Guest Post: Chef AJ’s Outrageous Brownies
Cooking Tool of the Month – Silicone Bakeware
Today’s guest post comes the chef who first suggested silicone bakeware to me, Chef AJ! It seemed only fitting that she shared her love with you all and a delicious recipe from her book Unprocessed. Enjoy!
I am in love with silicone baking pans. As a former restaurant pastry chef who uses no oils, they truly are a dream come true. NOTHING STICKS TO THEM!!! Processed oils are not heart healthy. They also add unnecessary fat and calories to the diet while supplying no fiber or nutrients. By using silicone pans to bake in you save money, calories and time not having to grease your pans.
Silicone pans are also very versatile. They come in just about every conceivable shape and size. You can get silicone bundt pans, springform cheesecake pans, and loaf pans. For Valentine’s Day I use my heart shaped silicone pan, for St. Patrick’s Day my shamrock shaped silicone pan and for Christmas my gingerbread man shaped silicone pan (to name just a few).
Compared to other cookware, silicone pans are extremely inexpensive and very durable I have had mine for over 5 years and they still look brand new. Plus, they are a breeze to clean. You can find silicone pans on line, at Target, at Michael’s and at Bed, Bath & Beyond (where you get to use your 20% off coupons)!
You can use silicone pans in any recipe where you would use a metal pan. No need to adjust anything in this recipe. Why not try this Black bean brownie recipe? You can make it in the same amount of time you would make a boxed brownie mix.
No one will ever know that there are almost a pound of nutritious beans in this decadent dessert!
15 ounce can salt free Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1.25 cups date syrup*
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon caramel extract (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raw cacao
3/4 cup barley flour
1 cup non-dairy grain sweetened chocolate chips (Sunspire brand)
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted nuts (I like to use pecans or pistachios)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place beans and date syrup in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade and process until smooth. Add the flax seeds, extracts, baking powder and soda and cacao and process again. Add flour and process very briefly, just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into an 8 x 8 square silicone baking pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 30-35 minutes until middle does not jiggle and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
* if you can’t find date syrup you can use maple syrup. I buy mine at www.OrganicsAreForEveryone.com.
Chef AJ has followed a plant based diet for over 35 years. The author of UNPROCESSED, she was the Executive Vegan Pastry Chef at Sante Restuarant in Los Angeles. She lectures and teaches cross the United States about the benefits of a Whole Food Plant Based diet free of Sugar, Oil and Salt. She is proud to say that her IQ is higher than her cholesterol.