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Eggplant Chocolate Brownies - with Recipe!

I don't often follow recipes. And when I do I often fudge the ingredients depending on what's in the cupboard, or what I like/dislike.

I saw a recipe for Chocolate Eggplant Brownies on SBS and thought, "Hey, I have an eggplant in the fridge!", but I didn't have coconut oil or almond meal or pitted dates, which were also required. So I forgot about it.

Then I went to Aldi that afternoon and lo and behold I spotted some almond meal and organic coconut oil, which reminded me about the eggplant brownie recipe. It must have been a sign! I didn't see pitted dates, but honestly I didn't look for them. Gross - I'd just leave those out anyway.

So, back home I looked the recipe up again and got to work. I decided since I was leaving out 60g of pitted dates, I should add an extra 60g of dark chocolate. You know, to make sure there's the right amount of stuff in the recipe even if it isn't the right stuff.
Eggplant Chocolate Brownies on Japanese fabric napkin
This photo is of refrigerated brownies. The insides were gooey when they were warm. Photographed on a cloth napkin, design K326 from the White/Cream/Brown Floral Japanese fabric range. Isn't it pretty?

The family were very suspicious that I had accidentally baked some kind of woo vegan gluten free pseudo brownie, but when I told them the brownies had no dates and extra chocolate they were willing to give them a go. Certainly didn't last long, so I am calling this a winner. Soft and moist when they're warm from the oven, and a bit firmer but still chocolatey and delicious after they've been in the fridge. And as an added bonus they ARE gluten free, so all my celiac friends can happily indulge too!

Here's the recipe with my alterations, because I don't know if it would be as good if you actually followed the original recipe. Feel free to experiment yourselves and let me know if you come up with another tasty version. I'm thinking some nuts might not go astray?

Eggplant Chocolate Brownies

Makes: One pan. About 15 pieces.

Preparation Time: 20 mins prep plus 20 mins in the oven.

Eating Time: 2 minutes if you have teenagers.

Skill Level: Get the teenagers to make their own. Easy!

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant peeled and diced
150g dark chocolate
60g coconut oil
60g chopped pitted dates (or 60g extra chocolate)
1/2 tsp salt (I think I forgot this?)
3 eggs, beaten
1tsp baking powder
80g almond meal

Method:
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Steam the eggplant for 15 minutes or until it's soft. Put it in a mixing bowl and stir in the chocolate and coconut oil. The warm eggplant will melt everything. Add the salt (and dates if you didn't use extra chocolate). Using a hand blender, blend it all together until it's smooth. Add the eggs and baking powder and give it another blend, then stir in the almond meal. Spread the mixture into a lined baking tray (I used a lamington tin) and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. It's cooked when you poke it with a knife and it comes out clean (I used a chopstick because I seriously can't follow a recipe). Let it cool a little in the pan, then lift it out and cut into pieces. Make sure you test a piece quickly before the kids see it. Enjoy!

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