I’m not much of a brownie lover, I always find them a bit “much” but there was something that grabbed my attention with these little beauties. They are Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Refined Sugar-Free….win! Someone who I love baking for has decided to cut out refined sugar in their diet recently, so I’ve been trying to come up with some new favourites for them. It takes quite a bit of trial and error, plus it’s quite expensive but there is something really exciting about when it actually works. I’m always aiming to go dairy free where possible so I liked the idea of coconut cream etc in this…. although there seriously is nothing that can replace some beautiful Danish Blue for me, my ultimate weakness.
I used coconut blossom sugar for the first time, what a little bag of beauty. It has a lovely roasted caramel taste and smell to it, much fancier than the white regular stuff. Although it is a bit pricier, it really is worth it. It feels special to use, and adds something great when teamed with the coconut cream in these brownies.
My local Aldi stock milled Chia, at a very low price, which is just brilliant. Adding it into the brownies, or anywhere you can really gives a fantastic boost of omega-3 along with a very long list of other pros. If you haven’t jumped on the Chia seed band wagon yet, you should….while they are still in Vogue anyway.
This recipe is by the lovely Susan Jane White who has a brilliant book out called “The Extra Virgin Kitchen”, She is also set to release her 2nd cookbook in Autumn, so I’ll be sure to snatch up a copy. I first came across her when she gave a talk at the Hay Festival in Kells last Summer, she gave a really inspiring talk about her journey with food. Something very unique about this Lady, so check out her website.
160ml plant based milk (or regular milk if you don’t want it dairy free)
3 Tbsp milled chia
1 Tsp vanilla extract
200g block of creamed coconut
200g 70-85% good quality dark chocolate
200g coconut sugar
100g ground almonds
2 Tsp gluten free baking powder
1 Tsp sea salt flakes
Start by mixing your milled chia in a glass with whatever milk you choose and the vanilla extract. Leave this to the side to sit until needed.
Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) or gas mark 4. Get prepared by lining your brownie tin, you can use an 8×12 or 8×10 if you are using an 8×8 square tin you will need to adjust timing later and won’t be able to fit the whole amount of mix.
Melt your coconut cream with your chocolate au bain marie, basically cover a pot of simmering water with a shallow metal/glass bowl (making sure the water is not touching the bowl) and place your ingredients into the bowl to melt.
Whip the coconut sugar with all of the eggs to get loads of air in, then pop in the ground almonds, baking powder, salt and stir until combined. Pour in the beautiful chocolate coconut mixture and stir together. Now you need your chia mixture. Give it a quick stir (it will feel congealed, this is normal) and add into the whole brownie mix.
Scoop all of the ingredients into your prepared tin, and place in your preheated oven. They will need a baking time of 30mins but if you use a more square tin (8x8inch) bake closer to 40.
Leave to cool at room temp for around an hour before slicing into them.