When you hear the word 'vegan' you're probably imagining a diet filled with kale, coconut water and despair. However, as I'm going to prove to you today, dear readers, that couldn't be further from the truth.
I have ventured deep into the plant-based bowels of the Wairarapa's premiere meat-free eatery, Food Forest Organics, and returned to you with their top secret recipe for fudgy no-bake vegan brownies. Ok, well to be honest I just asked really nicely and they gave it to me, but the point is I've got the recipe and I'm going to share it with you!
- 1 cup (93 g) + 1/2 cup (47 g) raw walnuts, divided + more for topping
- 1 cup (150 g) raw almonds
- 2 1/2 cups (~425 g / 15 ounces) dates, pitted (if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)
- 3/4 cup (60 g) cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp cacao nibs + more for topping
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) almond milk
- 1 cup (~175 g) dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or sub vegan butter), melted
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Place 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup almonds in food processor and process until finely ground.
- Add the cacao powder and sea salt and pulse to combine. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
- Add the dates to the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove and set aside.
- Add nut and cocoa mixture back into food processor and while processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor or blender spout.
- Process until a dough consistency is achieved, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand. You may not use all the dates.
- Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined 8x8 dish and before pressing, add remaining 1/2 cup roughly roughly chopped walnuts and cacao nibs and toss to combine and evenly distribute. Then press down with hands until it is flat and firm. I like laying down a piece of plastic wrap to prevent sticking and get it really flat.
- Lift parchment paper to remove brownies from dish and use hands to slightly squeeze in the sides to create a smaller square - this will make the brownies slightly thicker and more dense.
- Transfer back to dish and place in freezer or fridge to chill for 10-15 minutes before cutting into 12 even squares (If adding ganache, slice afterwards!).
- FOR THE GANACHE: Add almond milk to a mixing bowl and microwave for 45 seconds or until very warm. Alternatively, heat in a small saucepan until just simmering, then transfer to mixing bowl.
- Immediately add chocolate to warm milk and loosely cover. Don’t touch for 2 minutes so it can melt.
- Add salt and stir gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then add melted coconut oil and use a whisk to mix. Set in fridge for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Remove from fridge and add powdered sugar a little at a time to thicken. Whisk again to combine. If it’s still too thin, add another few Tablespoons powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Frost brownies generously with frosting and then top with additional raw walnuts and cacao nibs (optional). Slice into 12 even squares.
- Store brownies in an airtight container to keep fresh. Will keep for 3-4 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for at least 1 month (though best when fresh)