This is it guys! The healthiest brownie I've ever made!
They are - start counting now...
- gluten free
- egg free
- lactose free
- refined sugar free... and most importantly...
- they are extra chocolatey and have the most luscious vegan chocolate frosting.
No, no, you haven't missed a major diet change as my dear friend Alice (check out her lovely blog here) was wondering when she saw a picture I posted on Instagram the other day. I am still one-hudred-per-cent carnivorous and I wouldn't change my medium-rare T-bone for anything else. But sometimes a girl needs to follow her need to experiment and do some creative ingredient substitutions. Vegan recipes are the epitome of creativity. I mean, who would have thought of the "flax egg" if there were no vegans on this planet? Flax seeds are really healthy and good for us. They are packed with fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids. I used to soak them overnight and add them to my breakfast oats for an energy boost. That was as far as I went until I saw a post sometime somewhere about the "flax egg".
The "flax egg" is made from ground flax seeds and water. There is a gummy substance in the seed coating that thickens up when it is soaked in water. The gelatinous texture of the "flax egg" resembles a lot that of the common egg and acts as a binding agent in our baked goods.
This is what you have to remember:
1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water
I like to buy whole seeds (white or brown), store them in my freezer and ground only the amount I need every time in a coffee grinder. In this way they last longer and don't get oxidised.
Initially, I wanted to bake the brownie cups using sorghum flour. Its whole grain, nutty taste would have matched perfectly with that of the flax seeds. Sorghum is by far my favourite gluten free flour. It's not as heavy as other whole grain flours - buckwheat for example - and combined with potato or rice flours gives very good results when baking cakes and cookies. Unfortunately it is not the easiest thing to find in Athens at the moment so I opted for a ready made gluten free flour mix.
As for the frosting.... it is definitely the easiest AND the yummiest. Chilled coconut milk with cocoa and a few stevia drops. Light and airy, it is this brownie's perfect companion. And so that you know, I keep a can of coconut milk chilling in my fridge 'cause you never know when the frosting craving might hit you!
Before I leave you with the recipe I wanted to remind you that Box of Stolen Socks is nominated in Greece's first ever food blog awards organised by BHMAGourmet one of the country's leading cooking magazines. You don't have to live in Greece or speak Greek to vote for me so please click on the buttons below, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Like for Vote icon.
Do this for both categories and you will have my eternal gratitude!
Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Cups with Vegan Chocolate Frosting
Makes 9 brownie cups
- 70 gr dark chocolateγρ 70% cocoa solids
- 50 gr coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 120 gr gluten free flour mix (flour mixes differ for this recipe I used this)
- 70 gr coconut palm sugar
- 30 gr light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 30 gr orange juice
- 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
- Ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans)
- 1 can coconut milk chilled in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 - 3 stevia drops or coconut palm sugar
- Make the "flax eggs" first. Grind the flax seeds in a coffee or spice grinder. Mix with the water and let it rest for 15 minutes. It will thicken and look like a gelatinous muck but that's what we want!
- Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil in a double boiler or in the microwave. Mix well to combine and let cool for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl put the flour, sugars, salt, xanthan gum, baking soda and mix them. Pour in melted chocolate, "flax eggs", vanilla essence and orange juice and mix well until combined. The dough should be sticky but not very liquid. Mix in the chocolate drops.
- Preheat oven to 170C/340F. Oil a muffin tin with coconut oil and spoon in the dough. A little more than one tablespoon per muffin pocket. Level the mixture with the back of the spoon and then make a small pit using your fingertips. Sprinkle with ground nuts.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Check if ready using a knife. If the tip comes out clean remove from the oven. If not then bake for a few more minutes. Let them cool down completely before removing from the tin.
- When ready make the frosting.
- Take the coconut milk can from the fridge, turn it upside down and open it using a can opener. The milk should have solidified at the bottom of the can and separated from the water. Pour out the water but don't throw it away, use it to boil rice or use it in your sauces.
- Put the solidified milk in a bowl with the cocoa and stevia or sugar and whisk. Decorate your brownie cups as you wish. You can pipe it or spoon it on them. Just keep in mind that this frosting is very temperature sensitive and it will melt if you handle it for a long time. You can always pop it in the fridge if it starts to melt.