I have been trying to improve my repertoire of vegan, gluten-free desserts for a while now – partly to have more dairy-free and gluten-free desserts in my back pocket, and partly because it seems like a good idea.
Hence these brownies. I based them on an excellent recipe by Arman Liew, but made enough adjustments that I decided to write up my version separately. This recipe is more like a bar, and thus is very different from my cakey Shabbat brownies.
I added walnuts, which I crushed with a rolling pin. The walnuts not only complement the chocolate and temper the sweetness, but also add oil and density to the brownie. You could probably use any tree nut; a nut-free version would probably require some additional tweaks.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Walnut Brownies
Based on a recipe by Arman Liew
Makes 24 brownies
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
¾ cup water
2 scant cups vegan chocolate chips – semi-sweet or dark chocolate
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) vegan butter – Earth Balance works well
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups gluten-free flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s gluten-free)
1 cup walnuts, crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175C, and line a 9”x13” (23cm x 33cm) pan with parchment paper.
- Mix the flaxseed and water and let sit for a few minutes, or until it gels up. Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate chips and vegan butter in a large bowl. I usually do 30 second spurts in the microwave on high, mixing in between, until melted. You could use a double boiler if you like.
- Add the sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture and mix in thoroughly.
- Add the flaxseed mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix in thoroughly.
- Sift together the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
- Fold the dry mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined. The texture should be consistent and no dry spots should be apparent.
- Fold in the walnuts until evenly distributed.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and use your spatula to spread around evenly. Note that this will be a thick mixture – much thicker than a traditional brownie batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top has solidified.
- Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the mega-brownie from the pan and slice into squares. I usually measure mine to be about 2 inches on each side.
- Keep in a sealed container for up to four days, separating layers of brownie with parchment paper.
Thank you to my colleagues for providing User Acceptance Testing for this recipe.