Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Am Lazarus Back from the Dead...

Or at least Sarah back from the end of the quarter, and I'm back to start blogging again.  Much as I would like to say that I am moved by pure love of self expression, I will cop to actually being moved by the plaints of my reading public (such as it is).  Now that I am no longer putting sixty hour weeks in the studio, but am instead seeking summer employment (that does not involve me standing on concrete for hours straight*) and putting up a portfolio online, I have time to bend my ear to their requests.

Tonight there is experimental curry on the stove.  Well not terribly experimental, except for the apple I threw in on a whim.  Apple?

I keep forgetting that Gala apples are not my idea of pomaceous delight.  Not even close.  They may be almost the same color as Braeburns and Fujis, but they lack the snap and crispness that makes them favorites, and they cook poorly.  Under those circumstances the apples become some sort of sweet secondary vegetable, and thus into a curry that is already going to play host to cauliflower, an onion, garlic, and a tomato (as well as lentils and rice and some left over chicken). 

But that's not why I'm writing this.  I am writing this because I made gluten free, dairy free brownies that weren't entirely awful AND DID NOT REQUIRE ME TO BUY XANTHAN GUM.  Also the texture wasn't bad.**

Black Bean Brownies

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed very well, preferably a brand that does not add onions to their black beans.  Alternatively one could make ones own black beans.  This one did not feel so moved.  Nor did she want to go buy new black beans after she opened the can and then realized that they had onions. So she ended up rinsing her black beans many times over and speaking of her actions in the third person. Even so, not too bad.
3 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or more.  Next time I'm considering upping the oil. 
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon if you feel like it.  Or are trying to cover the taste of oniony beans. 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts chopped

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease an 8"x 8" square baking pan, or a 9" round pan.  (Any guesses as to which I was using?)

 In a blender puree the beans with the eggs and vanilla extract until creamy. Then puree them a bit more.

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients (sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, cinnamon).

Carefully fold the bean and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, then mix until totally incorporated.

Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips, and scrape into the prepared pan.

Bake until only a couple of crumbs cling to a tester.  I started checking at 30 minutes, but the brownies came out at 40 minutes.

If you have the time, these definitely benefit from aging over night. 

* I have a most unholy love of working retail (I pretty much hate recreational shopping).  I like meeting people.  I like talking about things I enjoy.  I like selling people things that will make their lives better (for sometimes very abstract values of better).  I'm even good at it. My feet however have issued an ultimatum about me and standing on concrete floors for hours a day.  Since my feet are an integral part of my active and exciting lifestyle, I perforce must accept that sometimes desks are okay too. 

**I have a couple of people in my life who need things to be gluten free and dairy free (this pretty much rules out chocolate mousse, since I'm allergic to soy based dairy substitutes; likewise tortes that substitute chopped nuts for flour were likewise out, because I hate chopping all those nuts by hand). I prefer to be able to accommodate them.  Preferably with things that are acceptable to not so restricted eaters. Texture is the area where gluten free desserts often fall down.  So when I find something that works for everyone I get all excited.

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