I pride myself as a bit of a brownie connoisseur – years of practise and brownies have been eaten to reach this (entirely self-proclaimed) mastery. These years of practise have taught me that there are, in fact, several subtypes of brownie! These cherry nut vegan brownies fall into the squidgy category (also sometimes called fudgy). But of course there is also the ever popular “cake” brownie and the “chewy” brownie.
These are the kind of brownie that you eat with a cheeky grin. Come on, you know the ones! They’re packed full of chocolaty, sugary goodness and melt in your mouth. They’re particularly good with a good cup of hot coffee. I would say they’re also amazing with some dairy-free ice cream, but… these cherry nut vegan brownies irresistible! They never lasted long enough for me to get some from the supermarket! Yup, they’re that kind of brownie.
Egg free brownies?
I admit: I’ve been a bit… frightened, of making vegan brownies. Regular brownies are notoriously egg-packed bakes and, obviously, I was going to have to tackle these without eggs. However, I decided to rely on my tried and true methodology to tackle these. What is that “methodology” I hear you ask? It means pairing a good quality vegan margarine (like Flora’s dairy free spread) with an equal amount of vegetable fat (my go to is Trex) and using a simple 1:1 substitute of flax eggs for chicken eggs. I actually got my inspiration for these cherry nut vegan brownies after perusing the dairy free recipe section on Flora – obviously theirs uses eggs and has a higher wet:dry ratio – but their squidgy chocolate and cherry brownies looked and sounded delicious so, I decided to make them vegan. And without walnuts since I’m allergic to them!
Insider’s tip: like with most vegan baking recipes, I have to admit that licking the spoon after the mix is in the oven remains one of the best bits baking without eggs! The same is true with this brownie mixture.
Important notes for perfect cherry nut brownies
Unlike a lot of egg-containing brownie mixtures, this batter should be pretty thick, rather than easily pourable. This is because we add some extra flour and cocoa powder to help the mixture set. It’s important that your oven isn’t too hot either, because otherwise the fats completely separate and come to the top of the pan, rather than becoming a yummy, squidgy brownie at the end. Trust me, there’s a big difference between brownies cooked at 180°C and those cooked at the correct 160°C! It took me two batches before I realised I’d notched the oven a little too high after I’d leaned on the counter to reach something on a higher shelf!
Squidgy Cherry Nut Vegan Brownies
- 55 g dairy free vegetable spread I use Flora Freedom
- 55 g dairy free vegetable fat I use Trex
- 50 g dairy free dark chocolate
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 2 flax eggs 2 tbsp ground linseed + 6 tbsp water
- 225 g granulated sugar
- 100 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50 g glace cherries washed, dried and quartered
- 40 g brazil nuts roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 20cm x 20cm baking dish or tin.
- Prepare your flax egg in a large bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, add the vegetable spread, vegetable fat and chocolate chips. Pop in the microwave for no more than 30 seconds at a time, until melted. Be careful not to let the chocolate burn!
- Add the melted chocolate and butter to the prepared flax egg, mix well, then add all the remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined.
- Spoon the brownie batter into your prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool for at least 30 minutes, before removing to a wire rack.
- Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
- Spoon into the prepared baking dish.
- 5. Bake in centre of preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the centre feels springy to the touch and the mixture is coming away slightly from the sides of the tin.
- 6. Leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Slice into squares once completely cool.