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Vegan Brownie

Do you remember the times when Ryan Gosling wasn’t considered a hunk? I’m not talking about his Disney times, I’m talking about the time in between, when he was being ‘just’ a decent actor. Before he took his shirt off in ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’ and suddenly everyone started seeing him as the most desirable man on the planet. Not to mention ‘Fuck Yeah!Ryan Gosling’ site…

ryan g


Before that time he was starring in good independent films like ‘Believer’, ‘Half Nelson’ ‘Murder by Numbers’. I could almost forgive and forget the most boring film ever which phenomenon I could never comprehend – ‘Notebook’. I don’t understand why it was so popular, as I never managed to watch even 5 minutes of it before screaming with worry that my brain would caramelize…It was always as painful to me as watching the first few minutes of ‘English Patient’. I just wanted to scoop my eyes out to save myself…

Anyway, around that time he also appeared in one of the best independent films ever, which in contrast has never been as noticed as the sugar-coated-teeth-rotting ‘Notebook’.

I’m talking about ‘Lars and the Real Girl’.

The film is about a young guy living in solitude and hardly bearing being touched by another human being. We learn, as the plot progresses, what made him like that. One day his life changes but in a totally different way than you would expect. The film is beautifully balanced between tragedy and comedy. To me, there is a nod to Ingmar Bergman’s work. First of all, the main character (Lars Lindstrom) and many people living in the town have Scandinavian names. The community is very tight and supportive. The movie takes place in a small town in northern Minnesota or Michigan, but you could imagine it taking place in Sweden, as the weather seems similar with snow and cold, gloomy lighting . Like in Bergman’s films, there is a question of existence, loneliness, alienation and human nature. There is also glorious craziness in some of the scenes.

It is a perfect film to watch on a cold, winter evening. And to sweeten it up, why not have it with a brownie!

Vegan Brownie

(adapted from It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow)

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries

2 cups spelt flour

1 cup raw cocoa

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup chopped pecans

3 tbs cocoa nibs (optional)

pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup rice oil (vegetable oil or melted coconut oil is fine as well)

1 cup maple syrup (can be replaced with honey or agave syrup)

1/2 strong espresso

1/2 cup almond, oat or rice milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 170C. Grease baking dish and line with parching paper.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a bowl. Add pecans, cranberries and cocoa nibs.

3. In a separate bowl whisk coffee, oil, milk, syrup and vanilla essence. Mix wet ingredients with the dry ones. Do it gently, don’t overmix!

4. Pour batter into a dish, bake for about 15-20 minutes (check with the toothpick if brownie is done).

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries

vegan brownie with pecans and cranberries





About potatofaces

People who cook always go on about precious memories of childhood food one of their family members cooked, how daddy or nanny taught them the importance of cooking and eating together, and they still remember the comfort food they produced, amazing dishes whipped up by brilliant but humble cooks in their family. Well, let me tell you, it was totally different in my family. My mother’s family – totally useless as cooks, who could survive on bread and butter, cooked once a week a terrible, terrible meal, usually some kind of meat piece with lots of brown sauce. Also, they were never bothered about eating together. That’s maybe why most of them were depressed and suicidal. My mother followed that path and couldn’t really cook, and because I never wanted to eat meat, was warning me that ‘one day I will regret it’. Probably because my mother wasn’t into cooking my sister at the age of 12 took over and started producing amazing dinners and cakes. Well, luckily for me and her we weren’t that genetically doomed because apparently my father’s family were gifted in that compartment. I can only presume it was genes, as my father divorced my mother when my sis and me were little and he strongly believed that he also divorced us. So, we were growing up never having any contact with him and as a result, couldn’t learn how to cook from him. That’s why I believe the love of cooking ( and the ability) was just passed to us genetically. My father, short time before he died, unexpectedly felt an urge to contact us. First he gave my sister a mandolin (that’s another thing I know about him- he played a few instruments). My sister refused to talk to him, he then decided to contact me and wanted to spend some time with me. I didn’t want to, as he was a stranger to me (I was 11 or 12 at the time) but as I was promised I could leave whenever I wanted to, I went to the village he lived in. There I tried his mother’s cooking everyone was raving about. It was simple and amazing, I wish they were as family dedicated as they were at baking, cooking, making pastries, wine, tinctures, you name it. But I ate, drunk, and got bored of strangers who were my family and demanded to be let to go home. One of the last things my father said to me was that I should start learning English because I might need it one day, which I ignored for another 16 years… Because my sister was such a domestic goddess I wasn’t really bothered about cooking. I got hooked properly after my son was born and I wanted him to eat healthy and get everything he needed, especially that it wasn’t his choice to be a vegetarian (yet). And that is how the story begins…

2 responses »

  1. ITA about The Notebook, snoozefest for me..I didn’t really like Ryan Gosling very much until I saw Blue Valentine..
    Mmmm can I have a brownie? Looks so yum!


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