Thursday, November 22, 2018

Espresso Fudge Brownies (gluten free, vegan & refined sugar free)

These brownies are little pieces of heaven. They are the best brownies I have ever had - even better than brownies with gluten and dairy & refined sugar, I promise! That being said, I highly recommend you cancel all of your plans for the day and stay home to make these brownies. This from a girl who doesn't like coffee. Coffee is not my thing, but somehow, these brownies are so my thing! The coffee flavor is not as strong as I was expecting - it's there but it's subtle. These brownies are the perfect combination of chocolate and coffee.

When the Bean finished her brownie she asked "can I have another one?" to which my Dad said "Oh I hope so because that means I can have another one!" Everyone was asking for seconds! These brownies are that good! The recipe is from a blog called Vanilla and Bean (cute, right?); you can find the original HERE.

Start by combining 3/4 cup of gluten free oat flour*, 2 Tablespoons of tapioca flour, 4 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl.

*Our grocery stores often don't stock GF oat flour, so I usually end up making my own. You can make 3/4 cup of oat flour by adding 1 cup of GF oats to the bowl of a food processor. Blend the oats until they break down into a fine flour. Make sure there aren't any big pieces left.
Next, finely chop 1/4 cup of dark chocolate. I used 72% dark chocolate, the original recipe recommends using 70-75% dark chocolate. Add the chopped chocolate to a separate mixing bowl.
Pour 1/2 cup of freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee over the chopped dark chocolate. The coffee should still be hot when you pour it over the chocolate. The heat of the coffee should melt the chocolate. Stir the coffee and chocolate to make sure that all of the chocolate is melted.
Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 1/4 cup of nut butter (I used tahini, but almond or cashew butter would work too!) and 2/3 cup of cane sugar or coconut sugar to the coffee and chocolate mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Once the batter is combined, stir in 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I use chocolate chips that are vegan and naturally sweetened, but you can use any chocolate chip that works for you!
Prepare an 8x8'' glass dish by lightly coating it with coconut oil then lining it with parchment paper. I don't know why the recipe recommends coconut oil & parchment paper, you might only need one or the other but I didn't want to chance it so I used both and it worked great!
Pour the batter into the baking dish. Spread it out with a spatula so that it is evenly distributed in the glass dish.
Preheat the oven the 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once preheated, bake the brownies in the oven for 18-22 minutes. 18 minutes will result in a more fudge-y brownie, where 22 minutes will give you a more cake like brownie.

When the brownies come out the oven, check them with a toothpick to make sure they are cooked. Leave the brownies to cool for about an hour before cutting into them. They are difficult to cut, and that chill time makes a huge difference. Cut the brownies 4x4 to make 16 smaller brownies.
Then, dig in! Store leftover brownies in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Gluten Free, Vegan & Refined Sugar Free
yield: 16 brownies

3/4 cup gluten free oat flour
2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup 70-75% dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup espresso or strong coffee, freshly brewed & still hot
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup nut butter (almond butter, cashew butter or tahini all work)
2/3 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Combine the oat flour, tapioca starch, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
2. Chop up the dark chocolate and add it to a separate mixing bowl.
3. Pour the hot coffee over the dark chocolate and stir it together to make sure the chocolate melts completely.
4. Add the vanilla, the nut butter and the cane or coconut sugar to the chocolate and coffee mixture.
5. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix them together.
6. When the batter is well mixed together, add in the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate chips are evenly distributed in the batter.
7. Lightly coat an 8x8'' glass baking dish with coconut oil, then line it with parchment paper. Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is preheated, bake the brownies for 18-22 minutes. 18 minutes will result in more fudge-y brownies, where 22 minutes will give you more cake like brownies.
9. When the brownies are done their bake time, leave them to cool for at least an hour before cutting them into 16 pieces.
10. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


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