Posts tagged brownie
BEST EVER chocolate brownie round up!

Yesterday, the 8th December was #nationalbrownieday.... waahh, another day I missed. Any chance to celebrate chocolate and cake, right! 

So I am a day late to the party, but who cares. I figured this was a good excuse to share a brownie round-up with all the best brownie recipes I've created over the years. There are quite a few, and all very different too. Plenty to try out and inspire you to put you own twist on things.

This is the description taken from 'National Day Calendar (I can't guarantee how accurate this info is!)

"Brownies were created in the United States at the end of the 19th century.  A cross between a cookie and cake, they soon became very popular across the country. There was a request for a dessert for a group of ladies that would be attending a fair in the late 1800s.  They wanted a small cake-like dessert that could be eaten from a boxed lunch.  A Chicago chef, working at the Palmer House Hotel, created the first brownie for the ladies, which featured an apricot glaze and walnuts.  The Palmer House Hotel still serves their original recipe for brownies on their menu."

Brownies are the perfect platform for veganizing, healthanising, de-gluten-ing and hiding veggies and beans in. I love the fact that brownies are by their nature quite dense and a little gooey - this makes it easy to hide sight 'mistakes' too (a light airy cake is typically much harder to achieve when keeping the above objectives in mind!)

I consider brownies to be the perfect beginner cake when transitioning to alternative baking!

Click the text links below to for the original recipes and have a scroll through my gallery to tickle your fancy. 

One of my all time favourite recipes for ease, flavour and versatility is my award-winning Chocolate Banana Brownie Bread, so I have included a free downloadable recipe card for it below- scroll down and click the pic to download.

Enjoy the round-up and please do tag me on Facebook or Instagram if you make any of the recipes... i'd love to see them! :-)

1) Pumpkin brownies are a great way of packing veg in cakes (sweet potato works well as a swap as does courgette and carrot or even parsnip!)

2) A bit this year late for advent- but these festive advent calendar brownie bites were a very early recipe on my blog! (you could use any recipe and apply the same ideas as brownies freeze so well)

3) The carrot cake brownies follow a similar theme to the pumpkin brownies, served in cake-like wedges!

4) These raw chocolate brownies are packed with nuts for a rich an filling treat! A little goes a long way.

5) Raspberry ripple brownie slices... packed with tofu and black beans for a fat-free brownie variation!

6) For a non-chocolate version, you can try these double banana blondies.

7) This raw black bean fudge brownie is a spin on my 'worlds healthiest fudge' with added chunky nuts and dried fruits for a brownie vibe!

8) Last but not least... the chocolate banana brownie bread (great as a loaf, slice or muffins) scroll down for the recipe card.

There final two pics shown in my gallery were created for other publications/brands beyond this site... but you could replicate the same kind of thing with any of the recipes above.

For the protein brownies, swap in some of your favourite plant-based protein for some of the flour in any brownie recipe. Make the 'deconstructed brownie trifle' but slicing the brownie into small cubes and tossing with berries and yoghurt or coconut cream- makes an amazing super simple dessert!

Download the Choc Banana Brownie bread that was a 2016 PETA 'Bake Off' Finalist below...

 
 

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Carrot Cake Brownies (in time for Easter!)

This cake is a wicked cross between my all-time favourite courgette brownie cake and a carrot cake… I swapped the courgette for carrot and changed up the spices a little. I figured this would make fabulous Easter treat… Or any time of year (or week) really where you want to celebrate a little! 

Recipe: Carrot Cake Brownies

I have made variations of this cake (remember my PETA shortlisting!) so many times now and I know it works perfectly in a brownie pan, a round cake pan (this recipe is sized for an 8" pan), muffin trays or cupcake trays. You can leave the top plain or frost it. You can even add chopped nuts dried foods mixed through in the batter... so many possibilities!

This type of cake also freezes really well, some say brownies taste better once I've been frozen and defrosted- I'll let you be the decider of that. But I will say this is a great cake to always keep on standby in the freezer to satisfy a little chocolate craving when it strikes or if you have last minute unexpected company!

For other highly recommended easy Easter treats... have a look at these Easter nests I made for Real Food Source and also the Hot Cross cookies are a great non-chocolate option that I also love to make each year. Finally these 'cream eggs' from 4 year ago now (whaaaaat- 4 years!) are a little more fiddly- but fun ;-) 

What have you got planned for Easter treats?

Recipe: Carrot Cake Brownies

Recipe: Carrot Cake Brownies

Makes 1 x 8” round or square cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed dates (soaked then drained for easier blending)
  • approx 3 tbs coconut syrup (other other preferred syrup)
  • ½ cup water or non dairy milk
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot
  • 2 tsp cinnamon and/or nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil- melted
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed 
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup oat flour (I ground some regular porridge oats)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaped tsp baking soda

Method:

Blend all the wet ingredients with the flax seed to form a smooth fairly runny paste. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes. Stir through the gated carrot (save a little for the top).

Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add the wet. Mix lightly but well to form a thick soft batter. Add a little extra water if necessary. Taste test for sweetness and add a little extra syrup if necessary.

Spoon the batter into a lined/greased muffin pan or round cake tin (you could also make cupcakes) and smooth the top as best you can. Add the remaining sprinkles of grated carrot and press down lightly to reduce chance of burning.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for approx 30 minutes, after 10-15 minutes it is advisable to lightly cover the top of the pan with foil to prevent the top browning before the centre is cooked through.

Allow to cool before slicing.  Store in the fridge for up to 1 week…this cake tastes even better the next day!

Here are my Hot Cross Cookies.... a bit like like a bun but sooooo much easier to make!

Here are my Hot Cross Cookies.... a bit like like a bun but sooooo much easier to make!

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Raspberry ripple chocolate torte slices (fat free)

These chocolate torte slices are the perfect summery twist on my tried and tested chocolate brownie torte recipe. Super healthy and indulgent…yet light and fruity!

The perfect summer snack to put a smug smile on your face, knowing that you can indulge guilt-free without worrying about undoing all your hard ‘beach-body’ work.

These are also the perfect pick me up….or in this case the ideal ‘get well soon’ gift. The recipe below makes a small batch of 4 slices (you could easily double the recipe) as I created this recipe for a friend who was laid up and recuperating after an accident. The criteria was simple….low fat but not low taste!

I often use coconut oil or coconut butter in my recipes, as a healthy good fat which I rarely skimp on, but in this instance I wanted to lower the fat as much as possible or even eliminate it. The obvious choice was the brownie recipe, and so to change things up a bit and create a unique dessert, here you have the raspberry almond version. 

I used crushed frozen raspberries to mix through the batter as they hold up better when they are mixed through (although you can barely see the pieces in the photos). I also sprinkled a few extra pieces on the top and then once out of the oven I glazed them with a layer of sugar free raspberry jam.  I made sure these brownies were not too overly sweet as I love the richness of the dark chocolate and tartness of the raspberries contrasting with the sweet topping, but you can increase the agave/stevia slightly to taste. If you add more agave (up to 1/3 cup it might be advisable to increase the flour by a couple of tablespoons also).

These chocolate slices  are by nature more dense and gooey than cakey when bitten into, although they do have a lovely firm texture. I think they are best served warm as a dessert, maybe with a little vegan icecream or cashew cream with some extra berries on the side.

Recipe: Raspberry ripple chocolate torte

4 slices (approx. 3x9” pan)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup silken tofu
  • ¼ cup agave and a pinch of stevia
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1tbs ground chia plus 2tbs hot water
  • ½ cup wholemeal spelt (or GF mix)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup frozen raspberries- crushed
  • Handful cacoa nibs or dark chocolate chunks- optional
  • Handful flaked almonds
  • Handful frozen raspberries- crushed

Method

Blend all wet ingredients together in food processor until well mixed and smooth. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add the wet ingredients, mixing lightly until well mixed, add the cacao nibs (if using) and the ¼ cup crushed frozen raspberries last and fold through the mixture.

Spoon the batter into a smallish tin or mini muffin pans, scattering the remaining frozen raspberry pieces and flaked almonds across the top

Bake in a preheated oven for approx. 25 mins (less time for mini muffins). Test with a toothpick in the centre to check when done.

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Mint choc brownie (single serve)

Happy St. Patricks Day…wherever you may be celebrating!

I thought I’d do my bit by going down the green themed route with a mint choc brownie. I still had some lovely thick cashew cream in the fridge so though it would work perfectly with my little single serve brownie… a drop (literally) of food colouring, plus a tiny bit of agave is all it took. If I’d had some spirulina (or other greens powder) I would definitely have given that a go for an alternative way of making ‘green’.

I had another chaotic day of cooking and baking to prepare my various snacks for the week plus snacks for others too. So, a little single serving dessert was the perfect fit after a plate of veggies and dip for lunch.

I made this gluten free by using buckwheat and ground almonds but other GF flour combos or spelt (if not GF) would work here also. I had a couple of attempts at this as I felt the first ‘brownie’ was more cake-like that I’d have liked so I increased the yoghurt to two tablespoons and the result was much more gooey and brownie-like.

To be honest, I wasn’t the hugest fan of this cake…and for ages I couldn’t figure out why!

Then I realised… I’m simply not a big lover of mint and chocolate when it comes to cakes (or ice-cream for that matter!) hence why I’ve never created a mint choc combo on my blog before. Give me a little bit of choc orange and I’m well away…now that combo you do see a lot of… herehere and here for starters. But hey, it was ok and I’m sure many of you will give out the mint choc love on my behalf…. but that’s all good as I’m pleased I still gave the green salute.

Cheers!

Recipe: Mint choc brownie

One brownie

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs buckwheat flour
  • 1 tbs ground almonds
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs ground chia/flax
  • 2 tsp agave
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tbs soy yoghurt (or regular yoghurt for non vegan)
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • cacoa nibs for decoration- optional

Method

Mix everything together in a small bowl. Spoon into a ramekin lined with plastic wrap so that it can be removed (or simple eat it out of the remekin). Cook in the microwave for approx. 40 seconds depending upon your microwave setting, check after 30 seconds to see if the top feels done.

Serve with a dollop of cream/yoghurt or cashew cream (the cashew cream shown here is much much thicker than in the link as I added much less water) as I did here.

I flavoured the cream with couple of drops of peppermint extract along with the green food colouring.

 First attempt- more cake like

 First attempt- more cake like

 Second attempt- more gooey!

 Second attempt- more gooey!

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