Retreat Chocolate

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So, I needed one of those desserts that would help the organization holding an afternoon luncheon and work retreat at my house say–wow, I’m never usually this alert, imaginative and creative at 3:30! Think Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters coffee and something chocolate… maybe double chocolate. And throw in some sugar–and some dates, too, in case the sugar doesn’t do the trick.

Most of the time, I’m cooking for health, but this time it’s pure chocolate decadence. A feast day! (Lunch was super healthy… I’ll post about that tomorrow.)

One of my go-to books for this kind of treat is “Sweet Vegan” by Robin Asbell. I didn’t modify the recipe much, so I had my fingers crossed that it was on the web already and, yes indeedy, it is my lucky day–or yours, depending on how you feel about chocolate brownies. You have to go to page three of this article to get it, but it’s worth it.

You will be able to tell from my photo that I didn’t crush the pistachios and create a layer (I wanted to, but I did not have the time–plus someone was not into nuts in the group). I would definitely do that next time as I love pistachios. I also didn’t make the ganache topping (see aforementioned reason). There’s a ton of chocolate in this already. I don’t think it’s necessary, but it is a lovely touch.

And, when Robin called for a tablespoon of baking soda, I balked. I live in fear of my baked goods tasting like baking soda. I put in two scant teaspoons and they rose just fine. You have to make these far enough ahead so that you can cool them and chill them to cut them. But she recommends you serve them at room temperature.

The salty, dense, super-chocolatey treat went over very well!

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