Vegan flourless brownies

October 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm (Brownies and bars, Dessert, My brain, unrated)

I’ve had about a third of a big block of date paste from the Turkish grocery store sitting in my pantry for a while ago.  I bought it to make Lara bars, but only attempted it once.  I decided to try to use the rest of the date paste to make some sort of raw fruit and nut bars, but I ended up adding lots of cocoa powder so they ended up a bit more like raw brownies.

The block of date paste was rather firm, so I put it in the food processor with one very ripe banana and a log of marzipan that was rock hard.  I mixed boiling water with some cocoa and a bit of ground coffee, and poured the mixture into the food processor.  I let everything sit and soften for a while, then pureed it with a bit of peanut butter, some ground hazelnuts I wanted to use up, lots of vanilla extract and cinnamon, a glug of olive oil, some miscellaneous sweet spices (ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg), and a big pinch of salt.  At that point the texture (and to some extent the flavor) reminded me a lot of brownie batter, and I thought about cooking it, but decided that that would be a bad idea since my “batter” didn’t have any flour or baking powder in it. Instead, I decided to firm it up by mixing in a big bag of puffed amaranth. I poured the amaranth in and pulsed the food processor a few times to mix the grains in.  I tasted it again.  The addition of the amaranth made it a bit less brownie-like, but it was still dark, cocoa-y, and creamy, so I’m sticking with the “raw brownie” moniker. I spread the batter into an 8×8 pyrex pan, covered it, and put it in the freezer. I’m planning on bringing it to a vegan Halloween party next week. I hope it freezes okay!

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