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Monday, 15 April 2013

Ultimate Vegan Brownies - Gluten Free Version Too :)



The hardest thing for me cutting out dairy has been losing my beloved cakes and chocolate.  A few weeks ago I was about to give in, when I thought I would have a bash at making Vegan Brownies - not wanting a disappointing bake, I researched lots of recipes and then decided to tweak them to my liking.  The result is the best brownies I have ever tasted - this is not an exaggeration!  I am an absolute snob when it comes to cakes, bakes and chocolate - if it doesn't taste divine, I am not wasting the calories on it ;)

I have a lovely friend who went vegan at the same time as I went dairy free, he is also Coeliac, so will provide instructions to make these not only vegan, but gluten free too - just for you Sam! x

These are oozing with chocolate and have the depth of flavor that you can only get from plain chocolate - the secret ingredient adds a subtle chewy texture that most egg free bakes lack - who would have thought the exotic fig could be used in such a way!

Ingredients

250g Plain Flour - Doves Farm make the best gluten free mix
350g Caster Sugar
75g Cocoa Powder - Green and Blacks or Bournville is fine
1 tsp baking powder - Doves Farm do an awesome gluten free version
1 tsp salt
200ml almond milk - or whichever dairy free alternative you prefer
50ml water
50ml oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g dairy free baking fat - Stork Perfect for Pastry is my preferred choice
100g - 200g Plain chocolate - depending on preference
2 large dried figs

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 180c, 170c fan, gas mark 4 - Grease and line a large square baking tin.  I am never exact with my tin measurements, it depends on how thick you want the finished brownies to be.  For those that are sticklers for following instructions, a 9" x 9" / 22.5cms x 22.5cms will be fine.

Cut the baking fat into small cubes and place in a bowl with the caster sugar.  Starting on a low speed, cream together the sugar and fat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.

Sieve together the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder - set aside

In a measuring jug pour the oil, almond milk, water and vanilla essence - whisk with a fork until combined.  Slowly add this into the creamed fat and sugar, whisking with the electric beaters between each addition.  If you add too much of the liquid and the mixture looks like it is about to split/curdle, whisk in a large tablespoon of the flour mix.

Once the liquid is fully incorporated fold in the dry ingredients.

Take your chocolate bars and break into large chunks - or like me, beat with a hammer before opening

Finely (must be fine) chop your figs

Fold in the chunky chocolate and figs into the mix making sure they are well distributed

Spread evenly in the tin and place in the pre-heated oven.

Bake for at least 30 minutes - if you like a firmer texture then you may want to leave for 45 - make sure you check them regularly after 30 minutes, if the edges are starting to go too dark, cover with foil.

Once removed from the oven, leave in the tin for 10 minutes and then carefully remove onto a wire rack to finish cooling - cut into chunks and enjoy!

If you prefer them squidgy and chewy like me, they are best eaten once cooled :)



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