Adapted from a recipe in ‘Vegetarian Cooking Without’ by Barbara Cousins.
You will need:
370g chopped dates
250g dessert apples, grated (weighed after grating)
120ml vegetable oil
5 medium free range eggs
250g brown rice flour*
70g fair trade cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract or chocolate flavouring
2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp light tahini**
handful of toasted flaked almonds
1. Put 250g of the dates into a saucepan with the grated apple and 360ml water.
2. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until it has turned into a browny mush.
3. Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together with the vegetable oil.
4. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract, whisking well each time.
5. Add the hazelnuts, apple and dates and stir to combine.
6. Cut two rectangles of greaseproof paper and use to line two large roasting tins.
7. Spoon the mixture into the two tins using a metal spoon and smooth it down so that the mixture is evenly spread.
8. Bake at 200ºC (180ºC for a fan oven) for 20 minutes.
9. Leave to cool.
10. Meanwhile, make the topping.
11. Place the remaining 120g of chopped dates into a saucepan with 20g of the cocoa and 250ml water.
12. Stir to combine.
13. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until it has turned to mush just like you did with the apples and dates.
14. Remove from the heat and stir in the tahini and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract or chocolate flavouring.
15. Mix well to combine, then using a spatula spread evenly over the cooked brownie mixture.
16. Spinkle with the toasted flaked almonds.
17. Cut into slices, and store in the fridge for up to three days, or seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
18. 3 months?! In our house they’re gone in two days!
*Wholemeal or plain flour can be substituted for the rice flour and are easier on the pocket.
**Tahini is made from sesame seeds and it seems to be one of those things where you either love it or hate it.
Peanut butter can be substituted for the tahini in this recipe. You could even make your own – see here for recipe.
You could try adding a tablespoon of grated orange peel for extra flavour; mix in just before baking.