08 August 2011

Battle of the Brownies!

^Vegetable Brownie

In an effort to get my sister to eat more types of vegetables, I told her that she'd have to eat one slice of eggplant from the casserole I made today before she could eat her brownie. She initially agreed, and we made brownies. My mum thwarted my plan, though, by giving in to my sister's crying/whining and telling her that she could just eat cabbage instead. I didn't take any pictures of the casserole because it wasn't particularly pretty. However, I did get pretty riled by the fact that my sister just plain refuses to try new foods.
In order to show her that vegetables CAN actually be delicious, I made two types of brownies today (with her help. I think that introducing people to cooking from scratch is great education). The first one was the generic, perfect, cliche chocolate brownie. The second one was a whole wheat flour, zucchini and cabbage brownie. You're probably retching at the thought, right? On the contrary, though, the zucchini and cabbage brownie didn't taste like vegetables at all! You couldn't even SEE the shredded zucchini (you could see some of the shredded cabbage because I got lazy with the grater).

The generic brownie was perfectly moist, dense, and chewy. It's the ubiquitous brownie you can get from a box, from the freezer, from scratch, or from a bake sale. It's not cakey, and it was kind of sweet because my sister added more sugar (since she wanted really sweet brownies). It was pretty fudgy. This is the kind of thing I would make for other people who aren't accustomed to my weird cooking style.
The recipe for the GENERIC BROWNIES is adapted from here, and I made only half the batch since my sister is the one who's going to be eating this one.
INGREDIENTS for a 200 cm^2 pan of thin brownies.
50 g oil
100 g caster sugar
1 egg
25 g cocoa powder
50 g all-purpose white flour
0.25 tsp baking powder

1. Mix oil, sugar, egg and vanilla.
2. Add in cocoa powder, flour, and baking powder, folding in a figure 8. The batter looks like this.
3. Bake at 177 degrees C/ 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes on the bottom rack of an un-preheated oven. If you use the top rack, bake for 23 minutes.


The vegetable brownie was not too sweet since I cut the sugar in half, not as oily, and definitely more cakey. I was actually pretty disappointed that I ended up with a cake rather than a brownie... it was more crumbly, but still pretty succulent. The cake is really dense and there is a slight grainy whole wheat flour texture to it, which I enjoy. Although I think it may be confirmation bias, there was a clean, vegetabl-y aftertaste which kind of reminds me of cucumber. The interesting thing about this vegetable cake/brownie is that the batter was the consistency of cookie dough, or super thick porridge. It also didn't rise much in the dish (Guess what?! I found a glass 20 cm square baking dish! Whoooo!!! My mum kept all the glassware in the top cabinet, above the stove...and now I'm putting it to good use!).
The recipe for the VEGETABLE CAKE is adapted from here. Incidentally, these are vegan. I aspire to make these brownie-like in the near future. Modifications for brownies include using less flour and using more oil...

INGREDIENTS for a 400 cm^2 pan of thick cake
50 g oil
110 g caster sugar (more if you'd like)
200 g grated vegetables (particularly zucchini, but I used a combination of zucchini and about 75 g of cabbage. Oh, right. Zucchini = Courgette)
pinch of salt
50 g cocoa powder
140 g whole wheat flour
30 g all-purpose white flour (I should've cut this out)
2 tsp baking soda

1. Mix oil, sugar, and vegetables.
2. Add cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and flour(s). Mix thoroughly. The batter will be extremely thick and sticky, sort of like moist cookie batter or thick corn grits. Or thick rice pudding.
3. Scoop batter into baking dish and spread it evenly.

4. Bake at 177 degree C/350 degrees F for 23 minutes on the bottom rack of an un-preheated oven. The shredded zucchini will miraculously disappear.
5. Somehow, half of the cake will disappear within a few well-chosen minutes.

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