blog post I wrote. Thought you may like to read it’…… He shook the rice flour from his hands and tapped a reply onto his keyboard. We made arrangements to meet. And we did.
We rendezvoused at Tibits (no, not my spelling mistake and, no, didn’t eat there YET, it’s veggie so it’s on the list) on Hebben Street, a quiet side-step from Regents St (LONDON). We chatted until he was shivering from the cold and I was shivering, from a low blood sugar and a high need for an eclair.
Alex, a Uni student on his way to a Degree in Management, began AV following a community event in Covent Garden. A year ago Alex’s mother had asked him to bake some cakes to provide for a stall. His food went down a storm and all the attending ladies were sparkly eyed for his pastries and cakes. The ladies were very surprised when he mentioned that everything he’d made just so happened to be vegan. And thus, as the legend goes, Accidentally vegan was conceived and born…gestation..1 afternoon.
Alex is a sweet, almost humble guy who wants to do good in the world. He wants to make vegan food mainstream. Providing delicious, affordable, food, to anyone with tastebuds. He also wants it to be nutritious, he has two years study of nutrition under his slim belt too (I’m convinced he never sleeps!…he assured me he does). Alex is passionate and curious. He enjoys chemistry…knowing how things interact/work and their effects. This passion is fed into his kitchen creations and he has a real understanding of ingredients and taste. He makes all his pastries from scratch. Learning as he goes. I’ve not yet tried his Cornish pasties but apparently they are just like the original Cornish version (sans meat, of course). Much of his food is gluten free ( accidentally) just because they taste better, which is good news for the gluten free among us (a happy accident!).
|ooh la la! VEGAN pain au chocolat…GOOD! Oh my gosh, the ‘bite’ of the pastry and flavour is a splendid rendition. Apparently even better gently warmed. BETTER?! is it possible?|
He seems so happy with all he has got going on right now, but Alex does have visions for the future…a bakery in Soho (YEY!) a ready meal range packed in eco-good packaging, (WOO HOO!) but his feet are firmly in the present. He is very at ease with what he is doing and is happy to go with the flow. He’s only 21 and I’m sure destined for (more) good things. Currently, a huge 50% of his profits go to Animal Activism but he is keen not to shout about it (me and my big mouth!).
I could have spoken to Alex all day. I still was firing questions at him with the frequency of an ack-ack gun, long after our tea cups were drained, and learned so much about him. I asked him his favourite from his collection; ‘the brioche….no, the Belgian waffle, with ice cream (home made)……oooh, no, actually, I love marshmallows’, he crooned. Clearly, and thankfully (for us), Alex’s tastes are multitudinous (and my question was a bit rubbish…one should not be made to choose!). A bit of a polymath, he hopes to someday soon get time to put some energy into another passion of his. Music. He also plays piano. (I know… this guy is brimming with creativity and talent).
You’ll find Accidentally Vegan at Vx, and around town. His repertoire also includes mille feuille, s’mores, whoopie pies and sandwiches. His ready meals are also soon to be in London health food stores. Watch this space….not indefinitely…you may get bored and at some point have to pee, so what I mean is COME BACK..or subscribe to my blog. It makes me VERY HAPPY when people SUBSCRIBE!
|Accidentally Vegan cherry eclair…oh my gosh! GOOD! It was frozen as they’d sold out and I have to admit I ate it when it was not quite defrosted. tut tut but it was still AMAZING|
|I got my fix from Vx. Thankfully still open at 6pm.|
|Topping up my supplies…though the chews and chunkies didn’t make it home to sit in my cupboard!|
Thanks Alex for a very enjoyable 2 hours in London and for catching the baking bug! x