BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Chocolate Conquers All

39 Comments

Time has a way of wearing down the rough edges, if not healing all wounds. No longer quite as embittered about all the artifice and commercial underpinnings of Valentine’s Day, even without a significant other for another year, it doesn’t rile me up in quite the same way any more. Gone is the angst-filled teenager adorning black t-shirts with glittery beads spelling out the words “LOVE BITES” or handing out anti-love letters to friends and frenemies alike. Truthfully, it’s not all so terrible as it once appeared. Having an annual reminder to appreciate the people in your life, romantically or not, certainly doesn’t hurt. Above all else though, it’s an excellent excuse to splurge on dessert once more, pulling out all the stops under the guise of treating someone else. It’s okay, we all know the baker wants to indulge their own tastes, too.

Chocolate is the taste du jour, so popular that no mere box of truffles could contain it. Brownies, thick, fudgy squares far more versatile than the classic little black dress, are easy to glam up for the occasion. Unintentionally adding a supposed aphrodisiac to the mix, a few dried black figs simply struck me as a perfect pairing to all cacao decadence, light and fruity with a bit of toothsome pull. Likewise, the inclusion of fresh mint seemed like the ideal way to brighten the whole treat, lest the density of these brownies overwhelm the palate.

No, it’s not a figment of your imagination, but they are indeed fig-mint brownies. Stranger things could happen- Just take my gradual acceptance of V-Day as proof.

Fig-Mint Brownies

1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Lightly Packed Fresh Mint Leaves, Finely Minced
1/2 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 1/4 Cups Dried Black Mission Figs, Chopped
1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
10 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped
2/3 Cup Canola Oil
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
1 Cup Vegan Sour Cream or Greek-Style Yogurt
1 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa. Toss in the minced fresh mint, instant coffee, baking powder, and granulated sugar, mixing together thoroughly. Add in the chopped figs and chocolate chips, and toss to coat in the dry mixture. This will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of your brownies during baking.

Place the chopped chocolate and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat for about 60 seconds. Stir vigorously, and continue to heat at intervals of 30 seconds, stirring well each time, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Mix in the brown sugar, sour cream or yogurt, and vanilla and peppermint extracts.

Let the chocolate cool for a few minutes so that it doesn’t melt your chips, and then pour that wet mixture into the dry. Stir just enough to bring the batter together into a thick, fudgy mass, and transfer it into your prepared pan. Press it out into one even layer. Scatter the quartered sandwich cookies over the top, and press them gently.

Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until the top no longer looks glossy and is somewhat crackled, and the edges are firm. Do not be alarmed if it still seems extremely wet. Let cool fully and completely. Blot any excess oils off with paper towel if necessary before slicing. Share with many someones that you love!

Makes 16 – 24 Brownies

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

39 thoughts on “Chocolate Conquers All

  1. I am intrigued by this flavor combination! It also doesn’t hurt that it’s combined with a brownie, which is my preferred way to consume chocolate lately. These bars look so perfectly fudgey!

  2. I like the use of figs in this recipe! I am sitting with a bag of Dutch Processed Cocoa from Penzey’s and I haven’t used it because I wasn’t sure if it was vegan. Now I know. I’m going to make these for Valentine’s Day!

  3. I usually have zero luck with brownies but maybe the longer baking time is the real trick. I will try this soon. Thanks!

  4. I’ve been battling with vegan brownies, they always turn to goo on me! This looks like quite the interesting flavor combination, I am intrigued for sure. Happy Valentine’s Day to you Hannah, I agree, it’s about spending time with loved ones, whether romantically or not.

  5. Those do look incredibly decadent! I’ve never paired mint w/ figs before, but I’m utterly intrigued.

  6. Honestly Hannah, it’s a holiday designed to make profits for retailers in that flagging area between Christmas and Easter. We have all been hoodwinked and jump in with both feet to another round of consumerism that we just don’t need. We don’t celebrate it and Steve doesn’t buy me flowers because I would be instantly suspicious LOL! ;). Fig and mint is a winning combination with me! YUM! Steve loves chocolate and is gradually getting used to the strange combinations that I make with it (to lure him to eat new things ;) ). I made a huge sourdough chocolate cake the other day that he has devoured so I guess the message is getting through. He is going to LOVE these! (I just won’t tell him that they have fig in ;) ).

    • Oh, sourdough chocolate cake is the best! I think that the acidic bite really heightens the chocolate flavor, just like salt can, too. It’s the contrasts that bring out the fullest, most well-rounded flavor profile. That’s why sour cream cakes work so well, too!

      Hope you had a happy day anyway, whether you observed it as Valentine’s Day or not. ;)

      • I did Hannah, and a little invisible cupid put a tiny little floating heart shape in my 5am cuppa… a very poignant reminder that “I” might not believe in Valentine’s Day, but it believes in me! ;)

      • Aww, that’s so cute! This restores my faith in men in general, at least a little bit. ;)

      • Lol it wasn’t Steve! He was fast asleep in bed :). I poured out my cup of tea and headed off groggily to get my soymilk out of the fridge and when I got back there was a teeny tiny little heart shaped floaty on top of my black tea! I must admit I was a bit in awe of the powers that be delivering that tiny little heart shaped mote to my cup on Valentine’s Day…guess nature loves me :). I have proof…I took a photo! I will post it in my next post (after tonights that is all about internet security) :)

      • Ah, I see- A true Valentine’s Day miracle! Now I’m even more curious… Looking forward to that next post, as always!

  7. I would never have thought to combine figs and mint! I mean, chocolate and mint, definitely. :) I can just imagine the rich chew the figs must bring to the table here.

  8. Yum I think figs and brownies sound divine together!!

  9. Fig and mint?! Girl, I am intrigued in a serious way! Especially since I love both flavors. And in brownie form? Yum.

  10. Love chocolate (dark) and figs, so sounds wonderful. We don’t “do” Valentine’s Day either but this year my gift (and one I decided on) is to see the new Bruce Willis Die Hard movie. :-) Really. I love them—the perfect blend of action, patriotism, throw-away lines and humor.

  11. I think you know I am not a chocoholic…but you may turn me into one with all these choco-licious recipes.

  12. Love is being given the burnt offcuts because your twin knows you love their biscotti-esque smokiness and crunch. xo

  13. I love anything fig. And anything chocolate so I’m pretty sure these brownies would be my new favorite dessert. I love dates in baked goods and bet figs offer the same chewy bite.

  14. love if offering chocolate chips as someone doesnt have his way with baking in the kitchen and later making mean indian meal:)
    i love figs in chocolate.. with mint this probably tastes amazing!

  15. That looks super moist! I happen to love eating dried figs.. never tried it in a brownie before.

  16. I absolutely love figs & have been on the hunt for treats with figs in them. This is absolutely perfect. Can’t wait to try the recipe!

  17. Interesting combination. I guess this is a dessert that’s good and healthy? :D

  18. Those brownies look lovely.We have a chocolate festival here this week;planning to go to see it tomorrow!

  19. Fig and mint – another one of your inspired flavor combos! :-)

  20. Interesting flavour combination! Unfortunately I hardly see figs here in Singapore (or maybe I just wasn’t searching hard enough), in fact, I don’t even know how they taste like! Your brownies look really fudgy and delicious and your photos are beautiful!

    • Such a shame about the lack of figs! I hadn’t imagined that might be a problem to consider. Alternatively, you could try soaking an equal amount of raisins in 2 – 3 tablespoons of rum, and make a rum raisin version of the brownies. Or, of course, just use straight raisins without the booze. ;)

  21. Yum looks so good! I love figs:) thanks for sharing!

  22. My only experience with figs is of the Newton variety…and I’m not even sure those use real figs. This is a wonderful, intriguing combination!

  23. I used to be a total Valentine’s Day-hater, too… but now I’ve grown to appreciate it, if only so I can eat more chocolate! ;)
    These look delish! I actually just bought some figs and was curious on how I could use them, so good timing!

  24. Interesting pairing for fig, mint and chocolate! I have to give that a go to find out myself. the brownie looks like it has a nice crust and a chewy, fudgey center..the way i like it!

  25. liking your recipes and photos!

  26. Whoa, what an intense and amazing-sounding flavor combination! I happen to have more dried mission figs than I can possibly eat anytime soon in my cabinets right now… I will bookmark + seriously think about making these; thanks! :)

  27. Just made these, very rich. I only put a cup of figs, because any more seemed excessive. The fig flavor is overpowering. Next time I’ll only do a 1/2 cup. The mint was a nice touch.

  28. Hey Hannah!

    I made these tasty fig brownies using a combo of dried & fresh figs from my own tree! They were a huge hit in my house,…so thanks again! :) MMMMMMMM,;… x

  29. Pingback: » VeganMoFo: Empire Records Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk!

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