Vegan chocolate brownies

Heavenly Choc Brownies…

Gorgeously rich chocolate brownies, fully vegan and reduced sugar (from their inspired recipe). This recipe is so versatile and perfect for variations, as such this version is decorated with hazelnuts and mixed berries that satisfies both nutty and fruity cravings. These could be just as delicious with a little mushed up banana or any alternative nut / seed combination.

Calories 350

Protein 7g

Fat 50g

Carbs 30g

Total time 45 minutes

Ingredients

These ingredients are enough for a 9 big brownies at about 120g each. Feel free to use the ratios to make bigger or smaller batches and indeed change the portion sizes to your liking.

  • Dry
    • 200g Dark brown soft sugar
    • 170g dark chocolate
    • 50g cocoa powder
    • 210g plain flour
    • Pinch of salt
  • Wet
    • 250ml Chickpea aquafaba
    • 100ml Nut oil
    • 100g Golden syrup
    • Shot of espresso
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Toppings
    • Hazelnut and frozen berries

Method

Prep time: 10 mins, Cook time: 30 – 35 mins

  1. In a saucepan, pour all the liquid ingredients and mix (aquafaba, oil, syrup, chocolate, espresso, vanilla). Stir on medium heat and move onto step 2.
  2. Add in broken pieces of chocolate and the sugar, stir until everything is dissolved and blended evenly together.
  3. Sift in flour, cocoa, and salt. Mix until combined then pour into baking tin.
  4. Add toppings (dry toppings can be incorporated into the batter if you prefer them inside your brownie instead of on top)
  5. Bake at 175oC for 30-35 mins

These delicious chocolate brownies are AmyCakery’s adaptation of Bee Berries’ gooey vegan brownies (of BeesBakery). The sugar to flour ratio has been reduced to give a slightly cakier than gooey mixture, but still rich and moist (and less sweet).

It’s been a very repeatable recipe and pleasing for guests. Amazing hot with some vegan vanilla ice cream, and the perfect after lunch or coffee snack. Chop up and vary this recipe whichever way you like, portion-size to your liking and enjoy!

Melting wet ingredients, sugar and choc
Silky smooth brownie batter
Sifting dry ingredients together
Nine is fine

Additional info and alternative ingredients

Aquafaba is the starchy liquid from tinned beans. We used chickpea aquafaba, but any bean aquafaba (such as black bean) can be used. If you know what the bean tastes like, you can imagine it’s aquafaba will have a very subtle hint of that taste.

Nut oil is preferable as it complements the chocolate flavour well, but can be substituted with vegetable or seed oil for a more neutral tasting batter.

Any brown sugar (light, dark, demerara etc) can be used but “soft” brown sugar is finer and consequently easier to work with, i.e. faster melting. White sugar will have negligible taste difference but the dark brown sugar works with the colour of brownies best, and is minutely less sweet vs white (see NDTV Food’s article on brown vs white sugar, 2017).

Golden syrup is one of those staples that’s ideal to keep in the back of the cupboard as it can be used in so many recipes. Alternatives are maple, agave or corn syrups, honey and or molasses- they all have different tastes, (specifically molasses which is smoky, almost bitter) so best to go with what you know best.

Coffee and vanilla are both optional, but used to complement the chocolate flavour in these brownies. Coffee adds a bitterness to the chocolate that deepens and matures its taste, whereas the vanilla is a more subtle addition that cuts through acidic notes and brings out creamy notes, rounding out the overall flavour (see Preparedfoods’ article on vanilla enhancing flavors, 2001). Bee suggests a possible alternative of orange zest on her recipe which I imagine would be delicious.

Shopping list (& cost approx)

These have worked out about 55p per brownie (not inc energy), and could definitely be made cheaper with bigger bulk or alternative ingredients. Not bad going at all, and this amount could happily be cut up into 12 (41p pp) or 16 (31p pp) portions especially if for lunchbox size.

The table below contains both the approximate recipe cost based on prices at time of writing, worked out from the percentage of ingredients used from the unit price bought at (i.e. the cost of the amount used, not the total amount bought). The starred items represent areas of possible further savings and alterations (some of which already mentioned). The double starred items, also mean the key areas to buy better quality ingredients as these will have the most impact on the taste of the end result.

IngredientRecipe QtyQty CostUnit BoughtUnit Cost
Dark brown soft sugar200g£0.32500g£0.79
Dark chocolate**170g£1.90180g£2.00
Cocoa powder**50g£0.30250g£1.49
Plain flour210g£0.071.5kg£0.49
Pinch of salt0.4g£0.01750g£0.27
Chickpeas002 tins£0.66
Chickpea aquafaba250ml000
Nut oil*100ml£0.37500ml£1.85
Golden syrup100g£0.25454g£1.15
Shot of espresso*7g£0.14100g£1.98
2 tsp vanilla extract*10ml£1.1860ml£6.93
Hazelnuts*30g£0.29200g£1.93
Frozen berries30g£0.091kg£3.00
Total CostRecipe£4.92Shop£22.54
Costs at time of writing (from Asda Jul 2020)

My advice for this shopping list is to use your budget and already available items in your cupboard to determine what to buy and respective quality of ingredients (as well as your (or guests) personal taste, such as sweet tooth or preferring a darker taste). If you already have some hot chocolate powder, you could use this as long as you buy high cocoa content dark chocolate to balance it out. If you don’t already have coffee in the cupboard then try the recipe without it, as it’s not worth the additional expense. Likewise with other cooking oils (sunflower or vegetable) these are fine to use if more convenient. Hazelnuts can be omitted or exchanged for any other nut, or crunchy substitute like chocolate or cocoa nibs.

We always have a bottle of Nielen-Massey vanilla extract in the cupboard, as its thicker consistency is ideal for bakes, hence pay the higher price, but as long as the liquids are well mixed any extract should be fine. I also personally opt for the top-tier own-branded coffee or somewhere middle ground for branded stuff (I’m no connoisseur, but it I think you got a lot more flavour for a little more cost at that mid level).

Nutritional information

This nutritional breakdown is approximate, based on the ingredients used for the bake pictured. Nutritional content will vary depending on which brand of ingredients used. This recipe makes 9 brownies of about 120g each and 350 calories. I like a big brownie portion, but of course divvy up the portion sizes as you see fit.

Where the nutritional breakdown lists less than 5 percent daily value for a nutrient it is considered low, while 20 percent or more is high.

Related articles and special mentions

  • Ingredients glossary (info on alternative ingredients, nutritional breakdowns, and special benefits)
  • Thanks to Amycakery8 for collaborating on this article
  • You can use up the chickpeas with my “Homemade hummus” or recipe
  • Links coming soon: See full lists of vegan, desserts, or snack recipes

2 thoughts on “Vegan chocolate brownies

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