November 26, 2011

chocolate-coconut brownie tart

chocolate brownie tart

This recipe includes two things I despise, namely thickeners and chopping chocolate chips. I hate dealing with thickeners, whether it's corn starch or kudzu. In this case, it's arrowroot powder and agar powder. I have no confidence when it comes to thickening a liquid over the stove top; it never seems like it's working and it just gives me anxiety.

As for chopping chocolate chips, that's got to be one of the stupidest things ever. Is there a trick to it that I just don't know about? I've tried using a blender and a spice grinder, to no avail. Perhaps it would be easier to chop a chocolate bar -- at least a bar wouldn't be rolling around under your knife, making it nigh-impossible to get some quality chopping in.

I think the annoyances were worth it, though.

chocolate brownie tart

to make the brownie layer:

Over the stove top, on low heat, stir together
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup okara
1 tsp. vanilla

until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix together
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup soy flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

NB: I'm sure you could substitute regular flour for the soy flour. The reason I threw it in is because I have a big bag of it that I'm trying to get rid of!

Add the chocolate mixture to the dry mixture and stir until well combined.

Mist a 9-inch spring-form pan with
vegetable spray
and pour the batter inside. Spread evenly and cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-21 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

chocolate brownie tart

Allow brownie layer to cool while you work on the next steps.

to make the custardy layer:

In a saucepan, whisk together
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. agar powder (not flakes)
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

Place saucepan on stove top and stir over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, make a slurry of
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. arrowroot powder

Whisk together until smooth.

chocolate brownie tart

Add the slurry to the coconut milk mixture over the stove top, and stir into the mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and bubbles.

chocolate brownie tart

Then add
1/4 cup chocolate chips
and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

In a food processor or a large, powerful blender, puree
12 ounces silken tofu
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla

until all tofu has been liquefied.

chocolate brownie tart

Add the contents of the saucepan to the food processor or blender, and puree contents until totally combined. You will probably have to scrape down the sides with a spatula a few times.

chocolate brownie tart

When it's all mixed, pour the contents of the food processor or blender into the spring-form pan, over the brownie layer. Place the pan into the refrigerator to set while you chop up
1/4 cup chocolate chips

chocolate brownie tart

Remove tart from fridge, sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the top of the tart, and return the tart to the fridge.

chocolate brownie tart

Allow it to chill for at least an hour. When ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the edges of the spring-form pan before releasing the cuff.

Verdict: I think this is great. The coconut flavor wasn't too strong for my tastes; it also might be interesting to experiment with almond milk or hazelnut milk in place of coconut milk. The custardy layer might have benefited from another 1/4 cup of melted chocolate, but when eaten with the brownie layer, it's just fine.

The brownie layer was a bit on the crumbly side, which might have been due to the inclusion of soy flour. (In the past I've noticed that soy flour seems to make baked goods a little crumbly.) Might be wise to use all whole-wheat pastry flour rather than a combination of wheat and soy flours.

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