Chili pomegranate brownies

60 minutes - 24 servings 1ov2s1of

Making brownies has been on my mind for some time, i finally settled for spicy brownies, with sweet and spicy pomegranate syrup!

It took me a LONG time to decide on a mix of ingredients/flavours; I've had recipe notes lying around on my desktop for ages now, with ingredients added, or scratched off.

I would still be in brownie rut, if it hadn't been for Devine ; his birthday was coming up, when I asked him what he wanted as a dessert he said, 'BROWNIES!'

The recipe was adapted from Joanne Gallagher's fantastic blog, Inspired taste. I'm not good enough to freestyle brownies, using her recipe as a base - for quantities especially - helped me out a lot. At least, i can get a good idea of how many wet, fat and sweet elements I need.

Spent time thinking about what i wanted it to look like, and how i wanted to present it. I didn't a chocolate topping - i've never been a fan of double-chocolate anything. I, at least, knew i wanted a fruit topping.

I wanted to make the brownies in a round cake pan, and decorate it with powdered sugar patterns, using stencils. Then, I stumbled upon a recipe online for a fish-based dish (they used a pomegranate syrup as garnish.) I'd never made syrup before, but i knew that's what i wanted as a coulis over my brownies.

I scrapped the round cake pan idea, as well as the powdered sugar. Devine's birthday brownies were going to be topped with fresh pomegranate seeds, and a pomegranate syrup coulis!

Again, something was missing...

I had some really good, spicy chocolate fleur de sel cookies at my old studio. The idea of putting chili peppers in cookies (or cake) had never ocurred to me before. I thought it was brilliant - and the chocolate and chili mix is just insane (in a good way.) Lindt makes dark chocolate with chili peppers, I guess it was inspired by those 2 things.

I put a LOT of chili pepper flakes in these, i have a higher tolerance to it but if you don't feel free to use less. The syrup has a fair amount in it too, if you're worried about the level of spicy, you can actually not put it in the brownie batter. But, be sure to infuse it in the pomegranate syrup, won't be the same without it.

These were a big success, Devine loved them! I cut them into 24 small squares, but feel free to make larger blocks. Smaller portions means you can have some longer, i like that idea.

In this recipe I substituted half of the fat for pureed pumpkin. In brownies you can only substitute half the amount, before it effects the texture. Hope you like it!

Ingredients

Brownie


Pumpkin1/3 cupFlax seeds3 tbspWater9 tbspVegan butter5 tbsp, earth balanceWhole cane sugar3/4 cupCocoa powder3/4 cupSea salt1/4 tspAll purpose flour1/2 cupChili pepper flakes2 tbspCayenne pepper1 tspPumpkin1/3 cupFlax seeds3 tbspWater9 tbspVegan butter5 tbsp, earth balanceWhole cane sugar3/4 cupCocoa powder3/4 cupSea salt1/4 tspAll purpose flour1/2 cupChili pepper flakes2 tbspCayenne pepper1 tsp

Syrup


Pomegranate juice2 cupsSugar3/4 cupChili pepper flakes1 tspCayenne pepper1 tspPomegranate juice2 cupsSugar3/4 cupChili pepper flakes1 tspCayenne pepper1 tsp

Topping


Pomegranate seeds1 cupPomegranate seeds1 cup

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325F.Cut 1/3 cup's worth of pumpkin, steam until softened and process into a puree with an immersion blender.Put 3 tbsp of ground flax seeds in a bowl with 9 tbsp water, let thicken for 5 minutes. Set aside.Put 5 tbsp of vegan butter, 5 tbsp of pumpkin puree, 3/4 cup whole cane sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa powder and a 1/4 tsp sea salt in a pan over medium to low heat. Stir until the butter is melted, and all is well mixed.Stir in the flax 'eggs', as well as the 2 tbsp of red pepper flakes and 1 tsp of cayenne powder. Add 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, mixing vigorously. Mixture should be very thick, but if it doesn't pour easily, mix in water 1 tbsp at a time until it's at the right consistency.Pour into a 8X8 baking dish lined with parchment papper, flatten with the back of a spoon to even it out. Bake for 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. Cut in 24 small squares.

Syrup

Put 2 cups of unsweetened pomegranate juice into a pot with 1 tsp red pepper flakes and 1 tsp cayenne. Bring to a boil, lower to medium-high heat and leave for up to 1h or until liquid has been reduced to 1 cup.Let cool, the syrup will thicken when cooled. Top brownies with fresh pomegranate seeds, and drizzle with the chili-infused syrup!

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