Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Kahlua Courgette ‘Brownie’ Bars

I think I may have mentioned my liking of Kahlua as my favourite night cap, especially on days when hot chocolate just won’t do. Kahlua is a coffee flavoured Mexican liqueur that adds a deep, rich flavour to many Mexican desserts. Well, I may not have red or white wine in the house, but I will always have a bottle of Kahlua tucked somewhere. To be quite honest, I had forgotten about the bottle until I came across it at the weekend, whilst house cleaning. There it was on the top of the kitchen cupboard gathering dust.

There are many reasons as to why I chose to make these Kahlua brownie with the addition of courgette: but it was really prompted by a comment left on my blog by Choclette. She mentioned that she had just enjoyed eating some of here homegrown courgettes. This reminded me that I too had picked up some green courgettes, not from the garden plot sadly, but from the grocers and had yet to use them. Choclettes comment was slowly persuading me make transform them into courgette soup, but then whilst thinking about Choclette, chocolate and courgettes, I remembered the moist chocolate courgette cake I made last year. Suddenly I wanted something sweet. But that cake was huge, too big for just D and me to eat, so I decided pretty quickly that I didn’t want to make that again. Then I recalled bookmarking a 'Kahlua courgette brownie' recipe in one of my under used vegetarian cookbooks. It didn’t take long for me to decide on making these. Funny how one thought can lead to another and then to a recipe. I made these last night after a not so pleasant day at work, I found it rather therapeutic that sweet baking smell.
What I liked about these was the fact that they were not overly sweet. I also liked the way the green flecks of courgette have come through, like little shards of emerald glistening. The author of the original recipe describes these as a Brownie, I hate to disagree, but I think not. Brownies are rich and fudgy with plenty of chocolate, these were more sponge like. I do however think brushing the top with a couple of tablespoons of Kahlua liqueur changed that a little, so I’ve dubbed them Kahlua courgette ‘brownie’ bars, hence the ‘inverted commas’ around them. Oh for those of you who may think that courgettes are an unusual ingredient to put into a brownie. Well I’ve come across some brownies recently that have black eyed and black beans in them which I think is even more unusual.
I dedicate these Kahlua courgette ‘brownie’ bars to my blogger friend Choclette, who comes up with some fantastic, innovative and tasty chocolate recipes on here blog Chocolate Log. My husband complains that I don’t make enough chocolate based recipes. I know he would fall in love with all of Choclette’s delights. So I’m secretly glad she lives down south, as I think she’d be a hot contender in the Sweet culinary department!
If you don’t have Kahlua, you can substitute any coffee-flavored liqueur here. Also if you don’t want to use alcohol you could use a strong coffee or expresso in its place.
Kahlua Courgette ‘Brownie’ Bars
Makes 6 large pieces or 12 respectable size ones
1¼ cup or 175g plain flour
¼ cup or 20g of unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup or 50ml of Kahlua plus optional extra for brushing the top
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 egg whites, not whisked
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup or 120g sugar
1 cup or 130g courgette, grated
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6
Lightly oil an 8 inch or 9 by 7 inch tin.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
In another bowl, combine the Kahlua, milk, oil, egg whites, vanilla and sugar. Beat with a whisk until blended. Add to the dry ingredients, along with the grated courgette. Mix until all ingredients are moistened. Spoon into the baking tin.
Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Before cutting them into slices, you may want to (Optional) brush the top with a couple of tablespoons of Kahlua and let it sink in to further flavour the warm layers.
Cut into squares and serve with cream or ice-cream. Slightly adapted from The Vegetarian Gourmet’s: Easy International Recipes by Bobbie Hinman.


  1. Mmmm these sound very tasty I will give it a go when we have an abundane of courgettes in summer! Thanks for sharing

  2. Great sounding recipe. Kahlua always makes me think of my trips to Mexico. Especially the year I was standing in a long, hot line at the airport waiting to leave. The college kid in front of me had a huge bottle of kahlua in his backpack. It wasn't zipped tightly and fell, smashing on the tile ground and soaking me in kahlua. I smelled like a delicious drunk the whole flight home!

  3. ha ha ha! I love how you came to this idea. This I MUST try. I think I have a bottle of kahlua gathering dust as well. These brownies sound and look delicious!

  4. Thank you Cabbage Tree Farm.
    They tasty, but nothing like a real brownie.

    Thanks for sharing Lexa.
    Your experience at the airport has put a big smile on my smile. Smelling like a delicious drunk - you lush :D a word for a drunk - I mean it in a good way here. Shame the lad didn't pack it well. I would have been well gutted.
    PS You mus thave some other ideas of what to do with Kahlua then?!

    Thanks Wendy.
    Just please, please don't expect a 'real brownie'. This recipe is def. not that, but a great way to use up some of that kahlua.

  5. brownies are always great! yours look lovely!
    have a sweet day,

  6. I don't like no...I love it!!!
    My bottle is in very low mode right now...I'm due to get myself another of this pure joy very soon.
    Your recipe is bookmarked for sure ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  7. MMMMMM thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. Those look delicious, in fact much better than bog standard brownies.

    I haven't had kahlua since an unfortunate night of teenage excess drinking B52s.

    I too have a few aging supermarket courgettes to use up and have to bake a chocolate birthday cake today...wonder if I could grate a few into it without killing the recipe? Maybe just add more flour to balance the moisture? Hmmmm....

  9. Thank you so much for the dedication MangoCheeks and how very sweet of you to say such nice things. It is indeed rather a long trek from you to me for a chocolate treat, but it looks like D got what he wanted right there. Your brownies look delicious and the addition of Kahlua sounds like a good one (not that I've ever had it). Coincidentally, I made a vegan version of chocolate and courgette cupcakes this weekend (although the post may take some time in coming as I have quite a queue).

  10. Thank you Justyna.
    My weekend starts tomorrow too. Yipee!

    I would have believed you. Kahlua is not to everybodys taste, it does have a strong coffee flavour!

    Thanks Little Messy Missy!

    Oh Christine, your so kind.

    Shame about your Kahlua experience. My bad experience was with cranberry cola. I haven't touched the stuff since.

    Ageing courgettes are not pretty to look at, better use them up quick or they'll squelch!
    Go on grate some of it in the cake.

    YOU are so very welcome, it is honestly my honour.
    (Smile) yes it certainly is a long trek to you (phew) You know I'm kidding. The 'brownies' were light. Slowly shrinking in supply.

    Do try Kahlua when you get the chance. I dohope you like it :D

    I look forward to seeing your vegan version of chocolate and courgette cupcakes. Undertstand the backlog. I made a rhubarb and orange cake still to be posted!.
    KInd wishes as always.

  11. Kahlua and brownies! Wow. Now there I must try!!

  12. Me, Myself and Pie - Thanks!

  13. Thank you mangocheeks, my wife is going to attempt these tomorrow!

  14. Your so welcome Mark N.
    I hope you and your wife Enjoy!
    Just Please be warned - they are nothing like the 'dense deep chocolatey brownies, but still nice.

  15. Another courgette recipe! And this time in a 'brownie!' Hmm... maybe there is something to it after all... and I love Choclette's blog too, she's so inventive with all things chocolate isn't she? I wish I had the courage to join a We Should Cocoa challenge... :)

  16. Sumaiyyah,
    Thsi one was okay, but the other brownie recipes i've made are much more fudgy.

    I'd encourage you to submit a chocolate recipe to the event, its not like you win any prizes, sometimes just more people come by. And its gets you being creative. Choclette doesn't come by my blog much these days lie she did in the past, guess she's busy creating lots of choccy goodness.

  17. I spotted this recipe on your page the other day and thought, sounds interesting and I just happened to have all the ingredients, including a part- bottle of Kalhua that I've had knocking around for ages! So I made it last night....very tasty thank you!

    1. Thank you Lou. I am so glad you liked it. I haven't had a bottle a kahlua in the house since I moved from Scotland, may have to treat myself to a bottle some point, maybe Autumn time.

  18. Yes, A definite tipple for an autumn evening :)

    1. :) It will be on my shopping list come the Autumn season.


If you’ve tried one of my recipes, Please let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me social media with @SeasonalShaheen.

Thank You