Have you heard of labelling theory? It was developed by sociologist Howard S. Becker, has roots in symbolic interactionism and, in a nutshell, describes how people who are labelled in a certain way [often] become what they were labelled. It is most often used in conjunction with the study of deviance (as both a social issue and social construct), but can be applied to other situations and interactions as well.
So, Camille? This post is down to you and, more specifically, a certain little comment you made a few days ago. You implied I have an irresistable urge to de-animal-product my baked goods, and I’ll be darned if you didn’t make me believe the same thing too.
See, I came across this recipe for 4-ingredient Nutella brownies, and yet all I could hear in my mind was Camille’s patisserie-goddess voice teasing me with her veganising (oh, dear me, I just typed that word with some of the vowels in the wrong order, and the entire post started to have a radically different meaning) reference. Knowing Camille’s love of Real Cream and Butter as I do, this taunt was like a red flag, and so I darted out to the shops to buy a vegan Nutella replacement and more ground flax seeds.
Camille? You know I love you… but bring it on.
I think my veganising worked. At least, I liked what I created, but those who have a super-sweet tooth (as opposed to a savoury-spicy-crazy-flavours sweet tooth like me) might like to add some extra sweetener to the recipe below. My guess is Nutella is higher in sugar than the Sweet William Chocolate Spread I used, although on its own I find the Sweet William spread quite rich and sweet. (Have I been making mega-sandwiches filled with chocolate spread and peanut butter chips? I refuse to say.)
The original recipe used chopped hazelnuts as the fourth ingredient, but I used chilli powder because I’m into having a bit of heat in my life. The mixture was also very dry (presumably because I replaced the egg with flaxmeal), and so I rolled it into brownie-bite-balls rather than dolloping it in mini muffin cases.
Yet even with all my changes, the treats came out chocolate-y, a little bit spicy, and definitely moist and brownie-like inside. Hurrah indeed.
The brownie bites also tasted even more scrumptious when joined together with a healthy dose of crunchy peanut butter, but unfortunately I have no photos of that. Some moments are just too deliciously fleeting to photograph.
4-Ingredient Vegan Not-Nutella Brownie Bites
- 1/2 cup (125g) Sweet William Chocolate Spread
- 1 tb flaxmeal mixed with 3 tb water
- 75ml plain flour
- 1/8 tsp chilli powder
- Preheat oven to 170°C (350°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Mix together the chocolate spread with the flaxmeal and water mixture, then stir in the flour and chilli powder. I found the mixture a bit too dry at this point, so I added a tiny bit more water to bring it all together.
- Roll into 12 balls (using perhaps 2 rounded tsp apiece?) and place on baking tray. Bake for 9-10 minutes, then try not to eat all at once.
- Don’t try to not eat them with peanut butter, though. To not do so would be bad. (Woot! Double negatives ahoy! Dear my students: avoid using double negatives in your upcoming essays. This is me showing you how not to write.)
Question Time: Has anyone else tried this Sweet William chocolate spread? If so, what do you think of it?