Yesterday saw my first attempt at sweet potato brownies. The recipe, which called for sweet potatoes, dates, almond powder, flour, maple syrup, cocoa and salt — No butter! No sugar! A healthy snack that would still taste great! — had aroused my curiosity some time ago.
I am sorry to say, this foray into vegan baking was not well received by my family. Once the brownies had cooled off (the recipe explained that they needed time to “stick together”, which did sound a little ominous), an unsuspecting Brother was the first guinea pig. Mom and I both hoped that he would love them, and then discover what they contained. We watched with scientific interest as Brother, in true Paul Hollywood style, picked up the brownie and inspected it.
“Hmm, not as crispy as I should like,” he commented.
He munched, his face pensive. “Very moist,” he said. “It’s different from other brownies”. While still under the belief that the brownie contained “actual” ingredients, his critique, though not enraptured, was generous.
Mom and I observed his every bite. “What can you taste?” we asked.
At this, he grew suspicious (a year ago, Mom had served up a white bean chocolate pie, so the possibility of traitorous ingredients masquerading behind a familiar exterior was not altogether foreign). “Can you taste chocolate?” we pressed.
This question, coupled with my huge grin, rather gave the game away.
“What’s in them?!” Brother asked, his voice between mirth and panic. When he found out, he set his plate down. Then he crossed to the sink, poured himself a glass of water and downed it in a few gulps — but that might just have been a coincidence.
Alas, Brother’s reaction was mirrored by that of my parents. And, well, even I had to admit that the brownies just weren’t that good. Their mushy consistency was even slightly repulsive. Too little cocoa? Too many dates? Further experimenting, however, may never occur. A: Dates are expensive! B: This recipe creates five times more dishes than your usual one-bowl-recipe. C: The available guinea pigs have been permanently dissuaded.
Which brings us to the sad fact that the current batch aren’t disappearing overnight like brownies in our house usually do. Who ever heard of brownie leftovers?
What to do? Sprinkle them with cocoa? Spread with peanut butter? Lather with icing? Thankfully, a night in the freezer did them a world of good, and they’ve now solidified to a fudge-like texture which is quite palatable. So there they shall remain, in their forlorn freezer compartment, having sweet new life breathed into them by the sub-zero temperatures.