On these cold foggy fall days that we are currently experiencing in Vancouver, its time like this when its just nice to curl up with a Hot Chocolate as the fog drifts by. As it happens, this is also the time when the annual ‘Festival of Chocolates’ festival comes to the city, what can be better than a festival that lets us indulge in one of the most popular delicacies around. We do not know many that do not enjoy chocolate.
This festival showcases the very best chocolates around, you will get to experience a wider range of varieties and will also get to learn how to make various chocolate recipes and more…..if you are interested in the Culinary world and specifically the sweeter side of cooking, then this will be the festival for you!
For more information, please check their website to see what is happening
And to get you into that chocolate mood, how about trying out this recipe…
Ultimate Chocolate Brownie
3 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons golden flax meal
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
7 Tablespoons cocoa powder
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup boiling water
1 ½ cups sugar
6 Tablespoons (80 grams) Regular Butter or non-hydrogenated stick margarine, melted (not tub margarine)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1) Prepare the flax meal, your oven and your baking dish
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the water and flax meal. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so the mixture gets goopy. Place your oven rack on it’s lowest position and preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper allowing excess parchment paper on opposite sides so you can pull the brownies out of the baking dish later.
2) Whisk together the four and baking soda
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour and baking soda. Set aside.
3) Mix the vegan brownie dough
In another medium mixing bowl add the cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, espresso powder and salt. Add the boiling water and using a spoon, mix in the ingredients into a paste, making sure that all of the chocolate pieces are melted. Add the sugar, Vegan Butter, vanilla extract, flax meal mixture from Step 1 into the chocolate mixture and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the walnuts if you’re using them. Using a spoon, mix in the flour until well combined. The mixture will become extremely thick and you may need to use your hands to mix. Refrain from mixing this dough with an electric mixer at this point; this will overwork the dough and activate too much gluten, negatively affecting the texture of the brownies.
4) Transfer the brownie batter to a baking dish and bake to perfection
Transfer the batter to the baking dish. You may need to use your fingers or a spatula to press the thick dough into place. Bake for 35 minutes on your oven’s lowest rack. Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool for about an hour.
5) Allow the brownies to cool completely
Transfer the brownies to the wire rack by lifting them out of the baking dish by taking hold of the exposed parchment paper on each side. Allow them to cool completely before slicing into squares.
This recipe makes one 8 x 8 inch baking dish of Ultimate Vegan Brownies.