I have spent most of this week hunting down ingredients and playing around in the kitchen. I’ve enjoyed being back in my childhood kitchen, although I always seem to forget that the oven is slower and the knives duller every time I come home. My kitchen equipment and pantry essentials change wherever I go, and adapting to a different kitchen is always a fun adventure. It takes me twice as long to look for a certain spice or ingredient, but I don’t mind. Life in Hong Kong always seems so fast, and I want to cherish every slow, quiet moment I have alone and away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
This week I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about January’s Recipe Redux theme:
Start Smoking In The New Year – The New Year is heating up with smoke and spiciness. From boldly flavored smoked salts to actual smoking techniques, subtly smoked food is on-trend. The same can be said for spice as we savor heat from harissa, sriracha and smoked paprika. Show us the healthy dish you’re heating up with the smoke and/or spiciness.
I really wanted to go down the savoury route, but the idea of smoked sea salt brownies just sounded too good to pass up. I will admit that it was lazy on my part, because I could have made something exciting like harissa spiced tomato jam or smoked paprika hummus. Instead, I settled on sprinkling smoked sea salt on brownies. Sorry darlings, but most of my brainpower this week went towards the masala chai hot chocolate that I have yet to perfect…
These brownies are very similar to the almond butter and sea salt brownies I shared from Amy Chaplin’s book a few months ago. I slightly adapted her recipe, using tahini instead of almond butter, and choosing to melt the chocolate beforehand in coconut oil for extra richness. Tahini is rich in iron (1.3 mg per tablespoon, so there’s probably 8g of iron in this recipe), vitamins B and E, as well as magnesium and calcium. It is also delicious! I love cooking with tahini for its creamy texture and nutty taste, and use it in my salad dressings often. I used 1/4 cup + 4 tablespoons of tahini, but you can add another 4 tablespoons and make it a 1/2 cup of tahini.
Yields 24 mini brownies.
- 3/4 cup whole spelt flour
- 3/4 cup white spelt flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup pitted dates + 2-4 tablespoons of the soaking water
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup + 4 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Maldon smoked sea salt flakes, to garnish
1. Soak the dates in hot water for 20 minutes. Once they’ve softened, drain the dates. Keep the soaking water and set it aside for later.
2. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF. Grease your baking trays or line them with baking paper.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to combine.
4. Melt the coconut oil on the stovetop. Once the coconut oil has heated up, add the chocolate and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Remove from the heat.
5. In a blender, whizz the tahini, soaked dates, maple syrup, coconut sugar, almond milk, sea salt, vanilla, 2 tablespoons of the date soaking water, and the chocolate-coconut oil mixture until smooth.
5. Turn the mixer on, and slowly pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. If the mixture seems dry, add another tablespoon or two of the date soaking water to the batter.
6. Pour the batter into your moulds or baking trays, and top with the smoked sea salt flakes.
7. Bake for 30 minutes. A cake tester should come out clean, and the sides should pull away from the pan.
8. Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool. Enjoy with more tahini, vanilla coconut cream, or as they are.
What’s the best brownie you’ve ever had? Or your favourite chocolate dessert? Let me know in the comments below!
Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,
more tahini recipes:
triple ginger + tahini cookies from happy hearted kitchen
beet and tahini soup with pine nut zaa’tar from dishing up the dirt
charred broccoli + lentil salad with smoky tahini dressing from food52