Ginger pumpkin brownies.

I wrote a post last year (here) about ginger pumpkin brownies. After posting a photo on facebook yesterday of some I baked for a friend, a few peeps have asked for the recipe. This is good because I really should have posted it in the first place. So thanks friends for the motivation!

This recipe comes courtesy of Frankie Magazine, via my wonderful friend Gail.

Though I have only ever made it using happy eggs (the kind that come from happy, useful and valued home chickens), I don’t doubt you could make the recipe vegan with your preferred egg replacement (mine is the chia egg).

I also replace butter with a non-dairy alternative; usually nuttlex, but I think coconut oil would work well too (virgin, NOT extra-virgin).

This recipe also has the greatest method for melting chocolate I have ever encountered. Such a win.

Happy baking, friends :)

Ginger pumpkin brownies

250g peeled, seeded pumpkin, chopped into chunks
250g butter (or alternative), diced
250g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
3 eggs
250g caster sugar
150g wholemeal spelt flour – kind to wheat sensitive tummies (I just use regular wholemeal)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup crystallised ginger**, roughly chopped

**I think this is a pretty good recipe for crystallised ginger, but feel free to use whatever method you like.

Steam or boil the pumpkin until tender, then mash to a smooth puree. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a brownie pan (about 20cm x 30cm).

Put the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and melt gently by putting it into the warming oven. Keep an eye on it – t will take 5 – 10 minutes. This is a stress free, easy way of melting chocolate without having to worry about double boilers and the like. Let it cool slightly to room temperature.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until combined and thick, then beat in the cooled chocolate and butter. Add the pumpkin and stir to combine. Sift over the flour, baking powder, salt and spices and throw in ginger, then fold in gently. Don’t be too enthusiastic: you want it mixed, not beaten to death.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minuts. Timing is everything with brownies – you want them firm at the edges, but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Leave them in the tin to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack before cutting into bars or squares as you see fit.

Dust with icing sugar if you please.

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Sunday feast.

I am not one to buy into days designed to get people buying stuff. I really despise the culture of consumerism that has become inherent in Mothers’ Day (and Fathers’ Day, Easter, Christmas etc). However, I do really appreciate that there is one day each year when we recognise the awesome role of our mothers. Of course as my Mum reminds me each year, “every day should be Mothers’ Day”, which is true – showing appreciation for the people we love is undoubtedly something we should practice daily. But each year on Mothers’ Day, my sister and I have always gone to special lengths to make it especially nice. This is usually achieved by handmade cards, flowers, and breakfast. This year, Gran was coming over for the afternoon too, and we decided to bake her some things to have with cups of tea. Queue extreme baking morning!

I decided to make crumpets for breakfast. There is absolutely no comparison between homemade and store-bought crumpets. The home-made variety are so much fresher, lighter and flavoursome, plus you can eat them straight from the pan. More on crumpets in a minute.

For Gran, we decided to make a spiced banana loaf cake (my sister’s specialty), and some sweet biscuits (my job). Dad was looking after lunch – roast chicken (as I wouldn’t be there to cause trouble with my picky pragmatic-veganism), plus roasted purple congo potatoes from the garden.

I put my hand up to provide afternoon tea, as Mum’s siblings were coming around. Beetroot chocolate cupcakes. I’d been meaning to try this recipe for ages, and with the beets jumping out of the ground, it seemed logical. Also, I’m in a bit of a chocolate phase right now (having baked ginger pumpkin brownies for a friend’s 21st the night before).

Feast!

And here are some nibbles of the feast that was Sunday. I may add the recipes in separate post later :)

Crumpets

Lemon biscuits + Choc chip caramel biscuits 

Beetroot chocolate cupcakes

(and just for fun, though not a Sunday feast item…)

Ginger pumpkin brownies

When all else fails, make brownies.

During the week, I received a lovely parcel in the mail from my friend interstate. Despite having met her in person only once, I kind of feel like she knows me too well. It’s cool. This parcel contained (among other things) a recipe. Today I baked it, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

I’m going to get a bit philosophical here, but it’s necessary.

Life doesn’t go to plan. That much is pretty obvious. Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it is just too awful for words. In these not-so-great moments, even the tiniest of gestures can make a world of difference, or at least make things a little more bearable. In fact, small gestures are great any time.

Receiving mail from friends is one of those things that can instantly lift your spirits a few hundred notches, which is fantastic no matter how good/bad you’re feeling. Brownies are also one of those things. Luckily, the recipe I received was for brownies. Too perfect.

So to bring it all together here, I shall let you in on the story of my life… (not quite). Today kind of determined my success/failure in regards to this semester of my uni degree. After weeks of struggling to get anything done, today was nothing out of the ordinary. Another deadline came and went, and I found myself realising that although there was still hope for saving the semester, it probably wouldn’t happen. Definitely not the end of the world, but a defining moment in the life of a student nonetheless. So what else can one do in such a situation, but make brownies?

If baking could be dedicated to people, as songs or novels are; this batch of brownies would be dedicated to my friend; the spirit-lifter and provider of delicious recipes.
(Yes, I realise you can’t dedicate food to people, but I make the rules on this blog, so…)

Here is a photo of the glorious wonder that is a giant, as yet unsliced ginger pumpkin brownie, and below: the finished product.¬†(You’re right, they are tasty.)

**You can now find the recipe for ginger pumpkin brownies here.