If you’re not a vegan then you might not know that Oreo biscuits are suitable for vegans. Yes that’s right, these delicious chocolate sandwich biscuits are completely free from animal products! They are known as “accidentally” vegan, which is a group of products that were not made to be suitable for vegans, but by chance they are. This often happens because retailers use cheaper ingredients (for example oil instead of butter), so most accidentally vegan products are not exactly the healthiest of options! But hey, vegans need junk food too! I decided to fill these chocolate brownies with Oreos and drizzle on some dark chocolate for good measure, the perfect treat!
To start, I made the flax eggs. I whizzed up 2 tbsp linseeds in my Nutribullet, added 4 tbsp water and put the mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes. Linseeds and flaxseeds are the same thing, but they are called linseeds in the UK and flaxseeds in the US. You can get golden ones, or brown ones, and either are suitable.
For the brownie batter I put the plain flour, caster sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl and stirred it together.
In another bowl I whisked up the almond milk, flax eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
I poured the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisked it all together.
Then I poured the batter into a lined baking tray, and covered it with the broken up Oreo pieces.
I baked it for 35 minutes, then left them to cool completely.
You can slice them up before or after drizzling on the chocolate, it doesn’t make a difference. I melted the dark chocolate and put it into a small piping bag then snipped off the end and drizzled it all over. Make sure to use a dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage so that it is suitable for vegans (I used Green & Blacks 70%) Check the label, if it says ‘may’ contain milk then that is ok as this warning is for people with allergies and doesn’t mean the product contains milk.
The brownies were so yummy and didn’t stick around for long! I got the thumbs up from my sister who is vegan, and I really enjoyed them too (I even stole my boyfriend’s piece, whoops! Guess I’ll be making another batch soon!) They are really moist and fudgey, they taste super chocolatey and indulgent, and the pieces of oreo and chocolate drizzle are absolutely scrumptious! Any oreo fan is sure to love these, and they’re so easy to make too!
People often think I am from Irish descent due to my pale skin and red hair, but as far as I know, I don’t have any Irish in my blood. It is hard for me to be certain of this due to a rather tumultuous family history, but no one else in my direct family has the same colouring as me. This certainly led to a lot of musings about being adopted when I was younger! One thing I know for sure is that I love Irish food and drink, and Baileys Irish cream is one of my favourite drinks (I currently have three bottles in my cupboard). I love to bake with it, one of my favourite ever cakes is my Chocolate Guinness Cake with Baileys Buttercream, so I just had to find another way to put it in a bake and these Baileys cheesecake chocolate brownies were created!
To make the Baileys cheesecake filling I mixed together the full fat cream cheese, caster sugar, egg and Baileys Irish cream liquor.
For the brownie mix I whisked together the dark brown sugar and eggs, I also added some more Baileys.
I added the melted dark chocolate and melted butter to the mixture, then added the plain flour and baking powder.
I poured about two third of the mixture into a lined tray bake tin, then I poured the cheesecake mixture on top, then I poured the rest of the brownie mixed on top.
I swirled it around a bit using a knife then baked it on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes.
I left it to cool completely before cutting into squares. The Baileys cheesecake chocolate brownies were divine and did not stick around for long at all! I even had to treat myself to a second piece. The Baileys really comes through in the cheesecake and it pairs perfectly with the soft chocolatey brownie.
I don’t know why, but telling someone that a brownie is vegan can really put them off. I’m not sure why this is as nowadays you can bake so many delicious treats without using any animal products. I took these Chocolate & Peanut Butter Caramel Brownies into work (without mentioning the ‘v’ word) and my colleagues happily scoffed the lot, especially when I told them they contained no butter and were made with coconut sugar as this immediately removed any January diet-related hesitation over whether to indulge or not. They are rich, sweet and super moist. If you’ve never tried vegan baking before, this is a great place to start!
I started by making the caramel. In a pan I warmed 160ml coconut cream with 70g light brown sugar. I let it bubble for 5 minutes whilst constantly stirring.
I took the caramel off the heat and added a mixture of 4 tbsp maple syrup, 6 tbsp peanut butter (I used Meridian Smooth Peanut Butter with no palm oil), 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp salt. I poured it into a bowl and put it in the fridge to cool.
For the brownie batter I put 250g plain flour, 200g golden caster sugar, 150g coconut sugar, 90g cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt in a bowl and stirred it together.
I then added 250ml almond milk, 2 flax eggs, 250ml vegetable oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract and whisked it all together.
I poured the batter into a lined baking tray, then added blobs of the peanut butter caramel all over and swirled it all together with a knife.
I baked it on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes.
The brownies were so fudgey and gooey, and the peanut butter caramel is to die for. I personally would add more peanut butter next time for a stronger taste, but it depends how much you love peanut butter. If you don’t like it, you could use another nut butter or omit the caramel entirely and just make some yummy chocolate brownies.
It’s cherry season and I am going through my yearly obsession with those delicious dark red berries. I even bought a cherry pitter to make eating them a swifter and more satisfying process. Best purchase ever! It also makes preparing cherries for baking with a much easier task. Which leads me onto these gorgeous Cherry Cheesecake Brownies… packed with white chocolate and fresh cherries, and topped with cheesecake and cherry jam, get ready for some fruity gooey goodness!
To make the brownie sponge I started by melting 170g butter.
In a bowl I whisked up 200g caster sugar, 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Then I whisked in the melted butter.
I added in 200g plain flour, 30g cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking powder.
Then I folded in 100g chopped white chocolate and 110g cherries, pitted and chopped in half.
For the cheesecake top I whisked up 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 120g full fat cream cheese, 40g butter and 30g caster sugar.
I poured the brownie mix into a lined tray, then poured over the cheesecake top.
I added blobs of a jar of cherry jam all over the top, then swirled them around with the cheesecake mixture using a knife. I used a whole jar of Tesco’s Finest Morello Cherry Jam.
I baked it on 200C/180C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes.
After letting the brownies cool fully, I refrigerated them for a couple of hours before slicing into squares and tucking in!
The brownies were so gooey and delicious! These are pure cherry heaven with both the sweet jam on top and juicy fresh cherries inside. They got eaten up pretty fast, I even caught my boyfriend eating one for breakfast!
I’ve heard about baking with avocado for a long time and I’ve always wanted to try it out. I thought January would be the perfect time for it as being more healthy is on everyone’s minds. Avocados are so nutrious and are filled with vitamins and healthy fats, they have been shown to lower cholesterol and are also full of fibre. There is nothing bad about avocados that’s for sure! Alternative ingredients are all the rage right now and I’ve become even more aware of other options to dairy products since my sister became vegan. Unfortunately these brownies aren’t vegan friendly, but the frosting is! So you could easily add it to a vegan bake.
I started by mashing up 2 ripe avocados. As they are so popular now you can buy them ready and ripe, or ripen at home. I use a stick blender to make sure I got it as smooth as possible, you could also use a food processor. I mixed 200g sugar into the avocados.
I melted 260g dark chocolate. I used these 70% dark chocolate chips from Chocolate Trading Co. Dark chocolate is also another great ingredient as it is full of minerals and antioxidants.
I mixed the melted dark chocolate into the avocado mixture, then added 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition. I also added 2 tsp vanilla extract.
Finally I mixed in 30g cocoa powder, 80g plain flour and 1/2 tsp salt. I poured the brownie batter into a lined baking pan.
I baked the brownies on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. I left them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make the chocolate frosting I again mashed up 2 ripe avocados and used a stick blender to get them super smooth and lump free.
To the avocado I added 325g icing sugar, 5 tbsp cocoa powder and 1/2 tbsp vanilla. It went very glossy and smooth. I spread it over the brownies and cut them into squares.
When I took the brownies into work I told everyone they were healtheir brownies and there was a secret ingredient in them. No one guessed correctly and everyone was so surprised to find out these had avocados in them! I got some amazing feedback and everyone really liked the brownies, they were very fudgy and dense, and the frosting was so delicious – a close competitor to regular buttercream I think!
I am entering these into myself and Cakeyboi‘s monthly baking challenge Treat Petite. This month’s theme is fruit & veg.
I am also entering these into Belleau Kitchen’s challenge Simply Eggcellent, this month’s theme is healthier recipes.
The Great British Bake Off has followed the same format of episode themes for a few years now, so it was great to see it move with the latest food trends and have a ‘free from’ themed episode this week. The bakers started with a sugar free cake, however it was more accurately a refined sugar free cake as the bakers could still use honey, agave nectar, maple syrup etc. All of the bakers were still reeling from Ian’s repeated star baker victories, and it’s clear to see that they have all decided to change their tactics in order to knock him off the top spot!
A lot of the bakers used fruit to sweeten their cakes. It was nice to see Ian make a more ‘normal’ flavoured cake, he used pear, ginger and honey for his cake. Although the judges didn’t think it was sweet enough and Paul thought the pears were the wrong choice. Mat made a carrot cake using honey and dates for sweetness and also flavouring it with spices. Paul also went for carrot cake but instead used agave nectar and sultanas for sweetness and added pecans. The judges liked both carrot cakes.
Honey and grapefruit polenta cake was Tamal’s effort and he got his syringes out again to inject grapefruit syrup into it. The judges were big fans. Alvin went for a classic pineapple upside down cake using agave nectar for his sweetness. He was very worried when he finished his bake about 45 minutes before everyone else, but the judges loved it. Paul called it superb and Mary said it was the perfect balance. Ugne gave herself a big challenge by making her cake gluten free as well and giving it a checkboard pattern. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for her as her cake broke and her icing melted.
Flora made an extremely pretty pistachio, apple and cardamom cake, which she decorated with madelines. The judges thought it looked really good, but that the cake was over moist and stodgy. Nadiya was the only one to use mulberry molasses for her sweetness, and she also made a blueberry sugar free jam using basil seeds. She used a genoise sponge which the judges said was too dry, however they were impressed with her flavours.
Gluten free was the technical challenge and the bakers were asked to make 12 identical gluten free pittas. And they only had 2 hours! They were all given some psyllium powder which is gluten free but creates a gelatinous brown mixture to replace the lack of gluten. The bakers all said it didn’t smell very nice!
Alvin wasn’t sure what shape a pitta should be and had a triangle in mind for a while, thankfully he realised it should be oval shaped! None of them knew how long to work the dough for or how long to prove it for. There wasn’t much confidence in the tent at all and they all seemed nervous and confused. Alvin came last, Tamal 7th, Ugne 6th, Ian 5th, Mat 4th, Flora 3rd, Paul 2nd and Nadiya 1st.
The final ‘free from’ challenge was the showstopper and the judges requested a diary free ice cream roll containing silky smooth ice cream covered in jam, then wrapped in sponge. Mary wanted to see outstanding results from the bakers. Paul wasn’t planning on holding back with his opinion at all! I have to say I was incredibly relieved to see they all had ice cream makers, plus extra freezers at the end of each bench. The BBC were clearly planning on not having another ice cream fiasco!
Everyone used coconut milk for their ice cream which inspired a lot of tropical flavours. Alvin used buko pandan, a traditional Phillipino flavour, alongside mango and passion fruit. Paul went for mango, lime and coconut ice cream with a pineapple jam. He also made a fondant bikini clad girl which created some hilarious moment with Mel and Sue as they advised he give her bikini bottoms a gusset, so funny! Tamal made passionfruit ice cream and also pineapple jam. Ian made a mango and stem ginger ice cream, and decorated his roll with a very clever caramel palm tree embedded in marzipan.
Mat made a faux pas by deciding to roll his ice cream like a swiss roll, instead of rolling the sponge around a log of ice cream. This meant he didn’t have much ice cream when he presented it to the judges. Flora also went off piste and made a buche using a very thin chocolate sponge, pear jam and vanilla sponge. Unfortunately the judges weren’t entirely impressed by either of their efforts.
Ugne made peanut butter ice cream, grape jelly and a chocolate roll. The judges weren’t convinced by her flavours, but Paul loved her ice cream. She put her jam inside her ice cream though, which prevented it from freezing properly and she ended up with a melted mess. Nadiya made chocolate ice cream filled with a strawberry and lime mousse. She used a beautiful henna inspired pattern for her sponge. Mary and Paul were very impressed and loved her ice cream and patterned sponge.
Ugne left us this week after suffering two melted bakes. She was very gracious and vowed to continue baking and experimenting with her flavours. Star baker was awarded to Nadiya this week and you could tell how much it meant to her. Next week – pastry and soggy bottoms!
Personally, I don’t really see the point of having a sugar free cake. Don’t get me wrong, I think you should watch the amount of sugar in your diet and eat it in moderation. But cake is a treat, and if you’re going to have it, you may as well have one full of sugar, butter and whatever else you fancy! I’d rather eat less cake, than eat more cake but some of it be sugar free. For the purpose of my GBBO bake along, I decided to make these sweet potato brownies. They are something I’ve wanted to try for a while. I didn’t make them dairy free or gluten free, but there are recipes out there (Deliciously Ella’s one is popular) that are. I didn’t add any form of sugar to the sweet potato brownies as I wanted them to be truely sugar free.
I started by grating 250g sweet potato. I did it by hand, but you could use a food processor too.
In a bowl I measured out 200g self raising flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 50g cocoa powder.
I melted 100g butter and mixed in 100ml semi skimmed milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
I added the butter mixture, 3 eggs and 1 mashed banana to the flour. I mixed it really well. Then I added the sweet potato and mixed it in.
I poured it into a lined baking tray and baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. It was really hard to tell when it was done as it didn’t look like a normal sponge!
Ok, so the sweet potato brownies weren’t bad, but, well, you guessed it… they just weren’t sweet enough!! The banana certainly helped add flavour and very mild sweetness, but for me I just wasn’t feeling it. So I made some icing.
I mixed together 225g cream cheese, 30g butter and 85g honey. I squeezed the moisture out of the cream cheese using a muslin cloth first, I saw Paul doing it for his carrot cake and I have to say it really does make a difference. This icing is optional, if you really like the sweet potato brownies on their own then you don’t have to add it as it does contain honey which ultimately is sugar. The way I like to see it is that I’m eating less sugar than I normally would if I’d made a regular brownie, plus there’s the additional health benefits of the sweet potato and banana.
My boyfriend much preferred the sweet potato brownies with the icing, as did I! It gave them that extra edge they were missing. The sponge was a different texture than I was used to, but I liked it. I think the main hurdle with anything like this is getting over your normal expectations and accepting that a sugar free sweet potato brownie is not going to taste like a normal brownie!
I’m entering these sweet potato brownies into this month’s Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All, as I didn’t have to go out and buy anything to make them. All of the ingredients were already in my fridge and store cupboard.
I am all about using up ingredients at the moment as I’m moving flats this month. The less boxes full of baking ingredients I have to carry, the better! I also made a pavlova over Easter for my family and I had some fresh egg yolks to use up. I hate wasting egg yolks so much that I have written a post called Things To Do With Egg Yolks. I’m always searching for new ones too and I found this awesome brownie recipe over at Buttercream & Chantilly Factory. It uses only egg yolks to create delicious gooey brownies. I halved her recipe, but you could easily double up if you have more egg yolks to use.
I started by chopping up 120g pecans. Luckily this was exactly how much I had left in my cupboard!
I melted 170g dark chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of water and once fully melted I mixed in 100g caster sugar and 90g dark brown sugar. It didn’t look that great at this point!
I whisked up my 5 leftover egg yolks with 40ml double cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
I poured the egg mixture into the chocolate and mixed until combined. It mixed in well and looked a lot more tasty!
Finally I added 95g plain flour, the pecans and a pinch of salt and mixed well.
I poured the mixture into a lined 8×8 tin.
I baked on 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.
The brownies were so deliciously rich and chocolatey. Somehow they tasted even better the next day!
I’ve recently moved in with my boyfriend and despite it being a rented property, I feel more at home than I have in several years. One of the best parts of having our own place is the freedom to have people over whenever we want and cook awesome meals. Last Sunday we had my dad and Stepmum over for a gigantic Sunday lunch. My boyfriend was in charge of the main meal, and I made desserts. I saw a brownie bottom cheesecake on Pinterest and I was like ‘hell yeah!’ so I decided to make one. A rich chocolately brownie layer needs a light cheesecake on top, this cheesecake is very light and almost mousse like which is the perfect companion. The caramel sauce is very rich and you only need a little drizzled over, but wow is it tasty!
I lined a springform tin with foil and greaseproof paper. If you are using a springform or loose bottomed tin, line it really well as this is going in a water bath later. I didn’t line mine enough and some water got through, but I managed to dry it out enough afterwards.
I started with the brownie base and I used my go to brownie recipe, which I made two thirds of the quantity of. You can find the recipe in my Speculoos Topped Chocolate Brownie post. I omitted the chocolate chips.
While the brownies were baking on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes, I made the cheesecake topping by first mixing together 575g full fat cream cheese, 3 egg yolks, 135g caster sugar and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Mix well and make sure there are no lumps.
In my food mixer I beat the whites from the 3 eggs until stiff and then folded them into the cream cheese mixture.
I took the brownie out of the oven and smoothed the cheesecake mixture on top. I placed the tin into a larger tin filled with water to create a water bath or bain marie. This stops the brownie from over cooking while the cheesecake bakes.
I put it back in the oven and baked it for 40 minutes on the same temperature (180C/350F/Gas Mark 4). I let it cool fully to room temperature before putting in the fridge overnight. You can eat it straight away of course, but I made mine the day before.
To make the caramel sauce I found a great recipe on The Guardian. I started by heating 150g caster sugar in a pan until golden brown.
I took it off the heat and stirred in 75g butter, then 150g light brown sugar and 75g golden syrup, then 200ml double cream.
I put it back on the heat and let it simmer for 4 minutes. I took it off the heat and let it settle for 1 minute, then poured it into a jug and left it too cool completely. It’ll thicken up nicely.
When serving the cheesecake, drizzle over some caramel sauce before tucking in! This is a really delicious twist on a standard cheesecake and is so light and really moreish.
Brownie Bottom Vanilla Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce
3 1/2tspVanilla extract
A pinch of Salt
150gLight brown sugar
To make the caramel sauce heat 150g of the caster sugar in a pan until golden brown
Take it off the heat and stir in 75g of the butter, then the light brown sugar and golden syrup, then the double cream
Put it back on the heat and let it simmer for 4 minutes. Take it off the heat and leave it too cool completely and thicken up
To make the brownie base, melt the butter on a low heat. Transfer it to a mixing bowl, add 265g of the caster sugar and mix until fully combined
Beat in 2 of the eggs, one at time, and 2 tsp of the vanilla extract
Fold in the cocoa powder, baking powder, plain flour and salt
Pour the mixture into a springform tin fully lined with foil
Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the cheesecake topping by mixing together the full fat cream cheese, 3 of the egg yolks, 135g of the caster sugar and 1 1/2 tsp of the vanilla extract
In a food mixer beat the whites from the 3 eggs until stiff and then fold them into the cream cheese mixture
Smooth the cheesecake mixture on top of the brownie bottom. Place the tin into a larger tray filled with water to create a water bath or bain marie
Bake it for 40 minutes on the same temperature (180C/350F/Gas Mark 4). Let it cool fully to room temperature before putting in the fridge
Happy St Patrick’s Day! These delicious moist Guinness chocolate brownies are the perfect way to celebrate the day. After all, Guinness is the worldwide drink of choice to celebrate Irish culture and get rather merry along the way! The addition of Guinness to these brownies intensifies the flavour and makes them super gooey. Plus, they are so easy to prepare, which makes them perfect for a party, an after dinner treat tonight, or anytime!
I started making the Guinness chocolate brownies by melting 225g dark chocolate, 75g butter and 200ml Guinness in a pan on a low heat until glossy and smooth.
I let the mixture cool slightly, then poured it into a bowl and mixed in 300g light brown sugar and 3 eggs.
Finally I added 100g plain flour and mixed in. I poured the mixture into a lined square baking tin and baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes.
When the Guinness chocolate brownies were ready I left them to cool…but not for long! I soon sliced in and enjoyed a delicious warm brownie. I highly recommend eating these warm! They would be amazing with ice cream.
As the theme for myself and Cakeyboi‘s monthly baking challenge Treat Petite is Ireland this month, I am entering these gorgeous moist brownies made with a classic Irish tipple!
Guinness Chocolate Brownies
300gLight brown sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line a traybake tin with baking paper
Melt the dark chocolate, butter and Guinness in a pan on a low heat until glossy and smooth
Let the mixture cool slightly, then pour it into a bowl and mix in the light brown sugar and eggs
Add the plain flour and mix in
Pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake for 25 minutes
I have never been a fan of marmalade, I find it too bitter. So I was determined to find a way to bake with it that was delicious and sweet!
Chocolate and orange are such a great combination of flavours, and using marmalade for the orange flavour of these brownies is a great twist. I started with the marmalade cheesecake element of the brownies by mixing together 15g butter, 85g cream cheese, one jar of Mackays Dundee Orange Marmalade, 115g caster sugar and 1 egg.
To make the chocolate part I used the same recipe from my Speculoos Topped Chocolate Brownies, because frankly, it is the most amazing chocolate brownie recipe ever! I started by melting 225g butter on a low heat. After transferring the melted butter to a mixing bowl, I added 400g caster sugar and mixed until fully combined.
I beat in 3 eggs, one at time and mixing in between, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Finally I folded in 125g plain flour, 85g cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt. I then poured the mixture into a lined square baking tin.
I poured the marmalade cheesecake mixture over the chocolate mixture and using a knife I swirled the two mixtures together gently.
I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. It wasn’t done, so I turned the oven down to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 and baked for a further 30 minutes.
I left it to cool for a while before slicing, these brownies are extremely gooey!! I had some fantastic feedback from my colleagues, I even received phone calls and emails from other departments to let me know how good they were. I was so chuffed! I think this is a really unusual recipe that involves marmalade, and on tasting you may not guess that is what is in the brownies.
Chocolate & Marmalade Cheesecake Brownies
85g Cream cheese
1 jar of Mackays Dundee Orange Marmlade
115g Caster sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
125g Plain flour
85g Cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
A pinch of Salt
Mix together 15g of the butter, cream cheese, Mackays Dundee Orange Marmalade, 115g of the caster sugar and 1 of the eggs
Melt 225g of the butter on a low heat. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add 400g of the caster sugar and mix until fully combined
I beat in the 3 eggs, one at time and mixing in between, and then the vanilla extract. Fold in the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Then pour the mixture into a lined square baking tin
Pour the marmalade cheesecake mixture over the chocolate mixture and use a knife to swirl the two mixtures together gently
Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. Turned the oven down to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 and bake for a further 30 minutes