A spoonful of inspiration.

Vegan, no sugar added brownies that will knock your socks off.  This is why I need almond butter so bad!

We have made Banff brownies twice in Nila Girl’s galley.  Once on our passage to Jamaica (please reference Day 3 blog post) and once while my brother, Corey, came to visit.  I am not much of a baker, never have been but I will admit that if you really want to make someone feel truly happy, special, have a big dish of warm homemade brownies waiting for them.  These are the sentiments I want to impart to both Ren and Corey, which is why I have made brownies for both of them.  Homemade brownies does not mean you’ve opened a box, added water and baked them in your oven.  Homemade means you have dirtied at least four different utensils during the measuring and mixing process.  And in the case of these brownies, you have used more than three ingredients.  Besides, Banff brownies do not come in a box at the store.  In fact the vegan, no sugar added recipe is the brainchild of the ever inspiring Banff Luther of Pavana.

These brownies mix up wet.  Even after baking they are a moist, sticky mound of black pleasure (why is it that the brownie description is already sounding like the preface of a porn novel?).  The brownies are so dense that your fingers get lost in them as they sink deep into the gooey food while you are just trying to hold one of them (again, maybe I should omit the words “Banff brownies” change them to “Chuck Longwood” and send this article to Hustler).

Banff always had a fresh supply of these brownies made up.  If he had a vice, this was certainly it.  He was not ashamed to turn us all into brownie seeking zombies searching for our next fix.  So here we are, in the Bahamas addicted to Banff brownies but there is a serious problem.  Bahamians cannot bake brownies.  They can do bread.  Their fresh, warm coconut bread is unrivaled.  They can also make a sort of tart, so I have heard, I never tried one myself though.  Why would I?  The tart does not have chocolate in it.  But they make brownies in the fashion of their English brethren, dry, bland and wholly unsatisfying.  Like a little square of dry chocolate cake, crumbly and bad.  Banff brownies are in the sharpest contrast to these abominations of chocolate.  Remember folks, we cannot all be good at everything.  Bahamians, stick to bread.  By the way, you owe me $1.75 for the crappy little confection you misnamed “brownie” that I bought in Governor’s Harbor.  Yes, I ate it anyway but not because I wanted to.  Only because I am compelled to finish everything on my plate.  This is in thanks to my half Italian heritage, I am sure.  I have got to learn when to say, “Basta!”

Banff Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 cup white wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup Hershey’s extra dark cocoa

1/4 cup regular cocoa (we used carib powder)

1 teaspoon sea salt

2.5 tablespoons vanilla (we are pirates now so we used rum which is a perfect vanilla substitute)

1/4 cup water (we used rum…just joking)

1 cup agave nectar

3/4 cup safflower oil (we used olive oil which we do not mind but it’s a lot stronger than safflower oil and affects the flavor slightly)

3/4 tub almond butter (we used peanut butter because we ran out of almond butter a long time ago and my brother brought us Nutella instead of the almond butter we requested…FAIL)

Mix all ingredients by hand until smooth and pour into any baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes until the middle is loose but tooth pick pulls out clean.  Baking times may vary depending on size of the baking dish or maximum temperature of your oven, which in our case, Nila Girl’s only reaches 300 degrees.

When done, let cool 10-15 minutes for settling before cutting.


NOTE: The ratios above are copied from a recipe I got from Banff himself.  All substitutions are  unauthorized but work!