Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Chocolate & Almond Brownies Recipe

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

Cooking for me is something I always find quite therapeutic, it gives me time to just focus on one job and know that at the end of it I hopefully will have made something good to eat. It is no secret that I love chocolate, but I definitely like it in small doses, a chocolate food baby is not a great feeling for me. So when I am cooking recipes with chocolate I like to have something that serves a lot of people but also can be portioned into small or large pieces. These chocolate and almond brownies are one of my favourite treats to make every so often as a nice dessert after dinner or an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Before I begin this recipe it is a little different to a standard brownie recipe because it does not contain eggs. Food allergies are always a bit of a pain and for myself I have an egg allergy which I have had all of my life. This therefore means that I have taught myself recipes that contain no eggs but are still equally as edible. The reason I love this recipe is because it can cater to so many dietary requirements, you can make this with or without eggs and it can be easy to make for a vegan diet. 

As with any recipe, You Will Need:

200g Dark Chocolate
3 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder 
180g Caster Sugar or Golden Caster Sugar
1 Vanilla Pod
220ml Almond or Unsweetened Soya Milk
200g Almonds
Sea Salt
5 Tablespoons of Sunflower Oil (plus a little bit for greasing baking tin)
170g Self Raising Flour

If you want this as a vegan recipe just simply make sure that the chocolate is dairy free and that all of the products you buy are vegan friendly.

Now if you wanted to use eggs in this recipe all you need to do is use all of the ingredients above apart from:

Replace the sunflower oil with 200g Unsalted Butter
Swap the self raising flour to 80g of Plain Flour
Add 3 Large Eggs (preferably free range) 

chocolate and almond brownies ingredients

Now onto the preparation part, not sure about everyone else but I hate being one of these people that starts off with the oven on preheat. I need to have all my ingredients prepared and ready to go before turning an oven on. If there is any tip I can give you if you are not great at multitasking, just have all of your ingredients weighed out and ready to use when you need them, it saves time.

To begin get your chocolate of choice and break it up, personally I always use dark chocolate because I love it and traditionally it is used in brownie recipes, but you can always use milk chocolate. Take about 50g of the chocolate and roughly chop it into smaller pieces, then leave to one side for later.

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

With the rest of your 150g chocolate you then need to melt this down, I always use the method of melting it over simmering hot water on a saucepan. Just make sure the bowl you are using it heat resistant and that the hot water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Once this has melted just leave it to one side to allow it to cool down. If you are using butter in the recipe then you would melt this now with the chocolate together.

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

You then need to sieve your flour and cocoa powder so that you can get rid of any lumps. This is the part where I just had to interpret not being able to find my sieve and use a baby colander instead, it still did the job. After sieving add your caster sugar and just a pinch of salt (we do not want this tasting like a bag of ready salted crisps). Then mix these all together.

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

After you have mixed everything together it should look similar to what I can only describe as hot chocolate powder. You then need to de-seed the vanilla pod. So with a sharp knife and a steady hand cut the pod in half lengthways, scrape out the black seeds in the middle and add to the mixture. The strong fresh smell of vanilla you get from this is amazing. 

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

What I then like to do is break up my almonds. Just take a handful from the 200g and leave to one side. Then take the rest and roughly break them up. I used a pestle and mortar because it was easy to grind them up quickly, but you can also just pop them in a sandwich bag and go full force with a rolling pin if you want. After getting your aggression out you need to add your oil and milk to your mixture. I used almond milk because I am using almonds in the recipe it just makes it more of a stronger flavour. But soya milk is fine to use and if you are not a fan of almonds you can obviously change it to what you prefer, I know that pecan nuts work well too.

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

The melted chocolate from earlier should now have cooled down a little, so add this to the bowl and stir in. Then mix everything together, my tip here is try not to over work the mixture, just mix everything until it becomes a thick but not a solid mixture. If you are using eggs in the recipe this would be where you need to break and beat them in a separate bowl and then add them once they have reached a silky consistancy.

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

This is where I finally preheat my oven, so depending on your cooking facilities here are the temperatures, 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4. I then get my baking tin, now preferably you want something that is not too shallow, I have used a square baking tray because it allows the brownie to have a bit of depth to it. Grease the tray with a bit of oil and then place some greaseproof paper over the top to line it. This will allow you to easily take out your brownies and cut them once they are cooked. Once I have done that I go back to my mixture and add the roughly cut chocolate from the beginning with my broken almonds and mix in. You then need to evenly spread the mixture into your baking tray.

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

Add the handful of almonds you kept to one side from earlier and sprinkle them on top of the mixture. The oven will have had time to preheat by now, so you can pop it in there for about 20-25 minutes. You want the top to be cooked but the mixture inside to be gooey still. Try not to overcook it and if you are using eggs in the mixture do not under cook it. 

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

After it is cooked, it will come out looking like this, you can see the self raising flour has done a good job because it has risen and has a crisp surface. Leave this to cool for about 5-10 minutes so that it will be much easier for you to cut into portions. I cut mine 4 by 4 so that I had 16 portions, but you can cut it to your preference and how big you want the brownies to be.

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

Then you can enjoy and eat, I recommend having them slightly warm with a bit of ice cream or runny cream. But they are also great eating chilled.

chocolate and almond brownies recipe

I really hope you enjoyed this post and the recipe. It is a classic recipe which is fun to make and easy to interpret to your taste. For myself it is really important for me to learn how to make certain recipes without egg being involved. As difficult as it might seem it usually is very easy to get around and it enables me to not feel restricted in my diet because just like many people I like to eat sweet things too, especially cakes! Food allergies are tough but you need to understand that you are still able to cook and invent new ideas. 

Do you like chocolate brownies? I also would be really interested to know if any of you suffer with a food allergy? Let me know in the comments! 

Have a great Wednesday!

Elle x

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  1. *brb* Heading to the shop to get the ingredients :P

    Style Sunrise☀


  2. well well well guess who's recipe i'll be using to bake me some nice chocolate brownie. yummy

    1. Thank you lovely, hope you enjoy them :) Elle x

  3. Ummmm... I'm printing this out and buying all the ingredients tomorrow. This looks so darn good! *drooling*


    1. Haha thank you lovely! Hope you enjoy them, Elle x


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