Raspberry & Hazelnut Brownies – A Perfect Vegan Brownie
Happy Birthday to meeeee! Baking With Honey is now four years old – and I am simply stunned. It feels like yesterday I was tentatively posting my very first recipe here, helped by my little girl who was then just three years old. She has grown and so has this blog; it has evolved from its vegetarian beginnings to become a vegan blog (although the name will always be a source of confusion for vegans, I have little desire to change it) and I have learnt so much over the last few years about food, cooking, photography and just generally running a website. It’s a constant learning experience and I really do love it! My original intention was to post a new recipe on a weekly basis; but life has a habit of getting in the way and although I am constantly cooking and baking, I have fallen short on actually sharing many of those creations with such frequency here. I have however managed to post one hundred and twenty two recipes so far and there will be many more to come. My very first recipe post was salted caramel brownies (I’m cringing now looking at the photographs – hopefully you’ll agree my skills have improved a little!) so I thought it would be fun to share another brownie recipe with you, my latest favourite vegan version.
I know, I know. Another brownie recipe. I’m also guilty of declaring each recipe better than the last; the best so far.
But these are actually outstanding!
I am a die-hard brownie fan. I’ve spent my entire adult life trying out all sorts of brownie recipes and in recent years tweaking and veganising my old favourites, with varying degrees of success. (I shared a couple of great ones here and I still stand by them wholeheartedly – my Magic Vegan Brownies and Sourdough Sweet Potato Brownies.) However, due to the simple store cupboard ingredients, I really do think this is the ultimate dairy free, egg free recipe. It’s taken me a few years – and many disasters – to work out that vegan brownies (which are notoriously tricky to make without eggs) need to be dough-like, not batter-like, before baking. Once you can get your head around that, it’s pretty straightforward.
You want a sugary crispy top with the slightly gooey texture of a classic fudgy brownie? It’s right here. (I don’t do cakey brownies. Never have, never will.) The recipe is simplicity itself; there’s no vegetable purees or tofu or beans or anything even moderately eyebrow-raising; this is just outrageously good “I-can’t-believe-it’s vegan” junk food straight out of your pantry. It’s also adaptable; here I have added raspberries and hazelnuts, but you could just as easily use walnuts, pecans or simply extra chocolate chips. Frankly whatever floats your brownie boat – you can play with this recipe to your heart’s delight and it’s all going to taste amazing! The only word of advice I’d add is don’t ever be tempted to over-bake. After about fourteen minutes they are hot and a bit wobbly – that’s when you need to take them out so they retain a bit of squidge. They firm up quite a lot once they have cooled, so bear that in mind. Also, as these are egg free there is nothing at all to be worried about. You can eat the mixture raw and it’s not going to do you any harm. So what are you waiting for? Grab your wooden spoon and get baking!
Here’s to the next four years of blogging – thank you for sharing my kitchen adventures. X
You will need a 9″x9″ brownie tin, greased and lined. Cuts into about 16 squares or bars.
200g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
225g caster sugar
100g Stork (foil wrapped) or another vegan spread
100g dark chocolate
100ml non-dairy milk
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
75g dark chocolate chips
50g hazelnuts, halved
50g raspberries, washed and patted very dry
Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarb and set aside. Put the sugar in a large mixing bowl and set that aside too. Place the chopped up vegan butter and chocolate in a bowl and microwave gently (stir every 20 seconds) until just melted.
Lightly whisk the milk and vanilla into the chocolate mix then pour it on to the sugar. Beat for a minute until thoroughly mixed. This is the bit that contributes to that sugary brownie crust you know and love!
Now add the flour mixture and combine, making sure there are absolutely no visible floury bits. You will end up with a soft dough (a bit like a very soft cookie dough). Add and the hazelnuts and chocolate chips, reserving a few for the end (if you can remember). Spoon the dough into your prepared tin and use your finger or a teaspoon to make little holes randomly in the dough and press the raspberries in. This is the best way to avoid them breaking up when you are mixing the dough. Then push in the remaining hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Smooth the top of the mixture as best you can (I tend to press it down with the palms of my hands) then bake for approximately 14-15 minutes. The sides of the brownie will look slightly puffed (it does shrink back a little) and the top should look set, although it will be wobbly underneath. When it looks like this, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (they will firm up as they cool) before attempting to lift them out.
When they are cold you can slice them up. I usually get sixteen squares or bars. Like all brownies, these taste excellent slightly warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They will keep in an airtight tub for a couple of days.