The church biscuit: 62. Aubergine and blueberry brownie

Aubergine and blueberry brownie

Aubergine and blueberry brownie

Today we had the final, final farewell meal for family members off to a job working for the British Council in Beijing. Lots of fresh  salads with a mushroom pithivier and chicken breasts stuffed with tarragon and goat’s cheese – meant we could indulge in something special for dessert (with which we don’t normally bother). I thought I’d  try out another of the crazy Harry Eastwood’s vegetable cakes* with a view to assessing its possibility as a church biscuit. Aubergines are a great favourite of mine and given the fun to be had  from having people guess at the unlikely ingredient, I settled on an aubergine brownie, based on Harry Eastwood’s recipe for ‘Heartache Chocolate Cake’. An internet trawl revealed that quite a few people have successfully adapted this cake recipe to make brownies. To be a bit different, I added a small carton of blueberries which were in danger of being forgotten about at the back of the fridge.

2 small whole aubergines (c. 400 g together)

300 g best  dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

50 g cocoa powder

60 g ground almonds

3 medium eggs

200 g clear honey

2 teasp baking powder

1/4 teasp salt

1 tbsp Amaretto liquer

a small punnet of blueberries

 Line a 20 cm/8 inch square tine with baking parchment.

Aubergine and blueberry brownie

Aubergine and blueberry brownie

Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/ Gas Mark 4  (no temperature given for a fan oven, I set mine at 160º C which may have been too low.)

Puncture aubergines quite a bit using a skewer and then place them in a bowl covered with cling film. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and looking limp. Set aside until the aubergines are cool enough to handle (but still warm enough to help melt the chocolate) and then skin them and either purée in a blender or mash well with a fork. Now add the broken pieces of chocolate, stir well and leave until the chocolate has melted.

In a large bowl, whisk up all the other ingredients for a minute or so and fold in the melted chocolate and aubergine mixture. Gently swirl in the blueberries.The whole mixture can then be poured into the prepared tin and put in the lower part of the oven for 30 minutes (until a skewer pierces the cake and comes out clean — well, cleanish).

Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes  before turning it out on to a wire rack and removing the parchment. Sieve a little cocoa powder over if desired.

All went well for me until I tried to remove the brownie  from the tin and on to the wire rack. It remained somewhat sloppy even after sitting in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. At this point I decided we would have it in bowls with fromage frais – more pudding than cake. And very delicious it was too. (I much preferred the aubergines to my previous vegetable brownie attempt using beetroot.) It was so very rich all was not eaten yesterday and when I tried it today – cold from the fridge – it kept its shape better and was EVEN MORE DELICIOUS. And so it should for this was a veery expensive recipe with 300 g of very good dark chocolate. For several reasons – all of which will be obvious, I shall not be making this for church, but I may well make it again when the family are here over Christmas as it is just that bit different and very special. The blueberries didn’t hold their shape and unless you knew they were there made just a slight contribution to taste – but just occasionally there was a little explosion of blueberryness which was delightful. I would probably not add them again – now cherries might be a different matter.

*Harry Eastwood: Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache (published by Bantam Press 2009).

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  1. Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t imagine anyone would guess there was aubergine in them!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted September 4, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      You’re right and I don’t think they’d guess there’s no butter either (well, let’s be realistic – there is 300g of dark chocolate, so in no way are the brownies fat free)!

  2. Juliette
    Posted September 3, 2015 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    They look and sound lovely!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted September 4, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Juliette but I have a suspicion that with that much chocolate it is possible almost anything would be lovely!

  3. Posted September 8, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    A very interesting recipe Mary, and delicious as a pudding if not as a brownie! I found the Harry Eastwood recipe book a bit hard to get on with, a bit too coy and whimsical for me I’m afraid, so it’s good to hear that this recipe tasted so good. X

    • Mary Addison
      Posted September 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      I remember you saying that when I blogged about her recipes before. I agree with you – her prose is so overblown and breathlessly jolly hockey sticks it does get in the way of what are really rather good recipes … so good that I keep coming back to them.

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