12 oct. 2016

Brownie-Crusted Pumpkin Blondies

The title of this post is quite convicing, isn't it? Actually anything that starts with the word 'brownie' quickly catches my attention: brownie ice cream, brownie cheesecake, brownie cookies...and simply brownies!
Halloween is right around the corner guys and this year I didn't want to wait any longer to publish my special recipe, so you have enough time to try this recipe two times. Not because you will need a second batch to make sure wether you like them or not, but because these are so damn delicious, rich, dense, luscious and mega chocolaty that they'll be devoured in one sitting.
I wanted to make something autumnish but with a good dose of chocolate cause that's how I roll (really, you know how big of a chocoholic I am), so pumpkin was a must but you can always take it to the next level. That's when my favorite recipes collide in one, I felt like a witch combining ingredients to make my perfect secret potion. Though this doesn't contain bat wings, spider legs or graveyard dust; it's all about a good combination of spices, pumpkin and dark chocolate.
I hope you enjoy making (and eating) these as much as I did!



Brownie-Crusted Pumpkin Blondies
(Yield: 12 blondies)

Ingredients
- For the brownie base:
85 g (3 ounces) dark chocolate, 70-72% cacao.
2 tablespoons semisolid coconut oil.
1/4 cup organic light brown sugar.
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour.
3 tablespoons pure cocoa powder.
1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
Pinch of salt.

- For the blondies:
3/4 cup baked, mashed butternut squash.
1/3 cup mild-tasting extra virgin olive oil.
2/3 cup organic light brown sugar.
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk.
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour.
1/4 teaspoon baking powder.
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.
1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts.

- Chocolate Ganache:
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk.
115 g (4 ounces approx.) dark chocolate.
2 tablespoons coconut syrup (or maple syrup).

Directions
- Dark Chocolate Ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl. In a small saucepan heat the almond milk and once it begins to boil remove from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Add in the coconut syrup and mix with a spatula until the chocolate is melted and the ganache looks glossy and smooth.
Set aside at room temperature and allow the ganache to cool and thicken.
- Brownie base:
Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Lightly grease a square brownie pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and stir in the coconut oil (it's important to measure the coconut oil while it's still solid or semi-solid). 
Add in the sugar, almond milk and vanilla extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a rubber spatula until smooth and spread into the prepared pan, make sure the top is even. Set aside.
- Pumpkin blondies:
In a large bowl, mix together the mashed pumpkin, oil, sugar, almond milk, and vanilla until smooth.
Add in the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix just until combined and stir in the chopped pecans. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
Pour the mixture on top of the brownie layer and smooth the top with a spatula (or by gently tapping with the palm of your hands). Bake for 30 minutes. 
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the blondies cool almost completely in the pan. Then slice into 12 squares. To get perfectly cut portions it is very important that you let the blondies (also applicable to brownies) cool completely and, even better, let them rest overnight.
- Topping the blondies:
Use a small offset spatula to glaze the blondies with the chocolate ganache, making sure they are completely cold.


Notes:
- Store the leftover ganache inside an airtight container in the fridge. You can also let the ganache set overnight, refrigerated, and use it with a piping bag and your favorite tip.
- All the ingredients I used were organic, though I specially recommend you to use organic light brown sugar. The conventional brown sugar usually has too much added molasses.
- Some whole grain flours, specially organic brands, have a lot of bran so I always sift them to make them a bit more fine. Very important: sift the flour in a separate flour, then start measuring. 
If you buy whole wheat pastry (pastry!) flour you won't have problems, these are still wholesome but with a lower protein content and less earthy flavour.







4 comentarios:

  1. This is one of the greatest uses of pumpkin I've seen, and I've seen a lot this month. Haha. I love the brownie base idea! I just roasted a pumpkin too, so I'll set some aside for these! :)

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    Respuestas
    1. Haha, I know! As soon as summer ends an endless amount of pumpkin-based recipes take over the blogsphere! My last pumpkin recipe was from january (Pumpkin Banana Pecan Loaf) so I thought to be a bit predictable this year for Halloween, lol.

      Have a great weekend darling!

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    2. I made these last night and they were amazing! I sat on the couch with my boyfriend and we ate them all. Haha. I regret freezing the rest of my pumpkin puree now.

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  2. Well hello there- You certainly caught my attention, too! Every year I vow not to fall into the pumpkin trap, and yet it's utterly irresistible. These are definitely going on the "must make" list because I simply can't not. Between the chocolate and the seasonal ingredients, they've got everything I'm craving!

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