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Veganuary: Amazing VEGAN chocolate brownies!

Chocolate brownies are pretty much a staple food in our household and my first attempt at vegan chocolate brownies was a little underwhelming. I knew that if I was going to survive 31 days of veganism, I needed to find a decent chocolate brownie recipe that is not only delicious, but also compatible with my new restrictive food regime.

Thankfully, it didn’t take long. Read on to find out how to cook chocolate brownies that are so good you would never believe they are dairy-free!

 

Delicious chocolate brownies

Our traditional, pre-vegan chocolate brownie recipe involved melting lots of chocolate, mixing it with butter, eggs and the like and then stirring in some bashed nuts. I realised that, in order to match these brownies for awesomeness, I was going to have to find a vegan recipe that followed a similar process – only without the butter and eggs, and with vegan-friendly chocolate.

My first attempt used a recipe that didn’t involve melting any chocolate. What?! Instead it was based on cocoa powder and self-raising flour. Unsurprisingly, the result was more like a sponge than a brownie – soft, squidgy and chocolatey in a traditional chocolate cake kind of way. None of the gooey, rich, chocolatey goodness that proper brownies have as a matter of principle.

Not one to give up, I continued my search for a decent vegan chocolate brownie and I am thrilled to report that I have cracked it.

Being vegan does not mean having to do without super chocolate, gooey chocolate brownies. And, this (slightly adapted) Jamie Oliver recipe is pretty easy (if I can follow it and get a reasonable result, anyone can!) Happy dances all round.

The best vegan chocolate brownies
The best vegan chocolate brownies

 

Vegan chocolate brownies

Ingredients
200g dark chocolate (dairy-free obviously!)
170g self-raising flour
5 tablespoons sunflower oil (and some for the tin)
3 heaped teaspoons cocoa powder
180g sugar (caster, brown, whatever you have in your cupboard)
A pinch of sea salt
Vanilla extract
230 ml soy milk
200g bashed nuts (I used cashews, but go with what you fancy)

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 and grease a tin with some sunflower oil.
2. Melt 150g of the dark chocolate in a bowl over some simmering water. Once it has all melted, take it off the heat and move onto step 3.
3. Sieve the self-raising flour and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl and then stir in the sugar and add a pinch of salt.
4. Now add your wet ingredients: the melted chocolate, the soy milk, the sunflower oil and the vanilla extract.
5. Bash up the 50g of dark chocolate that you saved at the beginning with most of the nuts and stir into the gooey mixture.
6. Pour or spoon into your tin/baking dish, level with a spatula and sprinkle the remaining bashed nuts on top.
7. Bake for around 25 minutes. You want it to look cooked on top but to still be a bit gooey in the middle.
8. Leave it to cool for a few minutes then cut it up and place on a wire cooling rack to cool properly. (Mine was super gooey in the middle so I just left it in the baking dish.)
9. Eat by itself or with lashings of dairy-free natural yoghurt. YUM!

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