Single-Lady, Chocolate Chip Cookie (Vegan with GF + PB cookie variations)

Damn, that’s a long title, but I think that the cookie deserves it to be honest: You can make yourself a deep-dish, semi-healthy cookie/blondie thing for only you (so you can fix that late night cookie craving), it basically only takes 15 minutes…

Damn, that’s a long title, but I think that the cookie deserves it to be honest: You can make yourself a deep-dish, semi-healthy cookie/blondie thing for only you (so you can fix that late night cookie craving), it basically only takes 15 minutes and one dish (you mix it up in the dish it’s baked …

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Healthy(ish) Single-Serve Brownie (Vegan)

A single serving brownie, ready in 10 minutes?? The perfect antidote to a random chocolate craving?? YES indeed it is. As with my single serving deep-dish cookie recipe, this one is SO easy and bloody delicious. The method is simple: warm the coconut o…

A single serving brownie, ready in 10 minutes?? The perfect antidote to a random chocolate craving?? YES indeed it is. As with my single serving deep-dish cookie recipe, this one is SO easy and bloody delicious. The method is simple: warm the coconut oil and syrup in the baking dish you’re going to use by …

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

These no-bake peanut butter & pretzel bars are exactly the fix you need when it’s SUMMER and too hot to turn the oven on. They come together really quickly and are quite rich so will last you a while as they’re essentially a peanut butt…

These no-bake peanut butter & pretzel bars are exactly the fix you need when it’s SUMMER and too hot to turn the oven on. They come together really quickly and are quite rich so will last you a while as they’re essentially a peanut butter cup in bar form, with pretzels thrown in. These are …

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Vegan Millionaire’s Shortbread

This vegan version of the classic bake, Millionaire’s shortbread, is just as good as the original. With a creamy layer of carnation caramel made using carnation’s vegan condensed milk, a crumbly shortbread base and a thick layer of dark cho…

This vegan version of the classic bake, Millionaire’s shortbread, is just as good as the original. With a creamy layer of carnation caramel made using carnation’s vegan condensed milk, a crumbly shortbread base and a thick layer of dark chocolate on top. Making vegan caramel/dulce de leche: Usually the caramel in millionaire’s shortbread relies on …

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Vegan Flapjacks

These chewy, oaty snack bars are an English classic! With a buttery, caramel like flavour from the golden syrup they’re also incredibly versatile as you can use whatever mix-ins you desire. Here we’ve gone for a fruit, nut & seed flapjack but I’m also partial to a chocolate chip flapjack for a more dessert-y vibe. What are flapjacks? If you’re not from England, you might not have eaten a flapjack before. These are oat-based baked squares, usually made with melted butter, sugar and golden syrup. They ‘re delicious and simple like that but you can also add in so many other ingredients like nuts, seeds, dried fruit or chocolate chips. I think they’re pretty similar to a granola bar but I’d say the main difference is that flapjacks have the key ingredient of golden syrup, which gives them their characteristic flavour & chew. The name flapjack seems to have originated from the word ‘flap’ referring to a griddle cake/pancake because of the flipping motion used in cooking them. The ‘jack’ part is though to just be something that was added on to many English words (e.g. jackpot), or could refer to something small. (Reference). American flapjacks are pancakes, not oaty […]

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These chewy, oaty snack bars are an English classic! With a buttery, caramel like flavour from the golden syrup they’re also incredibly versatile as you can use whatever mix-ins you desire. Here we’ve gone for a fruit, nut & seed flapjack but I’m also partial to a chocolate chip flapjack for a more dessert-y vibe.

What are flapjacks?

If you’re not from England, you might not have eaten a flapjack before. These are oat-based baked squares, usually made with melted butter, sugar and golden syrup. They ‘re delicious and simple like that but you can also add in so many other ingredients like nuts, seeds, dried fruit or chocolate chips. I think they’re pretty similar to a granola bar but I’d say the main difference is that flapjacks have the key ingredient of golden syrup, which gives them their characteristic flavour & chew.

The name flapjack seems to have originated from the word ‘flap’ referring to a griddle cake/pancake because of the flipping motion used in cooking them. The ‘jack’ part is though to just be something that was added on to many English words (e.g. jackpot), or could refer to something small. (Reference).

American flapjacks are pancakes, not oaty squares. Their name comes from the same root but after many years, ended up referring to a different food.

How long do flapjacks keep?

Flapjacks keep extremely well at room temperature – in an airtight container they should last for up to 2 weeks. There’s not really any need to keep them in the fridge, unless you prefer to eat them cold!

If you want to keep them for longer you can freeze them post-bake. Just pop them into a resealable sandwich bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Just let them defrost at room temp before eating.

Common flapjack issues

  1. Why did my flapjacks fall apart: You might also find that some recipes result in a crumbly flapjack which doesn’t hold together properly.
    • First of all: flapjacks will still be soft and crumbly when they’re HOT – so the problem could be that you haven’t let them cool!!
    • Another issue may be with the recipe if it doesn’t contain sufficient amounts of syrup or sugar which are the binders for flapjacks.
    • Another issue may be over or underbaking. If you overbake them, they’ll dry out and won’t have sufficient moisture to stay soft & gooey – if you notice that the texture of the baked flapjack seems dry, this is probably your issue. If you underbake them, the sugar/syrup won’t thicken enough in the oven to hold the mixture together – if you notice that the baked flapjacks seem gloopy and sticky (instead of firm and chewy), this is probably the issue (you can pop them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to see if it helps).
  2. Why are my flapjacks too soft? Again this can be an issue with the recipe or with the bake time. If you underbake the flapjacks, the sugar & syrup won’t have cooked for long enough to create the thick ‘caramel’ required to hold the oats together.
  3. Why are my flapjacks stuck to the greaseproof paper?
    • Sometimes I find that different brands of baking paper stick more/less to baked goods so if you think this is your problem, try another brand. (For people in the UK: I generally find Sainsbury’s baking paper is a good all-rounder).
    • Sometimes the flapjack mixture will stick because of the golden syrup in the mixture seeping under the paper so an easy way to remove it is to warm the flapjacks up again – whilst they’re hot the sugar will be pliable so you should be able to peel away the paper much more easily. You can also grease the tin with vegan butter and dust with flour instead of using baking paper although I think this is more risky than using baking paper as there’s more potential for them to get stuck in the tin.

How to tell when flapjacks are done:

As always, baking times are only a suggestion due to differences in ovens/ingredients/weather/baking tins etc so the best way to tell if flapjacks are cooked are by visual cues. They edges of the flapjacks should be golden brown and the mixture should be bubbling. You may notice that they’re super soft straight from the oven, even when they’ve had enough time in the oven – this is because the sugar & syrup are still hot. Once the flapjacks cool down properly they’ll set and firm up. This is why it’s also a good idea to let the flapjacks cool before slicing so you can get nice clean cuts.

Ingredients for vegan flapjacks

Oats – there are 2 main types of oat for baking with, jumbo oats (a.k.a. old fashioned oats) which are chunkier flakes, and rolled oats (a.k.a. porridge oats) which are finer, smaller flakes. You can use either type or a combo here! Using jumbo oats will give you a chewier texture whereas the rolled oats create a more cohesive mix, leading to a softer more cookie-like texture. I sometimes like to do a combo of the 2, to get the best of both worlds.

Vegan block butter – I simply swapped the unsalted butter from my Aunt’s flapjack recipe for a vegan block butter. I’ve tested Naturli & Stork in this recipe and they both work well. Just avoid tub margarines as they can make the finished flapjack have a greasier texture.

Sugar – You might see different types of sugar used in all different recipes. This recipe is very forgiving so you can use a mixture of different sugars (or just one type) and it’ll still work great. I like to use a mixture of granulated sugar and light brown sugar but you can use caster sugar, dark brown sugar or even coconut sugar.

Golden syrup – I think this is essential for the specific flavour that flapjacks have. As it’s such a thick syrup it also helps to bind the oats together properly and gives the bars a chewy texture. If you have to make them without golden syrup, you’ll need to use a syrup which is quite thick instead (so maple syrup as a direct sub won’t work here) – something like brown rice syrup or corn syrup will work but won’t give the same flavour. If you consume runny honey (which technically isn’t vegan) you can use it here too – the flavour of the honey will come through in the final bake.

Flour – I use plain white flour for my flapjacks the majority of the time. These also work with wholemeal pastry flour or even rye flour. Because of the inclusion of flour, flapjacks aren’t usually gluten-free, however you can use a gluten-free flour blend (e.g. Doves farm) in this recipe. Just make sure your oats are GF too!

Dried fruit, Nuts, Seeds or Chocolate Chips – Add whichever mix-ins you fancy here. I like to stir most of them into the flapjack mixture and then reserve some to sprinkle on top. The exception here is chocolate chips which I prefer to *not* mix in and I *only* sprinkle on top – this is because if you try to stir them into the hot flapjack mixture, they’ll start to melt.

How to make vegan flapjacks

The process is very simple, it’s basically a melt & mix job:

  1. Melt together the vegan butter, golden syrup & sugars in a pot then stir in the oats and flour.
  2. Fold in most of your mix-ins and press the mixture into a 20cm (8-inch) square tin lined with a sling of baking paper.
  3. Press any remaining mix-ins on top and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden around the edges and bubbling.
  4. Allow to cool before slicing into squares.

Other vegan bakes:

Vegan Flapjacks

Vegan Flapjacks

Yield: 16 squares
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Easy, chewy vegan flapjacks made with oats, margarine, golden syrup and light brown sugar. You can add any mix-ins you want such as chocolate chips or dried fruits & nuts. Perfect as a snack or mid-morning treat.

Ingredients

  • 168g (3/4 cup) vegan block butter (I like Stork or Naturli)
  • 168g (3/4 cup) sugar (*see notes)
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 85g (2/3 cup) plain white flour (GF flour blends will work)
  • 225g (2 3/4 cups) oats (*see notes)
  • up to 200g (~1 cup) mix-ins of your choice: dried fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan (350F fan) or 200C non-fan (400F non-fan). Line a 20cm (8-inch) square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the vegan butter, sugar and golden syrup in a medium pot. Place on a medium heat on the stove and leave until the butter has melted, mixing every now and then.
  3. Remove from the heat and add in the flour and oats. Stir until there are no floury patches remaining and all the oats are well-coated.
  4. Add any 'mix ins' you want now (except chocolate chips as those will just melt), reserving a handful for the top for decoration, and stir together.
  5. Tip the contents of the pot into the lined tin and press down to form an even layer. You can sprinkle your reserved handful of additional 'mix-ins' or, if you're using chocolate chips, sprinkle them on now. Press them into the flapjack mixture.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbling with golden edges. They will seem very soft when they're hot so allow them to cool before slicing into 16 squares.
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.

Notes

*Type of Sugar: I like to use a mixture of 1/3 light brown sugar and 2/3 granulated sugar. You can also use dark brown sugar, coconut sugar, caster sugar. You can use one type or a mixture!

*Type of Oats: You can use either old fashioned (aka jumbo) oats here or porridge oats/rolled oats. The kind you use will alter the texture slightly - jumbo oats are thicker so will give you a chewier flapjack with more of a caramel-like texture. Rolled oats are finer so mix into the sugar more completely & will give you a more cohesive, softer texture. You can use one type or a mixture of the two!

Golden syrup: I think golden syrup is key to the flavour and chewy texture of the best flapjacks. However, I know it can be hard to come by in which case substituting honey will work fine (depending on whether you consume it or not, as a vegan). You can also use corn syrup or brown rice syrup, they just won't have the same flavour.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can see your beautiful creation & reshare in my stories!

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Vegan Maple Caramel Brownies

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Vegan Maple Caramel Brownies

Vegan Maple Caramel Brownies

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Maple caramel:

  • 100ml pure Canadian Maple Syrup (Amber Grade)
  • 50g tahini (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 60g vegan butter
  • pinch of salt

Brownie batter:

  • 120ml aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 150g 70% chocolate
  • 100g vegan butter
  • 100g water
  • 100g plain white flour
  • 70g ground almonds
  • 50g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine table salt
  • Flaky salt, to sprinkle (optional)

Instructions

Make the maple caramel:

  1. Combine the maple syrup, tahini, vegan butter and salt in a small pot. Stir over a medium-low heat until the butter has melted then continue to cook until thickened – about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the caramel into a bowl and set aside

Make the brownie batter:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan and line an 8-inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Whisk the aquafaba and cream of tartar (if using) in a stand mixer or a large bowl with electric beaters until it starts to become fluffy. Gradually add the caster sugar whilst whisking until all the sugar has been incorporated and the mixture is thick, glossy and looks like stiffly beaten egg whites.
  3. In the same pot you were using earlier, melt the chocolate and vegan butter over a low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it catching. Lastly, stir in the water and remove from the heat.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the flour, almonds, cocoa powder, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl of whisked aquafaba and sift in the flour mixture. Fold together until combined and pour into your prepared tin.    
  6. Take spoonfuls of the maple caramel and dot over the surface of the brownie batter.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top looks dry but the centre is still soft. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the salt and allow to cool completely before slicing into 16 squares.  
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.



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Millionaire’s Shortbread – Baking Basics

I remember being in primary school and checking a baking book out of the library – once home I photocopied a bunch of recipes from it, one of which was for Millionaire’s shortbread (also known as caramel slice in some parts of the world). It was something I’d had the shop-bought version of (in those clamshell plastic tubs!) and LOVED but had never made before. Now that I had a recipe for a homemade version there was no turning back! My brother and I made it many times – it’s such an easy bake and really requires minimal effort. They’re also VERY rich (hence why they’re called ‘Millionaire’s shortbread) so I often only need one square to satisfy my sweet tooth. Recipes for millionaire’s shortbread are usually pretty similar. I think the BBC /Nigella /Jamie Oliver versions all have the same components with very similar ingredients. A shortbread base, a caramel filling made using sweetened condensed milk from a tin, and a plain chocolate topping. Some versions use golden syrup in the filling (I make it without) to prevent the sugar from crystallising. I’ve tweaked the recipe here and there to make my best version which is what I’m posting […]

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a stack of millionaire's shortbread

I remember being in primary school and checking a baking book out of the library – once home I photocopied a bunch of recipes from it, one of which was for Millionaire’s shortbread (also known as caramel slice in some parts of the world). It was something I’d had the shop-bought version of (in those clamshell plastic tubs!) and LOVED but had never made before. Now that I had a recipe for a homemade version there was no turning back! My brother and I made it many times – it’s such an easy bake and really requires minimal effort. They’re also VERY rich (hence why they’re called ‘Millionaire’s shortbread) so I often only need one square to satisfy my sweet tooth.

overhead shot of squares of millionaire's shortbread with marbled chocolate

Recipes for millionaire’s shortbread are usually pretty similar. I think the BBC /Nigella /Jamie Oliver versions all have the same components with very similar ingredients. A shortbread base, a caramel filling made using sweetened condensed milk from a tin, and a plain chocolate topping. Some versions use golden syrup in the filling (I make it without) to prevent the sugar from crystallising. I’ve tweaked the recipe here and there to make my best version which is what I’m posting today!

I’ve even got a lil video below so you can see step-by-step how to make it ?

How to make crumbly shortbread for the base:

My shortbread base includes ground almonds – they are optional as you can swap out for rice flour/plain flour, but they do help the shortbread base stay nice and crumbly. They also have a nice buttery note to them and, unlike rice flour, don’t add a gritty texture.

Can you make millionaire’s shortbread without condensed milk?

Usually the caramel is made with sweetened condensed milk cooked with sugar and butter until it caramelises and thickens. For my filling, I simply swap the condensed milk for tinned carnation caramel (a.k.a. dulce de leche) instead. This tinned caramel is actually made from sweetened condensed milk so it’s essentially the same thing but it’s pre-caramelised for you! I like using the pre-made carnation caramel instead of sweetened condensed milk as I think it (1) has a deeper flavour, (2) it doesn’t seem to burn as easily as plain sweetened condensed milk does (3) it seems that post-pandemic, sweetened condensed milk is often out of stock in my supermarket whereas the carnation caramel is plentiful! You can’t just use the caramel straight from the tin though as it won’t set properly so you do have to cook it with sugar & butter to get it to thicken up.

All that said, you can use sweetened condensed milk here instead of the tinned caramel if that’s all you can get. It will work just as well but you might have to cook it for longer to get the right consistency AND you’ll have to be more careful that it doesn’t burn.

How do you thicken the caramel?

The caramel & butter & sugar are cooked on the stove in a pot, stirring often to melt everything together and thicken things up. This happens because the heat causes the mixture to boil, releasing some of the water in the ingredients as steam. It takes around 7 to 10 minutes of cooking over a medium-low heat to get this effect. You have to be careful as you thicken the mixture though as the high sugar content means it’s likely to burn easily – this can be prevented by stirring often (and scraping the base and corners of the pan with a silicone spatula). Bare in mind that the caramel will also thicken & harden as it cools in the fridge so it will seem thinner when it’s hot.

Why is my caramel too thin?

The caramel will be too thin if you haven’t cooked it for long enough on the stove. To test whether you’ve cooked the caramel for long enough, I like to use a simple trick. I place a small plate in the freezer before I start making the caramel. Once the caramel is looking darker and thicker than before I remove the plate from the freezer and place a little blob of hot caramel onto it. I set the plate aside for a minute or two so the caramel can cool down. Once cool to the touch, I run my finger through the blob. If the caramel is correctly cooked, the line will remain in the caramel. If it needs to be cooked for longer, the caramel will start to run back together, filling in the line.

a side shot of a square of millionaire's shortbread

What type of chocolate should you use?

I quite like a dark chocolate for the topping as it really helps to balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients. A 70% or even 80% are great but go with what you know you like. For this batch, I swirled on a bit of white chocolate into the dark for decoration but that’s totally optional.

How to cut Millionaire’s shortbread neatly:

I have a kitchen blowtorch which I use to gently warm a sharp knife before cutting into the shortbread. This helps to create the neatest edge as it melts through the chocolate and caramel as you apply pressure, meaning the chocolate wont crack or cause the caramel to squash out! If you don’t want to mess around with a blowtorch, you can fill a jug with boiling water and pop your knife blade in there for a minute or so. Wipe the blade dry before using it as it’ll be wet! With both these methods be careful not to touch the blade while you cut as it’ll be very hot. Also, wipe the blade with a piece of kitchen roll between cuts to ensure the knife is clean & dry.

Can you put it in the fridge or freezer?

I recommend storing the cut squares in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll ensure they keep for longer (up to 1 week!) and will stop the chocolate/caramel getting all melty. You can freeze these too – cut them into squares and pop into a resealable sandwich bag for up to 1 month. Let them defrost at room temp before eating.

Other bar recipes:

Millonaire's Shortbread

Millonaire's Shortbread

Yield: 16 squares
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

A British classic traybake, so easy & perfect for bakesales! Made with tinned carnation caramel (dulce de leche) or sweetened condensed milk on a crumbly shortbread base with a snappy dark chocolate topping.

Ingredients

Shortbread:

  • 50g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • 60g (1/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 200g (1 2/3 cup) plain white flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 150g (1/2 cup + 3 tbsp) unsalted butter, cold, cubed

Caramel:

  • 1 (397g/14 ounce) tin carnation caramel (dulce de leche) OR sweetened condensed milk
  • 100g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate:

  • 150g (5.3 ounces) dark chocolate (I used a 70%), broken into chunks
  • 50g (1.8 ounces) white chocolate, broken into chunks

Instructions

For the shortbread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking tin with a sling of baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl place all of the shortbread ingredients. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips until crumbly. Knead a few times in the bowl to form a cohesive dough.
  3. Crumble up the dough into the lined tin. Use your hands to flatten into an even layer then use the back of a spoon to smooth out.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top.

For the caramel:

  1. Place the caramel (or dulce de leche or sweetened condensed milk) into a medium pot with the butter, sugar and salt.
  2. Heat on medium, stirring often, until the butter has melted. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring often, for 7-10 minutes until the caramel has thickened and darkened. (NB: if using sweetened condensed milk here, it may be necessary to cook for slightly longer to get it to the right colour. You will also have to watch the caramel more closely & stir more often as it is more likely to catch and burn).
  3. Pour the hot caramel over the baked shortbread and spread out into an even layer (an offset spatula works well but you can also use the back of a spoon). Chill for 10 minutes so the caramel can firm up as you prep the chocolate.

For the chocolate top:

  1. Place the dark chocolate and white chocolate into two separate, heatproof bowls. Place each bowl over a pan of simmering water on the stove, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted and then remove the bowls from the pans of water.
  2. Pour most of the melted dark chocolate over the cooled caramel. Spread out into an even layer and then rap the whole tray against the work surface a few times to help the chocolate settle into a smooth layer.
  3. Dollops random blobs and swirls of white chocolate over the dark chocolate. Dollop the remaining dark chocolate on top in random spots. Rap the whole tray against the work surface again a few times to help the chocolate settle. Use a toothpick to swirl the dark and white chocolate together to create a marbled pattern.
  4. Chill for 10-20 minutes until set.

Remove from tin & cut:

  1. To remove from the tin you can either use a kitchen blowtorch to briefly warm the edges of the tin (only if the tin is metal!) which will help melt the chocolate and caramel at the very edges so you can lift out the whole thing with the sling. The other method is to dip a butter knife into boiling water, wipe it dry, then run it around the inside edge of the tin to release the chocolate from the edge of the tin.
  2. Cut into 16 squares using a hot knife (warmed either by running a blowtorch over the blade or by dipping the blade into boiling water & wiping dry) making sure you clean the blade between cuts for the neatest edges.
  3. Store cut bars in an airtight container. I recommend keeping them in the fridge (especially if your kitchen is warm!) for up to 1 week. They're delicious cold from the fridge or at room temp.





Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Millionaire’s Shortbread – Baking Basics appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Vegan Sourdough Brownies

The best vegan brownie I’ve ever made, these are SO fudgy with a crispy meringue-like top and a gooey centre. Such a delicious way to use up that sourdough discard too! After people started making my original sourdough brownies recipe from last year, I had a few requests for a vegan version. I knew from past experience of brownie testing that veganising the recipe wouldn’t just be as simple as replacing the eggs with flaxseed. In brownies, the eggs form an essential part of the ‘bulk’, coagulating upon cooking to hold everything together whilst maintaining that key fudginess we all love. In my non-vegan recipe, the eggs are even more essential, providing that crackly top and a light texture. After some experimentation I came up with a combination of ingredients to replace the eggs: Aquafaba: the obvious choice here for that meringue-y effect was aquafaba (i.e. chickpea liquid which can whip up like egg whites). I replaced the majority of the egg volume with whipped up chickpea liquid which gave me the crispy, crackly crust. However, aquafaba doesn’t coagulate on cooking so I needed to turn to some other ingredients for that… Ground almonds + cornflour: I initially used some […]

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Overhead view of sliced vegan sourdough brownies

The best vegan brownie I’ve ever made, these are SO fudgy with a crispy meringue-like top and a gooey centre. Such a delicious way to use up that sourdough discard too!

After people started making my original sourdough brownies recipe from last year, I had a few requests for a vegan version. I knew from past experience of brownie testing that veganising the recipe wouldn’t just be as simple as replacing the eggs with flaxseed. In brownies, the eggs form an essential part of the ‘bulk’, coagulating upon cooking to hold everything together whilst maintaining that key fudginess we all love. In my non-vegan recipe, the eggs are even more essential, providing that crackly top and a light texture.

View of the gooey centre of vegan sourdough brownies

After some experimentation I came up with a combination of ingredients to replace the eggs:

  1. Aquafaba: the obvious choice here for that meringue-y effect was aquafaba (i.e. chickpea liquid which can whip up like egg whites). I replaced the majority of the egg volume with whipped up chickpea liquid which gave me the crispy, crackly crust. However, aquafaba doesn’t coagulate on cooking so I needed to turn to some other ingredients for that…
  2. Ground almonds + cornflour: I initially used some extra flour in the recipe to provide that coagulation/bulk but that made them have a weird claggy texture, almost like a dense chocolate cake rather than a tender brownie. Ground almonds provide bulk whilst giving a moist, fudgy texture. They’re also fatty so provide the missing richness we lose from not having egg yolks. I also added in some cornstarch for that extra coagulation factor – it helps the brownies maintain more stuctural integrity once cooled but it is optional so if you don’t have any, they’ll still work.
  3. Baking soda: the last aspect the eggs provide is LIFT! We get a lil bit of that from the aquafaba but, as the aquafaba doesn’t set, we need something else to just give a slight bit of rise to the brownies. Good old baking soda to the rescue! It reacts with the acidity of the sourdough discard in the batter.
closeup of vegan sourdough brownies with aquafaba

I would say these are still different to the original brownies as they’re more fudgy and less moussey BUT they are INCREDIBLY good brownies. I think if I had been given one and didn’t know they were vegan, I wouldn’t be able to tell. Part of this is kind of down to the fact there’s not GODDAMN FLAXSEED or CHIA SEED getting stuck in my teeth when I eat them! hahaha.

Other vegan sourdough discard recipes:

NB: I’ve provided DETAILED ingredient notes below the recipe. I recommend reading through the recipe & reading the notes before you start, just so you have all the info. There are substitution notes too for if you don’t have some of the ingredients but if your Q isn’t answered there, please leave a comment/DM me/ Email me and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Vegan Sourdough Brownies

Vegan Sourdough Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 120g (1/2 cup) aquafaba (chickpea/black bean/kidney bean water) (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, optional
  • 250g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar (i.e. superfine sugar) or granulated sugar
  • 100g (7 tbsp) vegan block 'butter' (75% fat content minimum)
  • 150g (5.3 ounces) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa content), broken into small chunks
  • 200g (1 cup) sourdough discard, 100% hydration
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder, I used Guittard cocoa rouge
  • 70g (3/4 cup) ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 30g (3 tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch), optional (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/4 tsp fine table salt
  • flaky salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

Whisk the aquafaba:

  1. Place the aquafaba and cream of tartar (if using) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl, if using a handheld electric whisk). Whisk on high speed until it becomes a thick pale foam, like whipped egg whites.
  2. Whilst continuing to whisk, add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time.
  3. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk for 5 minutes more to ensure as much sugar as possible has dissolved. The mixture will still feel slightly grainy if you rub some of it between your fingertips (if it feels VERY grainy, keep whisking to allow more of the sugar to dissolve). It should look glossy, thick and opaque white, like egg whites whisked to semi-stiff peaks.

NB: I've noticed that sometimes the aquafaba doesn't get AS thick as egg whites after whisking, i.e. it doesn't hold a peak when the whisk is lifted out. But as long as the mixture is opaque and roughly tripled in volume when you're done whisking, it should be fine to use.

Melt the chocolate & butter:

  1. Place the vegan butter and broken up chocolate into a small pot and place over a low heat. Stir until almost fully melted. Remove from the heat and set aside so the residual heat can melt it all fully.
  2. Once fully melted, stir the sourdough discard and vanilla extract into the pot of melted chocolate/butter mixture. It may look kind of split/grainy but this is fine.

Combine & Bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan or 200°C (400°F) non-fan. Line a 7.5 x 9.75-inch (19 x 25 cm) rectangular OR an 8 or 9-inch (20 or 23cm) square brownie pan with baking paper.
  2. Mix around 1/4 of the whisked aquafaba into the melted chocolate mixture. You don't have to be gentle here as this step is to help loosen the texture of the chocolatey mixture.
  3. Now pour that loosened chocolatey mixture into the bowl of whisked aquafaba. Sift the cocoa powder, ground almonds, cornflour, bicarb and salt on top (see notes if you don't have a sieve).
  4. Use a silicone spatula to fold the mixture together gently, trying to maintain as much of that air in there as possible. Make sure you get right to the bottom of the bowl and scrape the sides too!
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes - the top should look dry, matte and the brownies shouldn't wobble when you shake the pan. If you insert a toothpick into the centre, it should come out with some thick, gooey batter (NOT loose, drippy batter!) attached to it.
  6. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges whilst they're hot to loosen any bits which may be stuck. Leave to cool for 20-30 minutes before removing from the tray and cutting into squares. They will sink in the centre as they cool so may crack a bit as this happens. You can sprinkle them with some flaky salt as well now.

Notes

Ingredients notes:

Aquafaba: This is the liquid from a can of cooked beans. I tested these brownies with the liquid from can of chickpeas and black beans (Sainsbury's own brand). Both worked great. I like to make sure I shake the can a lot before I open it & drain off the aquafaba which helps to dislodge the sediment from the bottom of the can (which I believe helps the aquafaba to whip up more reliably). If your aquafaba isn't whisking up properly, try reducing it over a low heat until halved in volume before measuring and using in the recipe. Also, note that aquafaba definitely takes longer to whisk into a stiff foam than egg whites do, so give it some time!!! A stand mixer is the best option here as the extra power makes it whip up in no time whereas my experience using hand-held whisks is that it takes longer to reach the right consistency.

Cream of tartar: I add this to help stabilise the aquafaba foam which, in the end, leads to slightly less sunken brownies. However, I've tested it multiple times without COT and they're just as good, probably just a bit fudgier in the end.

Caster/ superfine sugar: golden caster sugar works here as well as white caster sugar. If you can't get this, try blitzing granulated sugar in a food processor or blender until fine (let it settle before removing the lid!). Likewise, powdered sugar (icing sugar) works - just make sure you're using the same weight (so if you're measuring by volume you'll need to adjust the number of cups). Otherwise, just use granulated sugar - this means you'll probably have to whip the mixture for longer and you may not get as fine a texture.

Vegan butter: I used Naturli vegan block (from Sainsbury's in the UK) which is a solid block 'butter' with a fat content of 75%. DO NOT use a low fat margarine here!

Vegan dark chocolate: I used a Guittard 70% chocolate here but Pico is also a great brand of vegan chocolate to use. Otherwise, check the packet of your chocolate to ensure it's vegan - most dark chocolates around 70% cocoa content already are dairy-free.

Sourdough discard: This isn't leavening the brownies so it does not need to be active. I save my discard in the fridge in a lidded container for a week or two and then use it for baking. 100% hydration means that your sourdough is fed with equal weights of water and flour. My sourdough starter is 50:50 rye and white wheat flour but an all white starter, or a 50:50 white/wholemeal wheat flour starter will also work.

Ground Almonds: Other good substitutes are ground hazelnuts or ground cashews. If you can't do nuts, try ground sunflower seeds. You can make your own by pulsing nuts/seeds in a food processor or blender until mealy.

Cornflour: These do work without the cornflour in them but they will be a bit softer and more fragile. The cornstarch just helps bind things together a bit better but if you don't have any, they will still work out.

-------------------------------------------------------

Method notes:

No sieve: instead, combine the cocoa powder, ground almonds, cornflour, bicarb and salt in a small bowl. Stir together with a whisk or a fork to remove any lumps.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Sourdough Brownies

I’ve been teasing everyone with my sourdough brownie trials on instagram lately. I got a big box of Guittard chocolate, kindly gifted by them, and I wanted to bake something super chocolatey with it! When I put the question on my stories, everyone was intrigued by the idea of sourdough brownies (as I had mentioned wanting to make them) so I decided to go ahead and do it! You might wonder what the point of making sourdough brownies is. Regular brownies are EXCELLENT, why add sourdough into the mix? For me, it’s another delicious way to use up the sourdough discard that comes along with feeding a sourdough starter. You end up with a lot of sourdough going in the bin (as the nature of feeding it means you discard some every day). I’ve been trying to come up with easy, everyday recipes to use this discard instead of chucking it in the bin. Previously I’ve made waffles and crumpets using the discard. They’re both really easy to make but not ‘everyday’ recipes. Brownies, on the other hand, are something I bake quite often. They’re probably one of my favourite homemade bakes, even though I weirdly have very few recipes […]

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Sourdough Brownies

I’ve been teasing everyone with my sourdough brownie trials on instagram lately. I got a big box of Guittard chocolate, kindly gifted by them, and I wanted to bake something super chocolatey with it! When I put the question on my stories, everyone was intrigued by the idea of sourdough brownies (as I had mentioned wanting to make them) so I decided to go ahead and do it!

You might wonder what the point of making sourdough brownies is. Regular brownies are EXCELLENT, why add sourdough into the mix? For me, it’s another delicious way to use up the sourdough discard that comes along with feeding a sourdough starter. You end up with a lot of sourdough going in the bin (as the nature of feeding it means you discard some every day). I’ve been trying to come up with easy, everyday recipes to use this discard instead of chucking it in the bin.

Sourdough Brownies

Previously I’ve made waffles and crumpets using the discard. They’re both really easy to make but not ‘everyday’ recipes. Brownies, on the other hand, are something I bake quite often. They’re probably one of my favourite homemade bakes, even though I weirdly have very few recipes for them on here! So, if I can chuck some starter into my regular batch of brownies, it’s a win-win. My brownies get a bit of tangy sourdough magic, and I use up my discard!

These brownies are my favourite kind. They have a very fudgy middle yet aren’t dense or dry. The top has a fine layer of crisp meringue – made by whipping the sugar with the eggs before folding in the rest of the ingredients. They’re crackly and sticky and delicious (especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some sliced strawberries). You can freeze them in an airtight container if you need to. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

Sourdough Brownies

Sourdough Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 150g (5.3 ounces) dark chocolate (65-70% cocoa solids)
  • 50g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 60g (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg white (if you're in Europe use size 'large'. If you're in the US use size 'extra large')
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 110g (1/2 cup, packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 120g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) sourdough starter (100% hydration) (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/375°F fan (or 200°C (400°F) without a fan). Line a 7.5 x 9.75-inch (9 x 25 cm) rectangular or 9-inch (23cm) square brownie pan with baking paper.
  2. Break the chocolate up into chunks. Place into a medium pot with the butter and vegetable oil. Set over a low heat on the stove and stir often (to prevent it burning), until the chocolate is almost fully melted. Remove from the heat and set aside so the remaining chocolate can melt from the residual heat.
  3. This next step can be done in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with electric beaters: Place the eggs, egg white, salt and both kinds of sugar into a large bowl (or the bowl of the stand mixer) and whisk until pale and very fluffy. Add the water and vanilla then continue to whisk until the sugar has mostly dissolved - you can tell when this has happened by rubbing some of the mixture between your fingertips, if it feels very grainy, you need to keep whisking. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Mix the cocoa powder and sourdough starter into the melted chocolate mixture until completely combined.
  5. Add this mixture to the bowl of whipped egg mixture and fold together until just combined.
  6. Pour into the prepared brownie tin and bake for 30-35 minutes (SEE NOTES IF IN THE US). The top should look dry and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the brownies should come out with a little bit of batter still stuck to it, but not LOADS.
  7. Let the brownies cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing into 16. Sprinkle with some flaky salt if you want!

Notes

  • My sourdough starter is 100% hydration and I feed it with 50% white flour and 50% dark rye flour. This recipe should work with a 50:50 wholewheat + white sourdough starter as well. The starter shouldn't be super cold as may will seize when mixed with the chocolate if it is.
  • These worked either using discard from that day's feed OR using discard that I had collected in the fridge over a period of a week.
  • Caster sugar is preferred for making these as the fine sugar crystals aid in getting that meringue-like top on the brownies. However granulated sugar will work just fine, you may need to whip the mixture for slightly longer.
  • You can double all of the ingredients to make a larger batch - just bake in a 9 x 13-inch rectangular tray. The baking time should be 35-40 minutes.
  • IF BAKING IN THE US: some people who have made this and are in America have needed to bake the brownies for twice as long! Please use your own judgement to test them and make the call on when they are done. They should be quite soft when still warm but should firm up once cooled.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Sourdough Brownies appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Raspberry Custard Blondies

A fudgy vanilla blondie batter swirled with tart raspberries and creamy custard. I made these tasty numbers for a collaboration with Le Creuset I’m doing on instagram at the moment. I thought it would be a shame not to share the recipe on here too so it’s easily accessible for all! The batter comes together in a pinch, just melted and stirred together on the stove top. I use custard powder for a very quick (and nostalgic) custard which goes in the middle of the bars. If you want you can make custard from scratch or buy the pre-made stuff from the fridge section of the supermarket! The tangy raspberries really help to offset some of the sweetness from the batter and makes these casual bars feel a bit more dessert-y.

The post Raspberry Custard Blondies appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

close up of raspberry custard blondies on baking paper

A fudgy vanilla blondie batter swirled with tart raspberries and creamy custard.

unbaked raspberry and custard blondies in a baking tray
cut raspberry and custard blondies on a dark background with a cup of tea

I made these tasty numbers for a collaboration with Le Creuset I’m doing on instagram at the moment. I thought it would be a shame not to share the recipe on here too so it’s easily accessible for all!

The batter comes together in a pinch, just melted and stirred together on the stove top. I use custard powder for a very quick (and nostalgic) custard which goes in the middle of the bars. If you want you can make custard from scratch or buy the pre-made stuff from the fridge section of the supermarket! The tangy raspberries really help to offset some of the sweetness from the batter and makes these casual bars feel a bit more dessert-y.

Raspberry & Custard Blondies

Raspberry & Custard Blondies

Yield: Makes 16 bars

Ingredients

Custard:

  • 200ml (3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp) whole milk
  • 3 tbsp custard powder

Batter:

  • 110g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 220g (1 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1 medium UK egg (large US egg)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 125g (1 cup) plain white flour
  • ¼ tsp fine table salt
  • 150g (5.3 ounces) raspberries

Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan/ gas mark 4 / 350°F and line your Le Creuset 23cm (9-inch) square cake tin with baking paper.

    Make the custard:
    Combine the milk and custard powder in a medium saucepan. Heat over a medium-low heat, whilst whisking to prevent lumps, until thickened. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.

    Make the batter:

    Rinse out the saucepan you were using for the custard and place back onto the stove. Add the butter to the saucepan and allow to melt over a low heat. Keep cooking until the butter foams up and smells nutty, then stir to prevent the milk solids from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Once the foaming subsides, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

    As you wait for the butter to cool, combine the light brown sugar, egg and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth and slightly pale. Add in the cooled, melted butter and stir until combined. Add the flour and salt and stir in to make a thick batter.

    Assemble and bake:
    Pour most of the batter into the prepared tin, reserving a few tablespoons for topping later on. Spread the batter out into an even layer then pour the cooled custard over evenly. Sprinkle on the raspberries and randomly dot with spoonfuls of reserved batter on top.

    Bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown on top but still slightly squidgy (the custard will remain slightly gooey so a skewer test won’t work here). Allow to cool then slice into 16 squares and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Notes

Allergens: milk, wheat, gluten, eggs

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Raspberry Custard Blondies appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.