Tuesday, 30 July 2013

:: almost-impossible brownie::

This DECEDANT chocolate brownie is 'almost impossible' because it's grain-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, egg-free AND sugar-free.


I recently recieved a very exciting email in my inbox, from a dear New Zealand friend who announced that she was making time to come and stay with me on her upcoming trip to Australia. I just LOVE visitors, especially ones that stay a night or two. So I was all for the idea, especially as it was 2.5 years since we last saw each other.

Emails organising transport, girly plans once she arrived etc, went back and forth. Then a couple of days before arriving, she decided to remind me (thank goodness she did) that she was not only dairy and wheat intolerant, but allergic to peanuts and, wait for it.... EGGS. If any of you have tried the Paleo diet, or even just wanted to 'eat clean' for a while, you'll realize there are a LOT of eggs involved. The dairy and wheat part wasn't so scary; I've cooked without those many times. But EGGS usually were the turn-to when creating a dairy/gluten free dessert or cake. So we could have just eaten meat, veg and fruit for the whole visit but that didn't sit well with me. You've GOT to give a guest dessert, especially after dinner on the first night. So I took it upon me as a most interesting challenge.

It so happened I'd been eyeing a coconut-milk, choc-mint icecream recipe a couple of days before, so started straight into that. The recipe did call for one egg, but I guessed it could be left out without too much difference. I found the recipe here (but note, I wasn't that impressed with it in the end. Bit of bother). So with that setting in the freezer, I tried to think of what to serve it with. Wouldn't a brownie be perfect? There has got to be a vegan brownie recipe out there. I googled. There were dozens. I scanned multiple ones, and after closing tabs on those with weird ingredients or that were based on 'black beans', I narrowed it down to this one.

Not a lot to it, I had all the ingredients, and threw it all in the thermomix (food processor will work just as fine). As the author promised, it had a super thick consistancy, and I mashed it down into the tin figuring it would probably cook into a dry rock. I put it in the oven and turned to lick the bowl (not optional). I nearly dropped the thing in total shock. The mixture was SO good. So far, it tasted just like a bad brownie mix. I was really surprised.

The oven alarm finally went off, and I painfully left it for a few moments (ie. 5 seconds) to cool and sliced off 'that wonky looking bit'. GOOD GRAVY it's a brownie. It was just like a true brownie. Every bit as dense, moist, gooey, rich and chocolatey. I rushed another wonky bit into Jason's face, and he was floored. He agreed, it was just like the real, bad boy version.

So without further ado, the recipe, with thanks to Deanna from The Mommy Bowl.

Vegan Sugar-free Brownies

4 ounces (113 g) dates (about 23 medium dates, or about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup boiling water
2 T. ground flax seed
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup (112 g) coconut oil
1/2 cup (28 g) cocoa powder
2/3 cup (50 g) almond meal
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 teaspoon of powdered stevia (to taste)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan.
In a small bowl, combine dates, boiling water and flax seed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes while dates soften.
Put coconut oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coconut oil is creamy. Add date mixture. Pulse until dates break up, and then process for 5 minutes until mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the shredded coconut. Pulse until mixture is thick and well-mixed. Taste for sweetness and add more stevia if desired. Stir in coconut.
Spread batter in prepared pan. (It will be very thick. That’s normal.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until knife inserted in brownie comes out mostly clean.

This was my friend Felicity's review, "So this is what a brownie tastes like! I've never had one before."

So proud to serve you your first safe brownie, girly! x


  1. Oh I am definitely trying this, although I don't like the after taste of stevia I might use coconut sugar (a little bit naughty). Thanks for sharing this recipe, Hannah :)
    Jenine x

  2. Looks delish!! And totally addictive!!

  3. Ok so I have come back (finally) to make this but I need to find a way around the dates, I personally find dates too high in fructose for me but I will tweak this and hope for the best :)

    1. Yeah I'm not a huge fan of date-based recipes, but this one didn't have quite as many as some (not quite a cup). But you're right, they are very very sweet!


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