I’ve gone from being a big cake lover, nothing could beat a good banana bread, followed by creating a whole heap of no bake “cheesecake” like desserts (which I’m still partially involving myself in… ) to my latest brownie, blondie and all things that come in square tray bake form obsession. The handiness of them drew me in and I’ve been one over by the crispy edges, fudgy centres and the vast array of potential combinations that you can whip up in the one bowl.
My black bean brownies are still one of my firm favourites but this latest version is one for the masses. A little sweeter than my palate finds necessary but will happily delight in, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, diabetic friendly and almost paleo (no grains!) …
Usually if I can make something oil free I’ll go with that option but of late I’ve been playing around a bit more with coconut oil. The oil with health benefits that bestows a wonderful texture, flavour and fragrance to baked goods. It’s definitely a key ingredient in these babies…
I’m quite sure they wouldn’t have the crispy exterior that contrasts beautifully with the lightly fudgy centre, if the coconut oil was left out. A glossy cracked surface, allowed to cool completely before slicing (extremely difficult but it makes all the difference) I was DELIGHTED with how they turned out!!!
I literally whipped these up as a last minute bit of afternoon baking seen as I had a spare half an hour on my hands. No messing about with the food processor or stick blender, one big bowl (one small one just to melt the oil and whisk in the other wet ingredients….it doesn’t count though as it went straight in to the dishwasher!).
I baked mine for a little longer that I had planned, 35 minutes…I reckon 30 minutes would be just perfect if you want a more fudgy brownie but they were beautiful just as they were. No icing necessary.
What really surprised me was just how light they were. Not in terms of flavour but the texture and actual physical weight. I’ve gotten used to picking up slightly more dense, usually raw, treats which can be decidedly heavy in the hand!
They disappeared in record time, my brother was a big fan and actually didn’t believe I’d made them – not sure what that says about everything I usually make! I guess he just wasn’t expecting the sweet sugar hit. That said I no were near included as much sugar as you would in a traditional brownie.
Rich, dense, slightly chewy, crispy around the edges, fudgy in parts with chunks of dark dark chocolate throughout, little nuggets of unexpected extra indulgence. There a must make and sure to be a crowd pleaser whatever the dietary preferences.
Brownie or blondie, if you had to pick one? I’d go brownie but I am concocting a blondie recipe as I type these final words….
Crowd Pleasing Brownies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 – 35 minutes
Keywords: bake almond meal almond milk cocoa powder coconut sugar
Ingredients (9 nice size brownies)
- 60g (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups (200g) almond meal
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100g) coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup (55g) coconut oil melted
- 2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup (125ml) unsweetened almond milk
- 40g (1/4 + 1 tbsp) dark chocolate (dairy free) roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
Mix together flax and water and set to one side for 10 minutes until “eggy” in consistency.
Meanwhile sift together cocoa, almond meal and baking soda.
Mix together almond milk, vanilla extract, coconut sugar and flax egg. Stir in melted coconut oil and add wet to dry. Fold until everything is well combined.
Fold in dark chocolate chunks. Bake in the preheated for 30 – 35 minutes in an 8 inch non stick or baking parchment paper lined tray; depending on how fudgy you want them and ovens also vary.
Allow to cool for at least a couple of hours before slicing; ideally overnight! Stored in the fridge they’ll stay fresh for a good 4-5 days.