Continuing that chocolate theme…
Do you ever get the feeling that I’m a little bit of a chocolate addict? No one can ever quite believe it, but I’m usually more of a fan of fruity puddings and desserts! The warming, classic ones that always come with a side of nostalgia – crumbles, steamed puddings, apple and blackberry pie.
Yet, there’s just something intensely satisfying about a chocolate brownie, isn’t there? It’s like a hug in cake-form. I don’t know how anyone could eat a brownie (a good one, at least!) and not have a smile on their face afterwards.
Anyway, for the last month or so – it could be even longer than that! – I have been tweaking and perfecting this recipe for my Best Ever Vegan Brownies. And, my goodness, I think I finally have the perfect brownie recipe!
These have a crunchy top and a gooey, ooey rich and fudgy middle. Just how I like my brownies to be!
They are rich, decadent and incredibly delicious. So delicious, in fact, that they are a huge hit with each of my boys, and Amir too! Even my best friend – a self-confessed hater of all healthy foods – begged me for the recipe when her and her little boy tried one for themselves.
So, you see, I think – I hope! – that this is a real keeper.
While it may sound strange, I got the perfect texture for these by switching out the coconut oil or butter in place of avocado.
I first used some avocado in place of butter or coconut oil in baking a couple of months ago, and I was amazed at how well it worked. Pretty much a like-for-like substitute, and it keeps baked goods incredibly moist and fudgy. Perfect for a brownie!
I’ve also become a little addicted to using rice flour in my gluten-free baking, since it seems to leave less crumbly bakes, and it also has a nice depth to flavour that works beautifully with chocolate.
Just to add to the pure indulgence of these brownies, I stuffed them with a tahini salted caramel. Because, for me, only salted caramel brownies could be better than simple, classic ones!
However, if you want, you can easily drop the caramel sauce. These are delicious just on their own!
Please let me know if you try these brownies for yourself! Or, if you have an equally delicious brownie recipe that I need to try, comment below!
Best Ever Vegan Brownies
- Creates 10-12 brownies
- 150g good-quality dark chocolate (the best quality you can afford, ideally 80% or above – I used 95% cacao solids)
- 1 tbsp Lucy Bee coconut oil
- 1 medium, ripe avocado, pitted (I actually used two frozen avocado halves from Strong Roots, defrosted)
- 1/2 cup hazelnut butter OR cashew / almond butter (can use peanut butter, but it has a stronger taste)
- 5 tbsp coconut or almond milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 4 tbsp chocolate vegan protein powder (I used Rejuvenated) OR 2 tbsp ground almonds and 2 tbsp Lucy Bee cacao
- 2/3 – 3/4 cup coconut sugar (dependent on taste / preference)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 2-3 tbsp additional dairy-free milk (optional)
- For the tahini caramel (optional):
- 1/3 cup date syrup
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1.5 tbsp coconut milk
- Large pinch salt
- Start by preheating the oven to 170C and lining a brownie tin.
- Using a bain marie, gently melt together the dark chocolate and coconut oil, stirring until completely smooth.
- In a high-powered blender, blitz together the avocado, nut butter, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and apple cider vinegar until smooth and mousse-like, scraping down the sides as needed. Slowly add in the melted chocolate mixture and blend once more until well combined.
- Stir together the dry ingredients – the rice flour, protein / almonds and cacao, coconut sugar, bicarb, baking powder and salt – until combined.
- Pour in the chocolate mixture and, using a mixing spoon, stir the dry and wet ingredients together until combined. The mixture may be very thick. Add in the additional milk, one tablespoon at a time, if needed, until slightly thinned. Set aside.
- If making the caramel, stir together the date syrup and tahini in a saucepan and place on a medium heat until bubbling and thickened (a few minutes). Stir in the milk and add the salt to taste.
- Spread half of your brownie mixture across the tin, then spoon over the caramel, if using. Add the remaining half of the brownie mix on top and smooth over with the back of a spoon. If you’re not using the caramel, just add the whole brownie mixture now!
- Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked through, checking around 20 minutes to see the brownies aren’t browning too fast. If they are, place a sheet of baking paper over the top.
- Leave to cool slightly before cutting into squares and devouring. Be warned, they don’t last for long!