Chocolate Chip and Pistachio Brownies
I adapted the recipe I usually use, for brownies made with oil, to make these brownies with coconut oil. Although coconut oil is solid at room temperature, I was trying to compare it's use against the oils I usually use in baking, so it seemed better to use an oil-based recipe rather than a butter-based one.
I decided to reduce the number of eggs in the recipe from 3 to 2, on the, perhaps spurious, basis that the more solid coconut oil would make the brownies firmer than when liquid oil was used, so a third egg was unnecessary.
150g plain (70%+) chocolate
100g coconut oil
2 large eggs
130g caster sugar
100g dark muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
105g plain flour
75g milk chocolate, chopped coarsely
30g chopped pistachios
Prepare an 8" square baking tin, and pre-heat the oven to 180C.
Melt the coconut oil and chocolate together, over a pan of simmering water.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together for about 5 minutes.
Fold in the chocolate mixture, followed by the flour and then the chopped chocolate and nuts.
Transfer to the baking tin and cook for 25 minutes until just firm but not too dry.
Cool in the tin before cutting into portions of the desired size.
I was really pleased with these brownies - they were as rich and fudgy as those made with butter and kept really well too. Baking with oil can seem OK when you know you have to do it for dietary needs, but you do lose some of the richness of both texture and flavour that you get from butter. Coconut oil gave back some of this to this particular recipe, hopefully it will work as well in other recipes too. However, coconut oil isn't tasteless, and it's flavour comes through more than the flavour of even a distinctive olive oil. This isn't a problem occasionally, but if every cake tastes of coconut, then I'm sure we'll soon be fed up with it and want a change.
One area where I do think coconut oil will be an advantage is on the few occasions I need to cook something dairy-free for a friend; she is a good cook herself and really loves her food and although she has adapted to a dairy-free diet well, she really misses rich cakes and desserts. With coconut oil I should be able to make some real treats for her, if it works as well as it has in this recipe.
If you haven't done so already, please read my review of other Cocofina products and enter the give-away at the end of the review.
Disclaimer: Although Cocofina provided the coconut oil free of charge, I was under no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.