Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chocolaty goodness

Yesterday I got to experience NYC's famous Highline Park, which is basically an abandoned subway line converted into a boardwalk stretching for 15 blocks. The boardwalk basically winds through Chelsea, and the walk along it was absolutely beautiful. A couple friends and I were there after sunset, so we had a great view of the city lights as we walked between the rooftops of abandoned warehouses and apartments.

We also stopped by Chelsea Market, a neat and chill area full of little shops and bakeries. Following the recommendation of a friend, I got a brownie from Fat Witch Bakery, despite the fact that I had just eaten a huge meal at a Venezuelan restaurant. It's just too hard to turn down anything chocolate, so I got a mini one.

Thanks to that, today I decided that I was craving brownies. I also decided that I needed to use up a ripened avocado just sitting in my fridge. Lightbulb moment...wouldn't a creamy avocado be a perfect ingredient to make a rich and velvety brownie?

The answer to that question, as I found out soon after, is YES absolutely!

A bit of google-ing allowed me to find a few recipes that I took bits and pieces from to make these brownies I had dreamed up in my mind.

Supah Chocolaty Avocado Brownies
adapted from hangrypants and ohsheglows

1 cup flour (I used half whole-wheat and half all-purpose)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond)
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chunks
olive oil (for greasing pan)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In one bowl, put in the mashed avocado, sugar, syrup, milk, chia seeds, and vanilla. Mix well.
3. In another bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 
5. Add the chocolate chunks.
6. The batter should be very thick, but if it's hard to mix, feel free to add a little more milk.
7. Spread the batter into an oiled 8x8 baking pan.
8. Bake for 25 minutes.
9. Let the brownies chill for an hour in the fridge before digging in (I know, hardest part!)

Sprinkled mine with some cinnamon, of course, because I'm probably as much a cinnamon fan as I am a chocolate fan. These turned out a lot more chocolaty and fudge-like than I expected! I do admit I cut into these only about 40 minutes after baking them, tehe, but I can imagine the brownies being even chewier after sitting in the fridge overnight.

I think the best part of this recipe is: no butter! That brownie I had at Fat Witch was definitely delicious but at the same time I did feel like I was biting into a half-sugar half-butter brick. And my fingers were an oil slick after finishing it off. Today's brownies, however, were rich without being overly greasy, thanks to the avocado. I also prefer less sugar and more chocolaty-ness, so depending on your sweetness tolerance, the amount of sugar/syrup in this recipe can be adjusted.

Yum. Craving satisfied...for now. Tomorrow, I think I'm gonna head to the grocery store for some vanilla ice cream to go with these as an after-work treat :)

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