Decadent Vegan Brownies

Brownies — much like ice cream and pink lemonade — are a “must have” in my life. When I first contemplated becoming vegan my focus was on the things I couldn’t have, instead of all the things I could still have thanks to the incredible  array of vegan options now available.
I admit that a vegan brownie (or any vegan dish for that matter) will never look or taste identical to it’s non-vegan counterpart but in my experience, it’s that mental shift from comparing to appreciating the flavours and textures that vegan cooking/baking and the mindset that taste is where compassion and flavour meet, that helped me to cross that line from vegan to inspired vegan.
This recipe marks my first attempt at baking with my ThermoMix and it was remarkably easy and efficient. In fact, these were so easy to make that I actually put this together during a weeknight (a few weeks ago) so that my daughter could bring them to an end-of-school celebration the following day.
Paired with SoDelicious Creamy Cashew frozen dessert, these decadent brownies are sure to delight.
Bon Appétit~

Ingredients

Vegan butter (I highly recommend Earth Balance Original Traditional Spread)
2 cups water
140-150 g dark chocolate, melted (for this recipe I used 70% Cocoa Lindt Chocolate)
1 can (398 ml) black beans (I prefer to soak dry black beans overnight and cook the following day. It’s more economical, and leftovers can easily be frozen)
1 small avocado or 1/2 large avocado
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Equipment

ThermoMix
Stainless steel bowl
Varoma dish & lid
Spatula
Shallow baking dish, approx. 8 x 8  (Note: I used a glass dish during testing of this recipe)

Preparation

1/Preheat oven to 350C.
2/Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish with butter 
2/Find a stainless steel bowl that will fit inside the varoma dish with the varoma lid securely in place (to ensure the heat does not escape)

Instructions

1/Melt the chocolate using the varoma dish:
1a/With your TM bowl in place (no lid on), press the scale button to activate the weigh function. Place chunks/pieces of chocolate in the TM bowl until the scale shows 140-150 grams. Place your stainless steel bowl (of choice) inside the varoma dish. Transfer the chocolate from the TM bowl into the stainless steel bowl, then cover with the varoma lid.
1b/Place water in the TM bowl; then place the varoma dish (containing chocolate per step 1a above) on top of the mixing bowl so that it’s securely in place. 
Melt the chocolate for 10 mins/Varoma/Speed 2.5
Time Saver Tip: Toward the last minute or so, carefully lift the varoma lid to see if the chocolate has melted.  If it is (prior to the programmed 10 mins)  adjust the knob counter-clockwise until the knife blade setting returns to zero.
Remove the varoma dish from the unit using two hands. With the aid of protective gloves or a cloth, carefully open the varoma lid and take the stainless steel bowl out of the varoma dish. Put aside for later use.
Empty the water from the TM bowl (use caution as it will be very HOT) and wipe down to ensure the bowl is clean and dry.
2/Place the TM bowl back on the unit. Add the remaining ingredients (black beans through vanilla extract) to the TM bowl. Place the lid and measuring cup Mix for 8 sec/Speed 5.
3/Add the melted chocolate (from Step 1) to the TM bowl. Blend 30 sec/Speed 5 (Reverse blade). You should now have a consistent batter with a smooth texture.
Did you know? The reverse function changes the rotation direction of the mixing knife. When used with low speeds (up to 3) you can stir gently while preventing delicate foods from falling apart. When used with higher speeds (4 -10) you can shred ingredients without chopping them. 
4/Using the spatula, empty the batter from the TM bowl into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 mins or until the edges are firm. Serve warm or cold.
Enjoy!
<<If you’ve enjoyed this dessert we invite you to try our Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!>>
Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance, however it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. mutli-function processor, immersion blender etc) or using a more traditional stovetop method.

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