Chocolate doesn’t get better than this–moist, creamy and low-fat. For the mini cupcake base, I used a fantastic low-fat recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s The (Almost) No Fat Cookbook: Everyday Vegetarian Recipes. Bryanna has updated it here. In the event you don’t read fine print, she does not recommend this batter for flat cakes. But it works fantastically for cupcakes, bundt cakes and my mini-cupcakes.
In fact, if you have a friend who is trying to lose weight, you might consider putting a dozen of these in a pretty box for Valentine’s Day. I will help you visualize that here:
I adapted the frosting from J.M. and Michelle Hirsch’s Venturesome Vegetarian Cooking recipe. They got theirs from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. And so on. And so on. This made enough to frost about 30 mini cupcakes and one layer of a 9 inch cake (see photo below). I didn’t want to clean my food processor so decided to use an immersion blender in the bowl. Bad choice. You need to completely puree the tofu (seeing flecks of tofu in the frosting is a bit of a buzzkill for picky eaters).
Creamy Chocolate Frosting
1 10 oz. package vegan chocolate chips.
1/4 cup hot brewed coffee
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup light coconut milk
3 oz. silken firm tofu
- Melt the chips in a double boiler.
- Remove from heat and add coffee and water and whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in coconut milk until smooth.
- Put into food processor with tofu and completely puree, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Transfer to an airtight container and place in fridge to firm (about 90 minutes).
- Let stand at room temperature a few minutes before frosting.
Black Bean Brownies
Several people commented on how delicious–why is that a surprise?–the black bean brownies were that Cindy Johnson brought. Cindy did a lot of experimenting with the original recipe she found here from The Happy Herbivore.
Here are some of Cindy’s thoughts about the recipe.
I tweaked it a little by adding a pinch of wasabi powder (1/4t ) to the batter but the heat didn’t come through like I wanted so I would suggest adding more. I also tried the recipe twice. The first time with 1/4c extra flour and the second with 3/4c extra oatmeal and the flour seemed to work better at making a moist but not too wet product.
The second time I added 1/3c black walnuts that I had picked up at Costco over the holidays and I liked the unique flavor they gave to the brownies. Of course I omitted the wasabi powder. Since I was making it for a new mom I added the extra sugar.:)
Both times I tried a frosting made from the coconut cream that rises to the top of the can after you’ve refrigerated it and added one cup of confectioners sugar and a little vanilla. But I think I got too much of the milk in the frosting so it wouldn’t set up and ended up as a glaze. On the recipe with the black walnuts, I added some peppermint extract to the glaze.
Maybe for Valentine’s day, I’ll try a little cayenne pepper to add a little heat to the health of my loved ones. That’s what I like about a good chocolate fudgy brownie recipe, you can adapt it to every mood!
Cindy was a little embarrassed to bring her brownies as she felt that they didn’t look beautiful. We didn’t help by not getting a great photo). People didn’t seem to care about the humble presentation, though. They really liked the brownies! I, on the other hand, being much more vain, covered the tofu flecks in my chocolate cake with non-vegan white chocolate (I came clean and told everyone). So I think we can see who has the greater character of the two of us!