There’s something to be said for having an emergency brownie recipe on hand. Just in case. For years mine has been Sprouted Kitchen’s recipe, sub coconut oil for butter. They’re everything I deem necessary and perfect in a brownie: dense and fudgey; dark chocolate all the way; crisp edges all the way around; infinitely fun to toy around with (pine nut brownies anyone?); there’s not even the glimmer of an idea that these are cake. This is full frontal chocolate. To the face. They’re essential, mood-lifting, day-changing brownies.
They’re the kind of brownies you bake when the dementors are getting you down. (I shamelessly watched Prisonor of Azkaban again for the umpteenth time last night). When, for no particular reason, you’re feeling sad about things. And they work astoundingly well for improving shit situations overall. And for strengthening the bonds of friendship. Nothing says I would learn to become an animagus so I could help you get through turning into a werewolf once a month like excellent brownies.
Watching and re-reading the Harry Potter series, I always take something new away. And recently it’s been a particular focus on friendship and love. Now that I’m an adult, I find myself empathizing more with the adult characters. Their pains and losses in early life. They’re tenacious love for their friends. In darkness, your friends can be your light. Which is to say, love can bring you back into a good place. Whether that darkness is some outside force pressing down on you, or the darkness within.
In times of great pressure that we come to know our priorities. The things we love we come to love more deeply and fiercely. We discover that some things we thought we cared for don’t seem to matter at all. Life gets stripped down to the essentials. There’s all the things I need and everything else. Personally, with the love & light from my friends and family to buoy me up, I could live with just a backpack full of stuff and be completely happy. Or at least mostly content.
Brownies help, too.
Working from that uncompromising Sprouted Kitchen recipe I’ve developed a recipe with avocado folded in. They’re dense, dark chocolate rulers of the avocado underworld. They’re not pretending to be health food, although yes they’re a million times better for you than your average brownie. They’re just good.
I think the avocado lends a mousse-like quality to the brownies. It amps up the fudge-factor, if you will. I strongly suggest telling your friends that you’ve just been visited by dementors when they find you covered in empty cupcake liners with the evidence of a dozen brownies all over your face/shirt/sofa. Chocolate helps, it’s really helps.
- 5 tbsp coconut oil (or ghee)
- 3 oz chocolate bar, chopped
- 2 free range eggs
- 1 small avocado, flesh scooped out and mashed (or ½ of a large avocado)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup oat flour (or mill rolled oats until fine in a food processor)
- pinch sea salt
- ½ cup cacao nibs
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, or line a square brownie pan with parchment.
- In a small sauce pot, melt the coconut oil. Once it's melted and warm, remove from heat.
- Add the chopped chocolate and let set and melt in the warm oil for five minutes. Stir to combine.
- Crack the eggs into the chocolate and whisk everything together until the mixture is glossy.
- Add the cocoa powder and stir everything together until the batter is once again even and glossy.
- Add the mashed avocado and vanilla and stir to combine everything well. I mashed mine a bit more into the chocolate base, just to be sure everything was well mixed.
- Add the sugar and stir to incorporate.
- Add the oat flour, and sea salt and stir to combine.
- Fill the cupcake liners in your muffin tin to ¾ full, or pour the batter into your brownie pan.
- Sprinkle the cacao nibs over the tops of your mini brownies, or over the top of your big brownie.
- Bake 20 minutes (for the mini brownies) or 25-28 minutes (for the large square brownie).
- Let cool completely, at least 20 minutes before serving.
- These are fantastic alongside a bowl of vanilla ice cream! (But what isn't?)