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.