I was approaching the end of my month long vegan challenge and was looking for a great dessert to complete a vegan meal for some omnivorous friends. I wasn’t looking to convert anyone but I did want them to have a really enjoyable meal that didn’t feel too “worthy”.
In the end I settled for brownies. Now everyone loves brownies so these couldn’t be second rate in any way which meant I experimented with lots of recipes (some good, some disastrous).
I tried making them with wholemeal flour but thought they tasted a bit gritty. In the end I used ordinary plain flour because, lets face it, whatever you do to them brownies are never going to be health food are they?
Do make sure that your sugar is unrefined and your jam and chocolate are suitable for vegans. I used Green and Black’s chocolate and cocoa powder – it’s organic and contains no dairy and no caseine.
I tried using fresh raspberries but the batter is so thick that they just squished when I tried to stir them in. Using frozen protects them and means that you can make them all year round.
This is what I finally served – as usual an amalgamation of all the good recipes. They are dense, gooey and chocolatey – everything a brownie should be. As I was serving them for dessert I tarted them up a bit with a non-dairy ice “cream” and some caramelized hazlenuts but they taste just as good on their own.
Go on – you know you want to…
100g / 4oz Plain Chocolate
100g / 4oz Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
140g/ 5 oz Seedless Raspberry Jam
140g / 5 oz Unsweetened Stewed Apple
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
200g / 7oz Plain Flour
25g / 1oz Cocoa Powder
125g / 4 ½ oz Frozen Raspberries
¼ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
½ tsp Salt
Pre- heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4
Grease and line an 8” square brownie tin.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (make sure the bowl is not touching the water) and set aside to cool a little.
Put the sugar, stewed apple, vanilla extract and jam into a large mixing bowl and beat well until combined and all the lumps are removed. Mix in the melted chocolate.
Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder) and stir together until well combined.
Stir in the raspberries until evenly distributed. Spoon the brownie mix into the prepared tin and level – this is a really stiff mixture so it takes a bit of doing – I found that using the back of a wet spoon worked best.
Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Stick a skewer into the mix to test but it should NOT come out clean – you need the middle to be gooey but not completely raw. The top of the brownie should just be beginning to crisp.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. If the centre is still very gooey when the brownie is cool put it in the fridge to firm up a bit. If you can be patient they taste even better the next day.