Food writer Áine Carlin used to be a dedicated meat-eater – until she began to learn about how animals suffer in the meat and dairy industries and knew she had to change her diet. She went vegan because, as she says, “[t]he most important thing to me was reducing any further suffering by my own hands”, and she’s never looked back, becoming so passionate about plant-based food that she decided to publish her own cookbook, Keep It Vegan!
We love her easy, inventive recipes so much that we’ve given her a 2014 Vegan Food Award! We have a copy of her recipe book to give away to a lucky winner. For a chance to win, just enter your details below before 3 November.
But first, feast your eyes on Áine’s recipe for scrumptious, gooey vegan brownies!
You’d be hard pushed to find somebody who doesn’t love a good brownie. Whilst everyone has their very personal views on how gooey or chewy brownies should be, my favoured texture errs on the fudgy side. Chunky enough to cut into manageable bite-sized squares, these could also eat be eaten warm with a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream for a truly indulgent dessert. Enjoy!
250 g plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 banana, peeled and mashed
230 g caster sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
140 g good-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
4 Tbsp vegan margarine, plus extra for greasing
1 Tbsp agave nectar
60 g dark chocolate chips
120 g walnuts, chopped
Icing sugar, to dust
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Grease a 20-centimetre baking tin and line with baking parchment.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine the mashed banana, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Bring a small pan of water to the boil and, then turn down to barely a simmer. Put a heatproof bowl on top, place the chocolate, margarine and agave in the bowl and melt together until smooth and glossy. Pour the melted chocolate into the banana mix and stir to combine.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the chocolate mixture and fold thoroughly until everything is incorporated. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts, ensuring not to overwork the batter.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before cutting into pieces and dusting the brownies with icing sugar.
Adapted from Keep It Vegan by Áine Carlin, published by Kyle Books. Priced at £14.99. Photographs by Ali Allen.