Sneaky + Deceptive + Chef = Delicious

I find it fascinating how certain ideas make the rounds in the world of food, blogging or otherwise. I’ve mentioned before about how it galls me that Mrs. Jerry Seinfeld has an over-hyped, over-acclaimed, skyrocketed-to-bestseller-status cookbook in print, all because she thought to add some vegetable purees to existing recipes (Oh. And because she’s Jerry. Seinfeld’s. Wife. Right.).  No matter that otherswriters, or, naturally, vegan chefs–have been doing this sort of thing for years (and even my little baking company has been selling carob muffins with hidden spinach in them since 2004–so there!). 

[Note to readers:  Please permit me this puerile rant.  It’s January 28th, it’s been snowing and way below 0 degrees C for weeks over here, and there is no end to winter in sight.  I am grumpy.  I hate ice and snow.  I have been consuming highly insalutary amounts of chocolate. But I assure you, this is just a rant. It will pass and I will be better tomorrow.] 

Well, when I was asked a while ago by VegFamily magazine to come up with a trio of chocolate desserts for Valentine’s Day, I decided to jump on this veggies-in-sweets bandwagon.  Maybe MJS has dumped some veggies into regular recipes, all full of eggs, refined flours and white sugar.  But has anyone seen vegan versions, and without wheat or refined sweeteners?  Gotcha!  And so I had my angle.  

 I had been working for some time on a brownie recipe gfbrownie2.jpg made with pureed white (navy) beans, and decided to include this in the VegFamily piece by stretching the original concept somewhat.  Then, the other morning, I took a peek at Celine’s fabulous blog and–voila!–there is a recipe for Black Bean Brownies, based on a still-earlier version from Activist Mommy.  See what I mean?  It’s that 100th monkey effect (or, in this case, 100th black bean effect. And that’s not just a lot of hot air, either.  Unless you eat too many, of course.). 

Next up, I wanted to do something really decadent, and also really romantic.  One of the most romantic desserts of all time is the Molten Chocolate Cake, so I was determined to re-create a healthier, vegetable-rich, vegan version. 

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First of all, regular molten chocolate cakes rely on lots of eggs, and the batter is only partially baked to ensure a soft, oozing, chocolatey centre.  I solved this problem by including two mixtures: one for the cake, and one for the centre, then combining before baking.  The result was a rich, gooey, warm and definitely decadent treat.  Oh, and just for fun, it has hidden zucchini and spinach in it! I’m happy to say that the result was enthusiastically “HH Approved.”  He’s even asked for them again, on the real Valentine’s Day.

The last item was a very fudgy, very peanut-buttery, chocolate-peanut butter cookie.  These were an immediate hit with Gemini I’s kids as well as my colleagues at the college.  And because they’re all used to my weirdo creations already, nobody batted an eye when I told them the cookies incorporated eggplant puree in the batter.

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I’ll be posting all three recipes on this blog after the article is published.  If you’d like to check out the recipes before then, head on over to VegFamily once their February edition is up on the site.

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Comments

  1. these last cookies are absolutely gorgeous! can’t wait to read about them.

  2. Celine,

    Thanks! They taste really yummy, too! PB and chocolate has always been a favorite of mine.

  3. Those brownies look divine. Fang Jr. loves brownies and I would LOVE to sneak some goodness into them.

    I got your comment – thanks for the saline recipe.

  4. Hi Ricki! Those molten chocolate cakes look innnncredible. I’m looking forward to trying the recipe. In response to your comment on all my cheese posts, I work for a wine/beer/cheese cafe (Tria), and the staff is required to taste all the products. This includes the entire cheese list, which changes quarterly. We just tried the winter selections, so I’m adding my reviews to my blog. Goat’s milk and aged cheeses are supposedly lactard-friendly, but I always take a couple Ibuprofen before cheese training and hope for the best…

  5. You’ve got me drooling!

  6. I haven’t heard of MJS’s book but I love vegetables in cakes and cookies – they always seem a bit lighter and more interesting. So I am avidly awaiting these recipes. But I tried activist mommy’s bean brownies on the weekend and they were a great disappointment – I will post about it but I think I just hoped for too much. I hope you will post about your bean brownies that you have been developing as I would like to make a good version of this recipe and so far I have enjoyed your recipes!

  7. GrumpyChair,

    I think Fang Jr. would like these. My friend’s sons tried them and had no idea they contained the bean puree (though I suppose the frosting helped with that, too) ;) .

    Cmoore,

    The molten cakes are the fussiest of the three to make, but I think the result is worth it. As to the cheese tasting, talk about irony (sort of like me, addicted to sweets but being a baker?!). But I guess a job is a job and you don’t want to look a gift paycheck in the mouth. Glad to hear it’s not a daily occurrence. As to the ibuprofen, wouldn’t a Lactaid pill do better?

    Sally,

    You’ll be ready to bite into one of these, then, with good digestion to boot (saliva starts the digestive process, after all!).

    Johanna,
    What a coincidence that you tried those brownies this past weekend! As to mine, I’ve been having a friend try out the recipes as well and then we compare the results. So far, the things she’s made have come out pretty much the way I make them, so hopefully the brownies will work for you, too. I’m going to post the recipes as soon as the VegFamily issue is up on their site, so stay tuned. And thanks for the nice words about the recipes!

  8. Hi Ricki!

    Your recipes look fabulous! As a converting vegan and baking fiend I’m feverishly trying new recipes to replace our old sugar/animal product laden favorites. I couldn’t these chocolate recipes on the Vegfam site. Have I overlooked them on your blog?

  9. sigh…that should have read “I couldn’t *find*” these chocolate recipes…

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