This post is sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free Frozen Mousse. All opinions are my own, and I love this light and creamy new treat. Thanks for your support!
One of the first cooking routines to fall by the wayside when I’m busy is baking, which is a shame, because I love it so very much. It’s hard to justify the time spent baking bread or mixing the batter for a cake when I have a lot of necessary weekly batch cooking to take care of, but I inevitably perk up and feel better when I make these things. They’re reminders that making food doesn’t always need to be purposeful or functional. Sometimes it can be a source of pleasure, pure and simple.
These fudgy, secret ingredient vegan skillet brownies à la mode are a pleasure indeed, and I’m so happy that I made them this week. In spite of the fact that there’s nothing particular practical about having them around, they’re delicious, and the relatively short ingredient list makes them appropriate for even these hectic times.
I really should call these double secret ingredient brownies, because there are two special components to speak of. The first—the secret ingredient that gives the brownies richness and a wonderfully fudgy texture—is tahini. I’ve been seeing recipes for tahini chocolate chip cookies right and left, and I’ve wanted to see how tahini would work in a brownie for a while now (I’ve had success with almond butter in blondies, after all).
It works. It worked out much better than I expected, actually, on my first try. Using tahini means that the brownies are fudgy without being greasy. You don’t taste it, but it does the work of creating a dense, moist texture. The brownies are rich, but they’ve got a few healthful perks: whole wheat pastry flour for a little extra fiber if you like, iron and vitamin E from the tahini, unrefined sweetener if you use coconut sugar, and all of those lovely antioxidants in the chocolate ?
The only thing that could make the skillet brownies even more appealing is the addition of a really great frozen topping—because skillet brownies are so much better when they’re served hot and gooey and covered in something cool and sweet. That’s where special ingredient #2 comes in: the new So Delicious Dairy Free Frozen Mousse.
I’ve been hearing about this light, frozen dessert for a while now, and I’m so happy to have had a chance to sample the flavors. They range from lemon and mango swirl to chocolate chip, salted caramel, and peanut butter swirl. Not surprisingly, these last three were my favorites, but the fruity flavors are refreshing and tasty, too.
The salted caramel swirl was the winner for me—I love a touch of salt in any dessert—and I chose to pair it with the skillet brownies for a perfect hot/cold texture contrast. How to describe the frozen mousse? It’s someplace in between ice cream and frozen yogurt, but not really either of those things. It feels whipped and light, which makes it lovely for pairing with an otherwise rich, decadent, fudgy dessert. It’s always my instinct to serve ice cream with cake or other treats, but it can all get a little cloying if the ice cream is itself super rich.
These frozen mousses really aren’t—they add the frozen creaminess that so many desserts call for without overwhelming the dessert itself. And because they’re not overly rich, I think they’d make a super refreshing, summery (or wintery?) afternoon treat, too.
What else to say about this dessert? When you first, mix the dough, it’ll seem very dense and stiff. Don’t panic. It’ll bake out nicely; you just have to spread it evenly in the skillet.
Once baked, the brownies are more tender than some others I’ve made (like these espresso brownies, which keep their shape more readily), but the fact that you can practically eat them with a spoon feels sort of appropriate for a skillet dessert. I cut them into wedges and ate mine warm, but it would be very fun to serve these for a crowd and have everyone just dig—no slicing required. Here’s the recipe.
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry or unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons tahini
- 5.3 ounces (2/3 cup) plain or vanilla-flavored vegan yogurt of choice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks or morsels
- 1 container So Delicious Dairy Free Frozen Mousse
Preheat your oven to 350F and oil a 10-inch, well-seasoned cast iron skillet (a nonstick skillet will also work well!).
Mix together the flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a mixing bowl. Separately, whisk together the tahini, yogurt, and vanilla.
Melt 5 ounces of the chocolate chunks or morselsin the microwave or over a double boiler. Add the tahini/yogurt/vanilla mix to the melted chocolate and combine well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the remaining 3 ounces chocolate chunks or morsels.
Spread the batter into your skillet. Bake for 22 minutes, or until the top is set and the edges firm. Remove the skillet brownie from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving with the frozen mousse.
I certainly won’t mind having slices of this delicious, chocolatey treat to pack up in my everyday lunches. It may even be worth storing some frozen mousse in the work freezer! I’m excited to keep exploring these frozen mousses—with and without another treat to keep them company. Yet another fun new product that makes me grateful to be vegan right here and now.
Wishing you all a lovely start to this new work week. I’ll be back on Thursday with a delicious, versatile new dip from my friend Brandi‘s awesome new cookbook! Stay tuned.