You can bake over a fire? Yes you can! Once you learn the basics for baking on a fire, you’ll want to do it all the time. These vegan brownies need about 50 minutes to bake over medium-heat coals. It’s a good idea to have extra coals handy to maintain heat for the whole baking time. Adding a few dry rocks (wet ones can explode) inside the firepit will help retain heat.
Pecan Skillet Brownies
Serves 8. Bake these brownies directly in a 10″ cast iron skillet with a second skillet inverted overtop (or in a cake pan that fits inside your Dutch oven, see “How to create a Dutch oven, 3 ways,” below).
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp each baking powder and salt
1 tsp finely ground espresso (optional)
1/2 cup chopped, toasted nuts (such as pecans or walnuts)
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (or blueberries)
1. Line two 10″ cast iron skillets with foil. Preheat both skillets over indirect medium heat on campfire grill for at least 10 minutes.
2. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, espresso (if using), and nuts in large bowl or plastic tub. (This can be done ahead, if you like.)
3. Melt coconut oil in a small pan; add water and vanilla. Add oil mixture to dry ingredients; combine evenly with spoon.
4. Grease preheated skillets with cooking spray. Spread batter evenly onto the foil in one preheated skillet. Sprinkle raspberries over surface, pressing lightly into batter; cover with the second, preheated greased foil-lined skillet as a lid.
5. Set skillet on grill over medium-heat coals; spread a few hot coals evenly over lid (replacing them during the cooking time, as needed). Bake, rotating brownies occasionally, for 40–50 minutes or until they start to smell delicious. When done, the brownies should feel springy in the centre, and a toothpick or a knife inserted in the centre of the pan should come out with just a few moist crumbs.
Tip: Taking this to a neighbour’s? Mix the dry ingredients and nuts in a plastic tub with enough extra space for mixing in the wet ingredients. Measure the coconut oil, water and vanilla ahead, and if hardened, melt it in the skillet before adding to dry ingredients.
How to create a Dutch oven, 3 ways
A Dutch oven is a key piece of equipment. It allows you to bake over a fire, by heating from above and below, and features a deep bottom and a strong lid on which you can place hot coals. But if you don’t have one, here are three easy workarounds:
1. a pot with an inverted disposable aluminum foil turkey roasting pan as a lid;
2. an inverted flat cast iron skillet that fits tightly over a deep baking skillet or pot;
3. a cake pan fitted into any larger heavy pot with a big, tight-fitting lid.
This recipe originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of Cottage Life.
Need a campfire song? Learn this one with Arkell’s frontman
Campfire in the cold? See our winter campfire cooking hacks