Choco-latte brownies

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We just wrapped up a project at work, so I got to close early today (the sun was still up when I left the office, wonders!) As I drove home I thought about how much I would miss my team – we’ve spent the last 7 weeks together in the trenches and I couldn’t have asked for cooler companions. They made the late nights feel a lot less like cruel and unusual punishment.

I got home at around 6pm and immediately started fidgeting. I needed to do something with all this free time! I wandered into the kitchen on autopilot and started ruffling through the fridge for something to cook. And then a wave of inspiration hit me. I was going to make a treat for my team! I settled on brownies, because I already had all the ingredients. I’d never made brownies before, let alone vegan brownies. But I wasn’t worried; I figured the same higher power that dropped the idea to make brownies in my head would also make sure the brownies turned out well.

Guess what, higher power came through! They didn’t turn out quite as gooey as I had hoped, but still soft and chewy, and indistinguishable from non-vegan brownies. You know, I think I’m getting the hang of this baking thing! *self high five*

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As usual, the recipe is dead simple. I based it on two vegan brownie recipes here and here. I also found an interesting coffee brownie recipe here and incorporated that too. Come to think of it the coffee might be the reason I’m still awake writing this post at 12am…

Anyways let’s make these brownies!

What you will need

*This recipe makes 12 small, 9 large servings. Also I’ve got proper measuring cups now (yay!), so when I say write ‘cup’ it’s actually a standard cup. 

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+ 3 cups chickpea flour (or any other gluten free flour; if you don’t have a problem with gluten feel free to use all-purpose flour)

+ 2 1/2 cups extra-virgin coconut oil (you can also use margarine or any non-dairy butter)

+ 5 tbsp ground flaxseed

+ 1 cup almonds, soaked 3-4 hours and chopped (you can use walnuts or pecans too)

+ 2 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

+ 2 tbsp instant coffee/espresso powder

+ 2 1/2 cups sugar (I used Tate & Lyle’s vegan friendly brown cane sugar)

+ 1 tsp baking powder

+ 1/2 tsp salt

How to make it

1.Mix flaxseed with 10 tbsp water and leave to set for 10 mins. This will serve as the egg replacement in the recipe.

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2. In a small saucepan gently heat coffee, the rest of the cocoa powder and 1/2 cup water until dissolved, and leave to cool.

3. Sift chickpea flour and 2 cups cocoa powder into a large bowl (set aside the remaining 1/4 cup cocoa powder). Add baking powder, salt and sugar and mix well.

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4. Add coconut oil or melted butter and flaxseed to the cocoa powder + coffee mixture and whisk well

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5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; add the chopped almonds. Mix well to combine.

*Don’t overmix the dough. Stop as soon as the flour is fully integrated with the cocoa mixture. You should have a very sticky mass of dough at this point.

6. Pre-heat the oven at medium gas mark. Line a baking tin with baking paper and spoon the dough into the tin, spreading it out evenly into the corners.

7. Bake for 20-30 mins at medium gas mark, until the surface bounces back when you push gently.

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Leave to rest for 10 mins or so after it comes out of the oven, before cutting into it.

Enjoy cold with dairy free icecream, or warm with chocolate syrup!

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