Raw Brownies with Walnuts

    amy-levin-raw-chocolate-raw-brownies

This recipe brings back all sorts of memories for me and you know how much I love evoking memories through food. Growing up in the USA, we had the magic ( not magic ) that was Little Debbie snack foods. These things were insanely sweet and full of crap, but we were kids, so we didn’t know or care. It’s not that they tasted good, but it’s the way they looked in the package. They’d add chopped walnuts to the top of the brownie, you could see it through the packaging, and that’s the thing that evokes memories for me.

My raw brownie recipe has morphed a lot over the years, from a simple date, nut and cacao powder recipe to this more refined and balanced recipe. I teach this recipe in my Aspiring Raw Pastry Chef class at NAMA foods in London and the sounds of delight from the students when they sink their teeth into these was reason enough to share this recipe.

The oat flour and lucuma ( or maca ) create some lightness to this indulgent treat. The coconut butter make them creamy without adding more fat from nuts, the dates bring that slight stickiness to expect from a brownie and the cacao butter reinforces the chocolatey flavour and firms them up in the fridge. Deep and rich in chocolate flavour, these brownies would be perfectly accompanied by a freshly brewed coffee after a lovely lunch with friends.

120g ( 1 heaped cup ) ground almonds
140g ( 1 cup ) oat flour
30g ( 2 tbsp ) maca or lucuma (optional)
100g ( 1 cup ) cacao powder
175g ( 1 ¾ cup ) coconut sugar

100g ( scant ½ cup ) coconut butter, melted or softened
100g ( 5-6 ) medjool dates, pitted

75g ( ⅓ cup ) cacao butter, melted
100g ( ½ cup ) water

100g ( 1 cup ) activated walnuts

Method

  • In a food processor, blend the first set of ingredient to combine well.
  • Add the second set of ingredients and pulse to mix.
  • Finally, add the last set of ingredients and half of the walnuts and pulse to combine. The mix should come together in the food processor and just form a ball.
  • Don’t over process the mix or you’ll break down the walnuts too much and leave no texture to them.
  • Line a baking tin of your choice ( mine was a 6 inch square springform tin ) with cling film, or use a silicone mould, and press the mix into the base of the tin. You don’t need to worry about it looking perfect on top.
  • Roughly chop the remaining walnuts and sprinkle them on top of the brownie, pressing them down into the top.
  • Pop the tin in the fridge or freezer to set, about 10-20 minutes.
  • Once firm, remove and cut. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for months. Allow to come to room temp before eating, so they’re lovely and soft. For an extra treat, warm them in the dehydrator for 30 minutes before eating!
    amy-levin-raw-chocolate-brownies

Comments

  1. This isn’t going to make me slim is it! Still gonna try it!
    I often remember the time we spent at Kenwood Brook with Russell and the Balaams, I hope you are still well and happy.
    Blessings. X

  2. Hi Amy –
    thanks AGAIN!
    I hope I can use oats and just process them cause I don’t have any oat flour and don’t want to wait!!;-)

  3. Is there a grain-free option for the oat flour? I just don’t do well with any grains. Also, do the walnuts have to be dehydrated or just soaked?

    • Yes, always an option. If I were you, I’d omit the oats and add 40g lucuma extra, 20g coconut flour and 50g more ground almonds. Just to make up for the “flour” being removed from the oats. Enjoy!

  4. Helen Agarwal says:

    Amy, did you use coconut oil (which, I know, often goes by the name of coconut butter) or coconut butter (as in coconut manna or similar)? Thanks.

    • Good questions, I always forget the confusion around this ingredient. I used coconut butter, not oil. 🙂

  5. What are activated Walnuts ? Are the almonds sprouted, then dehydrated first before being ” ground” additionally by “ground” do you mean into a fine powder or just grind into very small chunks? I have never worked with Cacao butter and bought my first batch from Amazon today 9/23 and looking forward to making these brownies. Thanks Amy 🙂

    • The ground almonds in this recipe are the kind you buy from the shop. they will be called either ground almonds or almond meal. However, in the states I have seen Bob’s Red Mill call them almond flour. Very confusing stuff.

      Activated walnuts are walnuts which are soaked 8 hours and dehydrated. I have a post – here – on how to activate nuts. Let me know how they turn out! 🙂

      • OMG… I was not aware that Activated also means “SPROUTING.” That’s too funny. Sprouting is the only way to eat nuts and seeds. I always go a little further by dehydrating too… so much easier to digest this way. 🙂

  6. Ooh I forgot to ask is coconut butter the same as coconut oil?

    • They are not the same, however, a lot of companies call it “butter” when it’s oil, so it’s confusing. You can tell on the label by looking at the fibre content, if it’s got fibre, it’s butter. If not, it’s oil. In this recipe I am using coconut butter.

  7. Kaia Mitchell says:

    Is this coconut “oil” butter or is this the coconut cream thingy made from the coconut meat as well?

  8. Robin Cantor says:

    Hi Amy, I made your brownie recipe. Wow, it’s fantastic. I started off doubling the recipe, knowing it would be a sensation. Must confess I only used 1/4 of the lacuma & 1/4 of the coconut sugar. Added a few more dates. It was still lovely & rich. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s definitely a ‘keeper’.
    Best wishes,
    Robin in Victoria B.C.Canada

    • Awesome! Yeah, the sweetness depends on the person eating them really, so I am glad you adjusted them to your taste. I love your confidence in me.. doubling the recipe 🙂

  9. Robin Cantor says:

    Hi Amy,
    Forgot to mention: I didn’t have almond flour & processed almonds I’d previously soaked & well-dried. I know the oils are what keeps it from happening. How can I get them to a powder like at the store?
    I was however successful with making flour by processing the oats.
    Thank you,
    Robin

  10. Amy- is 2 tbsp ) maca or lucuma (optional) is this TEASPOON or TABLESPOON. Thanks!

  11. OK I am such a duh ! it’s probably “teaspoon” as a tablespoon sounds why to much. I now have all the ingredients in house, except I do not have a 6″ sqaure pan, I do have a 9″ square pan would your recipe be to small for this size pan as I am gifting the brownie for a friends birthday and for presentation purposess would like for them to be all uniform in size. I am curious as to how many portions did you manage to get out of your recipe fitting into your 6″ square pan? Thanks Amy 🙂

    • I think 9 inch will be too large, it’ll make thin brownies. You could also roll these into balls and roll in chopped walnuts or use a smaller, round tin. They’ll still taste the same 🙂

  12. is this the same size pan you used for your recipe? https://www.amazon.com/Parrish-Magic-Line-Square-Pan/dp/B000A8J314

    • Mine was 7x7x1

      • Oooh I purchased the 6 x 6 x 2 pan and will be arriving on Wednesday 9/28. The other size choices were 8 x 8 x 2 and of course a the 9″ I bought the 6 ” as you had originally thought that was the pan you had used. Do you feel the 6 x 6 x 2 may create a brownie that is too thick? I would like to my creation to my friend in Santa Cruz for her birthday gift coming up in October. I am feeling the rolled-up in a ball version does not give the “brownie” effect I much prefer the square/rectangular shape. How many pieces did your recipe using the 7 x 7 x 1 pan make? 🙂

        • I don’t think they’ll be that much thicker and you can just cut them smaller. I’m not sure how many it made as I cut them all differently as I was doing a photo shoot and needed different sizes. Maybe 12 or so.

          • Yes, I had noticed that your brownies were of different sizes
            and now I know why! Thanks Amy– I am waiting on my pan to arrive and looking forward to making the BEST brownies EVER with your.. recipe, oh ugh I am sounding a bit like e David Wolfe teheee.

            My friend Susan who lives in Santa Cruz will be getting the treat of her life in the mail a surprize RAW BROWNIE birthday cake. Thanks for answering my queries Amy, I so appreciate all that you do – Oh and please say “Hello” to Russel (James) when you next see him. I follow his blog and videos too! You both are exceptional talented chefs. 🙂

  13. Lone Jensen says:

    I just discovered these beautiful brownies and can’t wait to try them!! Is there anything I could substitute for the dates? Thank you, Amy!!

    • Absolutely, you can use maple syrup or your preferred liquid sweetener gram for gram. Just add it prior to the water and adjust the water content based on how much moisture the sweetener has added.

  14. Susan McIntyre says:

    Amy
    I met you in Brixton at Russel’s when taking a fermentation course there. I didn’t realise you were American – as am I. I laughed out loud at your memories of Little Debbies products. Thank you for the lift!!

    I will be making these brownies very soon and will try to remember to send a picture.

    Happy Holidays.

    • Hey Susan! Amazing. I think the brownies are even better if you have that memory. I’d love to see photos. 🙂