Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pear Chocolate Brownie Tarts

I’ve been trying to find a really good eggless brownie recipe for some time now.  I’ve looked through countless cook books, read pages and pages of google searches and tested many recipes over the years, only to be disappointed with the final result.  They were either too gooey, too cakey or too dry.   Eggs seem to be a very important component to really good brownies, but due to my allergy, they’re just not an option.  Tofu doesn’t work for me either.  I love tofu, but I just don’t like that soy under tone in a dessert.  Plus, I think tofu gives them a rubbery texture.
These brownie tarts were delicious!  I think I’ve finally perfected the recipe, it’s a good blend of chewy cake with a nice top.  I wanted to test this version, a combination of several recipes I’ve tried in the past, so I cut the recipe in half and used 4” tart pans.  I had some pears that needed to be used and I do love the combination of chocolate and pears, so I dressed the brownies up a little.  
I started by spaying the tart pans with oil.  (getting a refillable sprayer is the way to go, you save money and can use a better quality oil)  

 I whisked the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  

Then, I melted the chocolate into the wet ingredients in the microwave.  You could do this on the stove top but just heat it as little as possible, just enough to melt the Earth Balance (butter substitute) and the chocolate.  

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until everything is blended.  Then, divide evenly into 4 tart pans.
I used chocolate chips in these tarts but next time I’m going to use some bittersweet dark chocolate instead.  I think it will add more depth to the chocolate flavor.  I’m writing the recipe with the bittersweet chocolate, I think you should use it too.  But, if you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute with the dark chocolate chips. 

Peel the pears and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon.  Cut the stem part out with a knife and slice the pears. 

 Do this last, when everything else is done, so the pears don’t have a chance to turn brown.

This recipe will make four tarts, I put the extra batter in a cup cake pan because I only have two of these tart pans.  If you want to try this as regular brownies, double the recipe and use a 9x13 pan.
Pear Chocolate Brownie Tarts
Four servings - use organic ingredients whenever possible
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cups plain soy creamer
3 tablespoons Earth Balance butter substitute
2 heaping tablespoon chopped bittersweet chocolate 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Bartlett pears

Preheat oven to 350˚
Spray four 4” tart pans with oil.
Whisk together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl
Put the creamer, Earth Balance, and chocolate in a microwavable bowl or measuring cup
Heat for 30 seconds, then stir.  Heat for another 30 seconds and stir until the butter and chocolate have melted.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and stir until everything is blended.
Divide evenly into four tart pans.
Peel the pears and remove the seeds and stem.  Slice the pears horizontally and arrange half of a pear on each tart.
Bake the tarts, on a cookie sheet, for 25-30 minutes, do the toothpick test.
Let them cool for at least 20 minutes before removing them from the pans.

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