Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Gooey Mocha Brownies
For nearly a week now we have been experiencing tremendous rains in our corner of the Southland, complete with torrential thunderstorms last night that awakened even sound-sleeping me, raising me bolt upright with a cry of "Wow, did you see that lightening bolt? It lit up the whole window!" I was answered only by one of the cats, who looked at me slightly askance as if to chide me for disturbing her sleep over a mere, normal phenomenon such as a thunderstorm.
The holiday of Passover also lasts for a week, much more reliably so than lengthy April rains. During the history of that week, Passover desserts have garnered an unfortunate reputation, likely, in my mind, due to the array of packaged brownie and honey cake mixes that sprout up in grocery stores around the Passover season, promising a delightful, unleavened treat and instead delivering a rather dry, bland confection with the general taste and texture of cement, or perhaps a sink sponge... My parents still laughingly refer to the "Egyptian brick," a bit of brownie-mix baking that emerged from the oven so impenetrable to any utensil that it could have symbolized the brick-making tasks the Hebrew slaves were forced to endure during the biblical Exodus story.
Homemade Passover desserts, however, are an entirely different sort of species. Light, airy, and, dare we say, even gourmet, they elevate unleavened baking to entirely new heights despite their lack of yeast (yes, dreadful pun intended).
For example, brownies... When I was in college, I used to bake these brownies even when it wasn't Passover, simply because my roommates, having sampled the brownies at my parents' Passover seder, proceeded to request "Passover Brownies" throughout the rest of the year as well.
These brownies are a particularly good use for leftover matzah meal following Passover, but, most importantly, they're also gooey, fudgey, sticky, and utterly scrumptious...
(and, made with whole wheat matzah and applesauce, they're rather appropriate for year-round consumption...)
Gooey Mocha Brownies
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups date sugar
1/2 cup light vegan margarine, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T instant coffee granules
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat matzah meal (some stores do carry whole wheat matzah meal, or you can easily make it by whirring whole wheat matzah in a food processor to form a coarse meal)
~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8X8 baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, then coat with cooking spray.
~ Beat the applesauce, date sugar, and vegan marg together until well blended.
~ Stir in the eggs, coffee, cocoa powder, salt, and whole wheat matzah meal until well blended. once again.
~ Pour the batter into the baking pan, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes - until the brownies are just set in the center.
~ Serve topped with whipped cream, of course... :-)