Sometimes you just need a little bit of something chocolatey. I keep a batch of these vegan brownies inspired by a recipe on “The Friendly Epicurean” in the freezer so they’re ready and waiting when I absolutely need them. Of course, I have to hide them at the back of the freezer to prevent my beloved from scoffing them. It’s also handy having something delicious to share when unexpected guests drop by. i so hate being caught empty handed!
Ingredients (makes 16 small brownies)
- 80 ml (1/4 cup) coconut oil, melted
- 60 ml (1/3 cup) aquafaba (see above photo)
- 160 ml (1/2 cup) unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp espresso coffee powder
- 140 g (1 cup) coconut sugar
- 120g (1 cup) cocoa powder
- 100 g (1 cup) spelt flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3 (325°F/300°F fan).
2. Grease the base and sides of a baking tin with coconut oil. I often use a disposable tin-foil one measuring 18cm x 23cm x 5cm (6” x 9” x 2″). I find it’s an easy size and shape to slice into fingers for serving.
3. Mix together the coconut oil, aquafaba, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract and coconut sugar until well combined.
4. Next add the cocoa powder and finally fold in the baking powder, salt and flour with a spatula. Don’t overmix.
5. Using an offset palate knife, spread the glossy mixture evenly into the greased pan and bake for 25-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, the brownies are coming away from the sides of the pan and the surface is starting to crack.
6. Be patient! Let the brownies cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes before cutting, serving and devouring.
7. Of course, it’s a well-known fact that all brownies are best consumed immediately. However, these can be wrapped in cling film and stored in the freezer for up to a month. Though I doubt they’ll be there that long.
Sheree’s Handy Hints
1. All ingredients should be at room temperature.
2. When I’m baking I always use a timer as it’s so easy to lose track of time. Once you’ve put the brownies in the oven, put the timer on for 5 minutes less than they should take to cook and then check regularly.
3. You can easily make a number of substitutions, such as;-
- If you want to make these brownies gluten-free, substitute spelt with a gluten-free flour mix.
- If you eat eggs, the aquafaba can be substituted with egg-white.
- The maple syrup can be substituted with agave syrup.
- The almond milk can be substituted with another non-dairy
4. I used a neutral flavoured coconut oil but you can equally use one that tastes of coconut because the brownies are so chocolatey you really cannot taste the coconut.
5. Even though the brownies are very rich, they would benefit from a few toppings, such as:-
- flakey sea salt
- chocolate chips
- toasted and chopped nuts (walnuts, pecan, hazelnuts, pistachios)
These should all be scattered onto the brownies prior to baking.
5. Or you could up the ante and turn them into dessert by topping with some date caramel, as follows:-
- Add 20 pitted medjool dates to a food processor and pulse until only small bits remain.
- Then pour in 3-4 tbsp of hot water and pulse again until it forms a paste.
- Scrape down the sides to encourage it along.
- Leave as is, or add a pinch of sea salt to enhance flavour, before slathering on the brownies – sooooooooo good.
- Should there be any caramel left, it will keep covered in the refrigerator for at least two weeks.