Text and pictures: Emilia Haatainen
Fall time fills the fruit and vegetable section of your grocery stores with a variety of colourful deliciousness, and as a student, I know I appreciate the effect seasonality has on the price of food. Cabbages, squash, root vegetables, nectarines and plums are just a few of the vegetables and fruits you will find. I recommend trying to incorporate some of them into the daily meals you already feel comfortable cooking in addition to finding new dishes to enjoy. Same goes with trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your daily routines – try out new things and try out old things with a new twist.
Meatless October, much like any good meal, would not be complete without something sweet. Baking without eggs or dairy can sound a bit difficult, but with imagination and a trustworthy recipe, you will not even realize the treat is any different from traditional. Brookies are a fall appropriate, comforting dessert. They are a genius combination of a melt-in-your-mouth brownie and a crunchy, chewy chocolate chip cookie, definitely to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee. If you feel like this monster of a dessert is too much, I believe you can use the recipe to make just cookies or the brownies, though I have not tried this myself. To find which margarines and chocolates from a regular grocery stores are vegan, you can refer to vegaanituotteet.net.
Sweet Potato Brookies
– 300 grams of sweet potato
– 125 grams of dark chocolate*
– 2 dl of flour
– ½ dl of dark cocoa powder
– 1 ½ dl of sugar
– 1 tsp of vanilla sugar
– A pinch of salt
– 1 dl of oat milk**
– ½ dl of rapeseed, sunflower of coconut oil
– ½ dl of brown sugar
– 1 dl of sugar
– 75 grams of vegan margarine
– 2 ½ tbsp of aquafaba***
– 1 dl of oats
– 2 ¾ – 3 dl of flour
– ½ tsp of baking powder
– 1 tsp of baking soda
– 1 tsp of vanilla sugar
– A pinch of salt
– 100 grams of dark chocolate*
*Not all dark chocolate is vegan, some contain milk, milk fat, lactose etc. Pirkka dark baking chocolate and dark chocolate chips, Panda dark chocolate and Brunberg dark chocolate are vegan for example.
**Usually when a recipe calls for a plant milk of sorts, you can use whatever kind you’d like, oat, soy, almond etc. Sometimes a specific one, usually soy, is required because of the way it reacts with other ingredients.
***Aquafaba is the liquid you find in a can of chickpeas or beans when you drain the beans. You can reserve this liquid to use as an egg replacer with multiple uses in baking. You can also freeze it in an ice cube mould for later use.
1. Start by preheating your oven to 200 oC and washing your sweet potato – don’t peel it. Cut it into long halves and place them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper cut side down. Poke 2 – 3 cm holes into your sweet potato halves with a sharp knife to quicken the cooking process. Cook for around 20 minutes or until soft. Once the sweet potato is done, take it out of the oven and peel while still quite hot, careful not to burn yourself. The skin should come off easily. Mash in a bowl with a fork.
2. Continue by preparing the chocolate, I recommend chopping all of it into small chips – a portion preserved for the cookie dough and a portion used for the brownie. Add the chocolate for the brownie into the bowl with warm mashed sweet potato and mix – the heat of the sweet potato will melt the chocolate. You need to come back after a while to mix again, though it does not matter if not all of the chocolate is completely melted.
3. Add sugar, oat milk and oil to the bowl and mix. Sift the rest of the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix to just combine the ingredients. Be careful not to overmix, a spoon works fine at this stage. Pour the batter into a baking dish lined with baking paper and put it into oven for 20 minutes at 200 oC.
4. Move onto the cookie dough. Start by mixing the margarine, brown sugar and regular sugar in a bowl with an electronic mixer (if you don’t have one, you can get a free workout by mixing it with a whisk which is what I opted for). When the mixture is creamy and fluffy, add the aquafaba and continue mixing until the colour of your mixture lightens.
5. Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add them to the margarine-sugar mixture in two or three batches, mixing in between with a spatula. In the end, add your chocolate chips and incorporate those into the dough, once again be careful not to overmix.
6. Take your brownie out of the oven and spread the cookie dough evenly on top. Put it back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until golden.
7. Let the brookie sit covered on the table overnight, it’s best on the following days. If you feel like treating yourself a little extra, enjoy with vanilla ice cream (I recommend Alpro).