Mirela’s Food Diaries (Part 3) | Vegan Brownies
Hello and welcome back to my food diaries:D
Today I’m back at it with some sweet goodness for the heart – vegan brownies!
This recipe I’ve done a ton of different ways, but the ingredients are almost the same each time. It’s usually the shape and garnishing I like to change.
If you’re wondering how are we not going to bake brownies, wonder no more – just keep reading;)
For the brownies:
For the ganache:
125g walnuts (or a mix with almonds)
2 tbsp cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
225g soft pitted dates
½ cup of coconut oil
30g cocoa powder (even better if you get raw cacao powder)
agave syrup to taste
a pinch of salt
(really flavourful with cashews too) for garnish
This recipe takes more time than the others, but it’s a really delicious substitute to regular pizza and I guarantee it will be worth your time.
Step 0: Soak the dates in boiling water (skip over this if you get soft dates)
I’m not always able to find soft dates in Bulgaria, so I just get dry ones. I soak the dry dates in boiling water for about 10 minutes. After that it’s super simple to peal them and blend.
Step 2: Blend the nuts
Put the walnuts (or the nut mix) in a food processor and process them until fine flour-like texture. Be careful not to process them for too long as they will start releasing their oils too much. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a chopper as well, just put smaller portions at a time.
Step 3: Add the dates & cocoa powder
Next, start adding your dates. Again, I suggest adding them gradually and mixing portion by portion. The “dough” becomes really sticky and hard to work with. Take your time!
When you’ve blended everything evenly, start adding the cocoa powder until it’s mixed perfectly. Throw in a pinch of salt when adding the cocoa powder. I must confess I usually forget or just skip over the salt and it’s always turned out fine, so don’t sweat it if you miss this one. Feel free to hit me up with some chemistry on why you should add salt! 😀
Step 4: Transfer to a pan
Line a pan with some parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly. By now it’s going to be fairly thick so make sure you push it in an even layer. In my case I usually use a square 20 x 20 cm pan, but you can use anything depending on how thick you want your brownies to be. Mine usually end up being about 5cm.
Chop some cashews (or a nut of your choice) and sprinkle on top for garnish.
Put it in the freezer to firm a little bit more.
Step 5: Prepare the chocolate ganache <3
This next step is absolutely optional and the brownies turn out just as flavourful if you skip over it, but I am literally a chocolate-addict and everything chocolate-y possible – bring it on;)
For the ganache I only use 3 ingredients – coconut oil, agave syrup and cocoa powder.
There isn’t much to explain for this step, nor any tips and tricks on making things better. The way I do it is: I put half a cup of coconut oil, then add the cocoa powder and mix. Then I start adding the agave syrup bit by bit and tasting throughout in order to make it just as sweet as I like it.
On its own, it may taste a bit bitter, but don’t go overboard with the sweetness, since the brownie dough is fairly sweet from the dates.
Mix it all well until you see no lumps and that’s it!:)
Step 6: Spread the ganache on top of the cooled brownies
Take out the brownie dough from the fridge, pour the ganache on top, spread evenly, throw in some nuts for garnish if you’d like and put it back in the fridge.
It’s best to serve chilled, since the ganache melts really quickly and goes all over the place.
Also, have in mind that this dessert is definitely not something you can eat ungodly amounts of. Despite using only healthy ingredients, it’s still pretty heavy. My suggestion is to cut in small square pieces, about 5x5cm.
Another way to eat this dessert is by instead of eating it like a brownie, roll the dough into balls. Really nice truffle-like candies. In fact, I did something similar for one of our office gatherings and both our team and the Noble Hire team really enjoyed them, so…;)
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