These brownies are unreal: I am being proved, over and over, that vegan, refined sugar free, “clean” treats can taste just as incredible as the “real” thing. Simple ingredients come together here to make for an life changingly good, fudgy form of a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
The base comes from the incredibly popular My New Roots blog, and its popularity is a clear testament to how great it is. I love a combination of textures and so to make this brownie extra special, I topped it with a vegan peanut butter fudge. The addition of coconut oil into anything automatically directs it into the “very rich” category of treats. The fudge itself is sweet, salty and crunchy, complimenting the depth of flavours in the brownie beautifully. They would both be lovely on their own, but are so much more exciting when paired! It feels like a miracle to bring together something that 1) does not taste like dates and 2) is immensely satisfying for sweet tooths in even tiny portions. While the recipe isn’t strictly raw, thanks to the roasted peanut butter, it is no bake and a cinch to prepare.
Cacao nibs are bits of broken up cacao beans that have been roasted and removed from their husks. I actually used some whole beans ground up fresh into rough sized pieces that my Mum brought back for me from Bali that have been begging to be used! They have an intense dark chocolate flavour without being too sweet, and so are perfect for topping anything fudgy.
(almost raw) vegan peanut butter fudge brownies
- 200g (2 cups) raw walnuts
- 50g (1/2 cup) raw peanuts
- 50g (3 tbsp) smooth peanut or almond butter, salted (if making completely raw, substitute this measurement for more Medjool dates)
- 350g (around 22!) Medjool dates, pitted (or alternatively dried dates soaked overnight and drained)
- 60g (1/3 cup) raw cacao/cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
Peanut butter fudge:
- 150g natural peanut/almond butter
- 70g extra virgin coconut oil, room temperature – ideally a buttery consistency
- 100g maple syrup (or rice malt syrup/honey)
- 100g raw buckwheat groats
- Cacao nibs and sea salt for topping
- In a food processor on high speed, grind the walnuts and peanuts down to a fine, crumbly powder, scraping down the sides as needed. This took me about five minutes with my little hand-held one! Add the cacao powder and pulse to combine through the ground nuts.
- Add the peanut butter, vanilla essence and Medjool dates and process again on high to turn the ingredients into a sticky, fudgey mess. Press the brownie as best you can into a lined 9″ x 9″ baking tray. Pop in the freezer to set.
- Make the peanut butter fudge by beating the peanut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup on low speed (friction caused by higher speeds = heat = separated, not fudgey mess) with a hand-mixer. Alternatively mix by hand. Stir through the raw buckwheat groats. Spread the fudge mixture on top of the brownie. Set in the freezer for 30 minutes before topping with a sprinkling of cacao nibs and sea salt for extra crunch and chocolatey-ness.
- When set completely, cut into small pieces with a warm knife. Eat straight from the freezer.