I promised you chocolate and that’s what I’m giving you! I’m usually too lazy for baking, which is why I’ve been favouring raw desserts recently, but wanted to make something different for Chocolate Week. I also couldn’t think of a better way to spend a rainy morning than baking, even if it does require a bit more time and effort. That heavenly chocolate smell filling the house…and of course the seriously tasty result, were definitely worth it!
Who doesn’t love a brownie? I usually find chocolate cake a little disappointing and would always choose vanilla or lemon cake over chocolate, but brownies are another story.
These brownies are particularly irresistible, if I do say so myself…
I roasted chopped mixed nuts with a little maple syrup and flaky sea salt, folded some into the brownie batter for added texture and flavour and then blended the rest into a sweet, salty nut butter to spread on top. Oh, and then I drizzled the whole lot with chocolate for good measure!
I adapted the base brownie from Angela’s recipe in The Oh She Glows Cookbook. I wouldn’t call them “healthy” but they’re better for you than your average brownie by a longshot. I used my favourite gluten-free flours, almond and oat, ground from whole nuts and grains in my Froothie blender, and coconut oil and coconut sugar for the least-processed options. Most importantly to me, they’re still exactly what I look for in a brownie, with a deep chocolate flavour, fudgy texture and chewy edges.
Here are the bare brownies ready to be topped…
Definitely one to make this weekend! And please come back and let me know how you like them.
I’ve added weights as well as measurements in American cups to help my readers in the UK more familiar with metric, and also because I’m finding that baking, especially when gluten-free, requires more accuracy than cooking. Hope it’s helpful!
- 250g/8oz (approx 2 C) Mixed Nuts, roughly chopped*
- 1 Tbsp Maple syrup
- 1 tsp Coarse sea salt
- 4 tsp Ground flax + 3 Tbsp Water
- 1 1/2 C (155g) Sieved Almond meal*
- 3/4 C + 2 Tbsp (85g) Sieved Oat flour
- 1/2 C (60g) Cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp Arrowroot OR Tapioca flour
- 1/4 tsp Baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 75 g/2.5oz Dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) + Approx 25g/1oz for topping
- 6 Tbsp (80g) Coconut oil
- 1 C (150g) Coconut sugar, ground*
- 1/4 C (60ml) Almond milk
- 1/2 Tbsp Instant coffee (optional)
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F, spread the chopped nuts on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 3-5 minutes. Drizzle over the maple syrup, sprinkle with sea salt and stir. Bake for 3-5 minutes longer. Cool.
- Lightly oil a 9x9" brownie pan and line with two sheets of parchment paper, going in opposite directions, for easy removal.
- Whisk together ground flax and water and set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl, sieve together the almond meal, oat flour, cocoa, arrowroot, baking soda and salt.
- Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over boiling water, along with the coconut oil. When melted, whisk in ground coconut sugar, almond milk, instant coffee (if using), vanilla and flax mixture.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir well.
- Fold in 75 g/2.5 oz (approx 1/3) of the roasted nuts and spoon batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a spatula and smooth over the top.
- Reduce heat to 180C/ 350F and bake brownies for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool completely (at least 1 hr) before topping.
- While cooling, add the remaining nuts to a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until you have a very smooth nut butter. Leave the motor running for a while as it can take a bit of time.
- Spread nut butter over brownies (you may not need all of it) and chill for 10 minutes.
- Place remaining chocolate in a freezer bag and put in a bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes to melt. Remove from water and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken slightly, snip a tiny corner off the bag and drizzle chocolate generously over brownies. Leave to set completely before slicing into squares.
* You can use any nuts here but I liked the flavour of the mix I used,which included brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans.
* I grind my own flours using my Froothie high-powered blender which has a jug especially designed to be able to grind grains and nuts.
*I prefer to use ground coconut sugar for a better brownie texture. You can also substitute cane sugar.
Enjoy the rest of Chocolate Week!
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