Coffee & Walnut Brownies

I used to make brownies every day in one restaurant I worked. It was a constant routine, almost as soon as I made them they would be sold, and I would have to make some more. After three years of that I was making brownies in my sleep.
This recipe is quite a bit different from that one. For one thing it’s vegan, but also it veers from the basic brownie recipe by the addition of chopped walnuts and espresso coffee. The coffee haters out there need not worry. It adds more depth than it does coffee flavour. If you really can’t be persuaded, then simply then exchange the coffee for more dairy-free milk, which will give you the same liquid content. I do urge you to try it with the espresso, though, as it adds something quite special to the mix. This brownie has a chocolate topping, made with vegan margarine and melted chocolate, and chopped nuts are sprinkled over that while it is still wet.


Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 25 minutes. Cooling time: 2 hours
Makes 12

Ingredients:

For the Brownie
300g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
150g unrefined sugar
60g vegan margarine, room temperature, plus extra for greasing
150 ml espresso coffee (or instant, if that’s what you have)
150ml dairy-free milk (I used rice milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
170g dark, dairy-free chocolate, melted
70g chopped walnuts

For the Topping
100g dark, dairy-free chocolate, melted
50g vegan margarine
40g chopped walnuts


Method:

Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C/350F, then grease a 12 x 9 inch baking tray and line it with greaseproof paper.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, baking powder, flaxseeds and sugar and mix together. Stir in the margarine and then add the espresso, milk and vanilla extract. Use a whisk to thoroughly combine all the ingredients into a smooth batter. Add the melted chocolate and walnuts and whisk again. Pour or spoon out the mixture onto the baking tray and flatten it out with a spatula. As the melted chocolate cools this will become slightly more difficult because the mixture will thicken. Place the tray in the middle of the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until cooked but still a little moist in the middle.
Once cooked, turn the tray out onto a large chopping board. The tray should lift easily off the brownie. Remove the greaseproof paper and allow to cool for an hour.
Once the brownie is cool, melt the topping chocolate and whisk in the vegan margarine. Spread over the top of the brownie with a pallet knife and then sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top. Leave to cool for another hour, then cut into 12 pieces.


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