Friday, 11 January 2008

Brownies by post

Today I want to introduce someone new: Dogophile Vegan Nurse (this is what happens when you let people choose their own nicknames!). DVN was one of my very best friends at secondary school, and through the wonders of facebook we are now back in touch almost every day, which is lovely. She’s had a stressful time recently on her hospital ward and with exams she’s doing in her spare time, so I thought I’d send her something to cheer her up. I love getting things in the post, and so consequently love sending other people things in the post as well because I know how it will make them feel. There’s something so nice about realising that someone has been thinking of you that you don’t quite get in an email, lovely though they can be too. (though on a mini-digression, unexpected texts from New Zealand can have exactly the same effect :))

So anyway, Dogophile Vegan Nurse and I share a love of cooking and baking which our skinny frames wouldn’t suggest, and we spend a lot of time swapping foodie ideas. What better to send here, therefore, than the fruits of a new recipe? I have been reading a lot of vegan recipes recently, partly just out of interest, but also from a desire to reduce my support of the dairy industry and its frequently substandard conditions of animal welfare. I had bookmarked this recipe for vegan brownie bites from post punk kitchen a few weeks ago, and so I decided to give that a go. They were vegan, and they were small and thus postable (and low fat though that’s probably a disadvantage in this particular case!). They also didn’t make demands for substitutes you wouldn’t find in a regular kitchen which was good – my baking cupboard is already full of specialised ingredients and I wasn’t keen to start adding agave nectar and egg replacer. The only unusual thing was flax seeds (linseeds) which I had, though in a moment of unfocused randomness I’m pretty sure I actually picked up the sesame seed jar anyway. And you also need prunes but I had some of them too. Perhaps what I should say is they don’t call for anything you don’t get in a kitchen as random as mine.

A quick blitz of ingredients in the mini processor and a pan bunged in the oven later, the kitchen was full of chocolatey smells, and the resulting brownies were really rather good. They’re not very sweet, as you’d perhaps expect from the low-fat description, but they had a good densely cocoa-y taste, and a nice soft texture. I don’t know what they’d have been like if I’d managed to use the right seeds – perhaps they would have given it more body, but I was pleased with the results, and packaged them up to send off. Today I got a lovely little mail on facebook from DVN, who had just unexpectedly received a dessert to her breakfast in the post. I felt warm and fuzzy; she felt fuzzy and chocolatey; the linseeds felt unloved, but all was well with the world. Hurrah for friendship and vegan recipes (and hello to Leah and Ned, who are the dogs in the phile).

1 comment:

LisaRene said...

Hi Lyse,

I was looking for your e-mail address to answer your question about gyoza but can't find it on your blog so I answered in comments on my blog.

Your vegan brownie post caught my attention. You may have noticed that I've been a bit obsessed with vegan brownies of late on my blog. I have been having "vegan brownie battles" making two different recipes and comparing them. It's been a lot of fun but not real successful. I'm definitely going to give your recipe a try soon.