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Monday, September 20, 2010

September 10-11, 2010: Leftover makeover - chocolate & pomegranate cake and brownies

K made an awful lot of pink pomegranate icing for the Penguini Celebration Cake.  I popped the leftovers in the fridge for the best part of a week and pondered using them up.  Then Mike and Jo invited us round for dinner on Friday night and I hatched a plan - I'd bake a torta Sacher and change round the decorations, slapping pomegranate molasses in the middle, pink icing on top and a few razzcherries for decoration.  And this is indeed what we ended up with, though the process was a little harried.  I arrived home from work an hour late, Michael and I whipped together the batter in 5 minutes flat, and then we packed all the ingredients onto our bikes for baking and decorating in our hosts' home.  We were all highly satisfied with the results - a medium-light chocolate cake with sweet'n'sour pink accoutrements.

The only problem was, there was still more pink icing left over.  So on Saturday afternoon I pulled out a brownie recipe that I'd seen on In The Mood For Noodles and made a half-batch studded with the remaining razzcherries and iced with the last of the pink pomegranate fluff.

This vegan brownie recipe is an interesting one, with the egg-like binding coming from a flour-and-water glue that's stirred into the usual oil, sugar and cocoa.  Sadly the cooked brownie remains a little gluggy and, dare I say it, bland.  But it's definitely salvageable - my icing and razzcherries provided more than enough distraction and I reckon any combination of extra cocoa, choc chips, nuts and dried fruit you like would too.  It's worth a go, 'cause it's a simple and pantry-friendly recipe to file away for an overloaded-with-icing day.  You have those too, right?

Basic vegan brownies
(adapted from Pamela Cooks!, as seen on In The Mood For Noodles)

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/8 cup cocoa
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup mix-ins (choc chips, dried fruit, nuts, etc)
1 cup buttercream-style icing (optional)

Place 1/4 cup of the flour and all of the water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir the mixture as it heats, until it becomes a smooth paste. Remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugars, salt, vanilla, cocoa and oil. Stir in the flour-water mixture until well combined. Add the remaining flour and the baking powder, mixing thoroughly. Fold through the mix-ins.

Line a small loaf tray with greased baking paper and pour in the brownie batter, smoothing it out where possible (it will probably be thick and difficult to handle). Bake for 25-30 minutes, until it just passes the skewer test.

If you're using icing, allow the brownie to cool completely before spreading it over.


  1. I've only ever tried them with the cream cheese addition, I wonder if that changes them because I distinctly remember them being nice and rich :-)

  2. It probably does boost the fat factor! In a good way. :-D

  3. Also, I think I might have cooked the flour glue a little too long - that might have made them gluggier than necessary.