There is absolutely nothing guilt-free about this brownie recipe, sorry (not sorry)! I am a firm believer in eating indulgent food, as long as you maintain a balanced diet.
I’ve been working on this recipe for a long time. I wanted to create chewy brownies, but with soft, oozing centres. Brownies that don’t break your teeth, whilst still having substance. Of course, there has been the added challenge of not being able to use dairy chocolate chips for a smooth, milky flavour, or eggs to produce that light, fluffy texture. In order to achieve my ideal, I have tried various popular alternatives: flaxseeds; chia seeds; sweet potato; apple sauce. But personally, none of those ingredients quite cut it.
Fortunately for me (and the whole vegan world), someone decided to experiment with the liquid from a tin of chickpeas – aquafaba. What they managed to find was a frothing, rising, whitening, binding liquid that acts exactly like EGGS.
And thus, a new vegan miracle was discovered!
This changed everything. I whisked up the liquid from a tin of chickpeas to the point that it made stiff peaks (YES, ACTUAL STIFF PEAKS) and folded this into my chocolate mixture.
I’ve never looked back.
The brownies are amazing. They taste like the real deal and don’t at all resemble the flavour and texture of a vegetable. Hurray!
Time to reveal the shameless line-up of vegan ingredients, feast your eyes on these sinful delights:
Be aware that some vegan butters have a tendency to split when melted with the chocolate, which also could be down to the quality of chocolate you buy. This is why I tend to use dark cooking chocolates, even though you can still get amazing results from good quality eating chocolates. Most likely, the splitting can occur if you try to melt the two together too quickly, so the slower the better! If your butter and chocolate mixture does split, fear not, for your brownies will not suffer terribly. However, if (like me) you are a perfectionist, I find Pure Sunflower Spread works best, although baking fats (e.g. Tomor and Trex) will also do the trick.
Thinking about these brownies is making my mouth water…but don’t just take my word for it, give them a try! For further motivation, here is another picture of what is to come:
Anyway, you’re probably hoping I’ll shut up already and show you the recipe – I best get on with it!
Electric whisk (stand-alone or hand-held) – It would take a lot of hand power to whisk this up to stiff peaks
185g Dairy Free Fat – I use Pure Sunflower Spread
185g Dark Cooking Chocolate (broken into small pieces)
100g Self Raising Flour
40g Cocoa Powder
9 Tbsp Aquafaba (approx. one tin Chickpeas)
250g Light Brown Soft Sugar
80g Vegan White Chocolate (cut into small chunks) – I use IChoc. If you can’t get hold of this chocolate brand then sub for another vegan chocolate, biscuit, dried fruit or nuts. Oreos are amazing dunked in whole!
40g Date Pieces
Pinch of Salt
1. Preheat oven to 160°C Fan/180 °C Conventional
2. Cube the butter and place into a heatproof bowl with broken up pieces of cooking chocolate. Place over a saucepan with boiling water and melt the chocolate and butter slowly to avoid splitting. Leave to cool to room temperature.
3. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder together into a bowl. Keep the sieve for later.
4. Now start whisking the chickpea water. Whisk for about 10 minutes, until you start to see stiff peaks forming (as if you were making meringue). Test that the mix is semi-solid and won’t fall on your head if you tip it upside down!
5. Once stiff, start whisking in the sugar one spoonful at a time so that it slowly incorporates and maintains its firmness. It should end up looking shiny and stiff.
6. Once the chocolate mixture is cool, fold it into the chickpea mix. Make sure you don’t beat any of the air out! What you should end up with is a chocolate mousse substance.
7. Sieve the flour mixture into the mousse and fold this in until it’s just about incorporated.
8. Add the white chocolate, date pieces and salt until combined.
9. Pour the mix into a greaseproof paper-lined tin and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Check that there is a crisp layer on the top of the brownie and that it only wobbles slightly. If not, put it back in for another 5/10 minutes. You can put foil over the top to make sure it doesn’t burn.
10. Let it cool down/scoff it down as soon as it’s cool enough to eat…maybe add vegan vanilla ice cream and act like you were supposed to eat it warm!