Posts tagged brownies
Easy raw chocolate brownies

Guess what... it's national chocolate week! Time for a little celebration with a new recipe I think! 

I wanted to give you an indulgent chocolatey classic, yet something easy to whip up in minutes.

I have just the thing.  Actually it's a spin on these chocolate balls which are always a winner with people whenever I make them and so  a pressed a sliced version was a nice alternative. For some reasons changing the format of things always makes them taste different! I always remember when I was younger how much more I loved Maltersers in the cardboard box compared to in the regular packets! (anyone agree or am I just a weirdo!!)

You could add walnuts here for an even more authentic brownie if you fancy. I dusted the top with a raw cacao and coconut sugar blend.

Eve though they are not baked, these slices have a beautiful cake like quality to them, deeply rich, slightly crumbly and melt in the mouth. Keep them in the fridge and they'll stay more robust. They also freeze very well too not that they'll be around for long enough!

Easy raw chocolate brownies

Recipe: Easy raw chocolate brownies

Ingredients: 

Makes approx. 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup almond or cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoon coconut syrup
  • 12 pitted dates( based on deglet noor dates but if using larger medjool dates reduce to 7 dates)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cacoa powder (plus extra raw cacao to dust- optional)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)

Method:

Soak the dates in hot water for 5 mins and then drain. In a food processor, process all the truffle ingredients together to form a thick paste, it should be sticky but not to sticky to handle. Add the walnuts to the mix last and stir through by hand (or a couple of pulses) so they don[t break up too much.

Press the mix firmly into a lined 8" square pan. Dust the top with cacao if desired. Chill until firm before slicing. Keep in the fridge.

Easy raw chocolate brownies
Easy raw chocolate brownies
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Chocolate pumpkin brownie slices

Craziness going on here... I just realised I haven't posted these brownie slices yet!

I made them weeks and weeks ago...as in around the time of thanksgiving and pumpkin overload. I think at the time I felt I had already posted so many pumpkin recipes and there were so many other similar recipes in the recipe world that I held off a little...then forgot!

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This is basically a twist on the chocolate courgette cake (mmmm, still love that beauty!) and just goes to show the veggie component is pretty versatile. I reckon cauliflower would also work (don't think i've tried that one yet though) and what about sweet potato, pureed carrot or parsnip? Some may give a slight flavour variation- but chocolate covers and compliments pretty much everything, so feel free to play around with your taste buds to find combos that you love!

 One thing to note, I tried making this with cooked, pureed fresh pumpkin (I bought a glut of pumpkins after halloweeen and froze them in chunks!) and also at another time with regular canned pumpkin. I actually preferred the fresh cooked version- not sure why that is as I can't see there would be much difference, but i could definitely taste a slight underlying pumpkin taste with the canned whereas i couldn't at all with the other- that was just my taste preference.

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Makes 1 8” round or square cake

ingredients: 

  • 1 cup packed dates
  • approx ½ tsp pure stevia
  • 1 ½ cup pureed pumpkin (fresh cooked or canned- see note)
  • 2/3 cup water (if your dates are hard soak them in this water prior to blending)
  • 1/3 cup oil of choice (I use coconut)
  • ¼ cup flax seed
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cup oat flour (I ground some regular porridge oats)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaped tsp baking soda
  • handful of walnuts or pecans for toppping

Method:

Blend the pumpkin with the dates and all the wet ingredients and the flax seed to form a smooth fairly runny paste. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and then add the wet. Mix lightly but well to form a thick soft batter. Add a little extra water 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.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for approx 20-25 minutes, you may need to lightly cover the top of the pan with foil  for the final 5 mins 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…these taste even better the next day!

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Double choc banana blondie

On Monday and Tuesday I celebrated my birthday with my work colleagues.... I told you I like to drag out my birthday (which was on Friday) for as long as possible!

At the weekend I'd baked an experimental 'double chocolate banana blondie' to surprise my work colleagues with...they knew it would be healthy and vegan, I then also told them it was gluten free and sugar free....just before they took their first bite I also told them that it had an added secret ingredient...could any of them guess?

Nope......but can you guess? Go on, you should know me well by now. 

Oh yes...beans! Well, actually chickpeas.

This was originally going to be a simple 'blondie sponge' based on this blondie recipehowever I realised I had no sweet potato so decided to wing it and sub this for banana and a little tofu instead, this gave the cake a lovely subtle banana kick, not overly so bananary the way a full on banana cake would be but it really complimented the chocolate layer (which I decided needed to be added for visual pizazz) and the choc chunks and nutty crumbles on the top really well.

The verdict....recipe requests, just like this time!

 I should probably share my baking experiments more!

So that was Monday, but yesterday it was my turn to be surprised when I was presented with a vegan banana cake that had been ordered for me specially and had taken a while to be delivered. It was such a sweet gesture. So after lunch, we all had a slice...it tasted pretty good, although more like a tea bread as it was much dryer than my cake and the apple juice that had been used as a sweetener overpowered the banana in my opinion. The unanimous vote was that my cake was better…yay!!  

Ah ha, here is me and a slice of my surprise banana cake...figured you might want to see a photo of my silly face at birthday time...a rare occurrence to see an actual photo of me on this blog!

 

 

The recipe below is for my banana cake. You could make it into a loaf, slices, muffins or a nice round sponge as I did. Options, options...feel free to get a little crazy with your toppings too.

Recipe: Double choc banana blondie

Makes one 7” round cake

Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana
  • ½ cup silken tofu
  • ½ cup mashed chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup coconut butter- melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup agave plus ¼ tsp stevia
  • 1 cup GF flour mix* (I used 1/3 cup each of almond meal, buckwheat flour, tapioca flour)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • A pinch salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbs cocoa powder
  • Handful dark chocolate chips
  • Handful nuts (I used hazlenuts)

*you could substitute spelt or regular flour for non GF

Method

Blend the wet ingredients in food processor until very smooth. Pour into a bowl, add dry ingredients (except cocoa, chocolate and nuts) and blend together well mixed.

Divide the mixture into two bowls and add the cocoa two one half of the mixture and mix through well.

Spoon the chocolate mixture into a greased/lined  7” round cake tin (or square tin or loaf tin) and smooth out. Spoon over the blondie layer and gently smooth across taking care not to disturb the bottom layer.

Add the choc chunks and nuts to the top. Bake in the oven at 180C for approx. 20 mins until lightly golden at the edges and a skewer comes away clean.. Allow to cool before slicing and serving.

This recipe is shared with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday's

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Super Healthy & Decadent Chocolate Brownie Torte

Following on from yesterday's little teaser.....

....This is a brownie recipe that has come about through reading many other blogs and online vegan recipes and combining what I consider to be all the ‘best bits’ to create a healthy brownie of my own. This was one of the first ‘healthy cake recipes’ I ever created and it has undergone various refinements over time to maximise the balance between yummy and healthy. I don’t know why it’s taken me until now to get it up on the blog- you saw a little sneaky teaser way back here at the beginning (ok so maybe it wasn’t so long ago but if feels ages to me!!)

It contains a lot of fruit and veg… maybe it can even count as one of your ‘five a day’…. now wouldn’t that be amazing!

I have called this brownie a ‘brownie torte’ because to me the classic non-vegan brownies that use eggs (and all sorts of other things) tend to have a very characteristic delicate dry flaky top, I’m probably not explaining that very well…hmmm.  The vegan brownie recipes I’ve tried and tested seem to have a denser more moist consistency and don’t have that flaky topping. That’s not to say they are in any way inferior but I wanted to simply make a distinction so as not to evoke any pre-expectations.  Also, as I like to serve my brownies warm with a decadent soft and fudgey centre, as opposed to a more cake like bite the ‘Brownie Torte’ title seemed so much more appropriate.

It is typically the amount of ‘flour’ (either spelt of GF) used and the cooking time that dictates the ‘cakeyness vs torteyness’ and this has been noted below.

The inclusion of the balsamic vinegar, prune puree and cinnamon all help to bring out the best of the chocolate flavour. The can be omitted/substituted if necessary(i.e sub the prune for more apple puree or soy yoghurt).

This recipe also uses beans. The 'bean' theme in healthy baking seems to have become quite popular.  I also used beans in this amazing blondie recipe. The general idea is to use black beans for chocolatey cakes and white beans for lighter coloured cakes.

Note- brownies also taste better the next day once the flavours have had a chance to fully infuse and the texture becomes more ‘fudgey’ (not sure why this is!). They also freeze well...so make a big batch!

P.S these pics were taken at the 'veg patch lunch' at work during the summer- hence the warm glow (I could do with a bit of that sunshine now!) On this occasion I also frosted the top with some cocoa mixed with agave nectar, but it's perfectly fine without.

Recipe: Chocolate brownie torte

Makes 16 squares

Ingredients

  • 1tsp ground flax seed mixed with 1tsp hot water and 1tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup silken tofu (150g)
  • ¼ cup tinned prunes with juice
  • ¼ cup apple puree
  • ½ cup agave syrup and ¼  tsp stevia (more agave or maple syrup to taste if needed)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup drained black beans
  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour or for GF sub see below* (use up to 1 ½ cups to get a more cakey brownie)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder (use ½ tsp to make more cakey)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ chopped walnuts (or mixed nuts) optional
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chunks or cacoa nibs

Method

Mix the ground flax seeds with hot water and vinegar and set aside for 1 min. Blend all wet ingredients (including flax mix) and cocoa powder in food processor until very smooth. Mix all remaining dry ingredients (apart from nuts and chocolate chips) in a bowl and combine well. Pour wet mixture into dry and mix well. Add nuts and chocolate chips last and fold through. Pour batter into 8x8’ square baking tin lined with parchment paper. Bake for approx. 15 mins at 180C (bake for approx. 20 mins if you are going for a cakey brownie). Cool and cut into squares. Best stored in the fridge and heated for a few seconds in the microwave before serving!

Note: This mixture makes enough for a small 8x8’ pan at approx. 15mm thick. I have also made 1 ½ times this quantity and poured into a 9’ round cake tin cooked for 20 mins to get a slightly thicker slice and cut into wedges- when decorated with fruit and vegan cream this is a crazily decadent and rich desert!

* the spelt flour can be subbed with a mix of ½ cup almond meal and ½ gluten free flours- I use a mix of buckwheat and tapioca flour. I have tested this out and it tasted just as good as the spelt version!


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Christmas Advent brownie bites

Ok so it’s December 1st

……….  Ahhh it’s DECEMBER THE FIRST and I am not ready for Christmas in the slightest!!

How did that happen?  I love Christmas, I love food, I love treats, I love writing lists, I love making things and I love making people happy… so how has Christmas suddenly crept up on me this year?

Well, no use in pondering, I’d just better get cracking. If I’d been a little more organised I would have posted this little teaser of a post sooner. Oh well.

I will post the full recipe for these brownies tomorrow, but for now I just wanted to show you my version of an advent calendar before the day is out. 

Last year I wanted to buy a vegan advent calendar for the Boy… but could I find one?  Well, yes finally in the end but it was very hard to track down and nearly everywhere had sold out.  The one I ended up buying (although yummy!) was very very expensive and still full of sugar and naughtiness (ok- well it is Christmas so maybe that’s allowed!), but my point is that treats don’t have to be naughty and they can still taste amazing.  So, by that token I figured this year I would simply have to make my own.

Simple criteria.

It had to be:

  • Chocolatey
  • Indulgent but healthy
  • Small but satisfying
  • Customisable

… and most importantly last all the way through to Christmas day! 

I had been meaning to post my brownie recipe for quite some time so it was already at the forefront in my mind. In addition to that I know that brownies freeze very well… so that got my mind whirring…. And ta da!!

Mini Advent brownie bites!

…. store them in the freezer and take a little square out each morning for a mid-morning indulgence (if you can wait that long). Bonus points here also- because they are kept in the freezer they are less likely to be eaten all at once! (maybe?)

I added a large dark chocolate button to the top of each one (glued on with chocolate icing) and then iced the numbered days leading up to Christmas…… oh I’m such a child and it was such fun!

Happy Advent!! …has anyone else gone for something a little different from the norm this year?


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