I remember back in the 1990’s when flourless chocolate cakes were all the rage. Desserts with names like “Chocolate Orgasm” were on every menu. Of course, I had to make that. But even as an athletic college student, I was horrified at the ingredients list: unbelievable amounts of butter, cream, eggs, sugar…. Seeing as I aim to live to a ripe old age without requiring an emergency triple bypass, I’ve rarely revisited that recipe.
Fast forward. Food bloggers are everywhere, and so are healthy, vegan variations of that Chocolate Orgasm cake, without any butter, eggs, or flour whatsoever. So, in my spare time, I’ve been studying these recipes and experimenting.
I set my sights on perfecting a healthy brownie recipe, keeping the decadently fudgy Chocolate Orgasm cake in mind. My family can tell you how many batches of brownies they’ve had to taste-test! Endless. The favorites are baked, and use heart-healthy flaxseed “eggs” to help the batter set in the oven (a flax “egg” is a tablespoon of finely ground flaxseeds whisked with three tablespoons of water, and allowed to sit for ten minutes before adding to the batter). We also found that nut butters and flours make for the most traditionally pleasing brownie-like texture.
This is the end result of many efforts, my own unique version, the best of all that we’ve tried. I knew when I was not only licking the spoon, but also scraping the moist, flavorful batter out of the bowl, that I had to share this recipe.
Though intensely, densely chocolatey, these are also high-protein, low-sodium, and packed with heart-healthy antioxidants like cocoa flavanols and almond polyphenols, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, potassium, and calcium. You can feel good about eating these for dessert, or breakfast! Yes, the edges get that chewy-crispy texture, and the center is fudgy. These can be served hot, with coffee. Or cold, with fresh berries.
This recipe easily allows for two bars per person, for ten people.
Dark Chocolate Almond Gluten-Free Vegan Dream Brownies
Dark chocolate and almonds, with hidden flaxseed goodness: A heart-healthy, high-protein sweet treat that's easy to make.
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds mixed with 6 tablespoons of water, to make "flax eggs"
- 1/2 cup almond butter smooth, unsalted
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed. (Can use coconut sugar)
- 1 tablespoon Amaretto or 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder 100% cocoa, unsweetened
- 3/4 cup almond flour ground fine
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds unsalted, raw preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly grease an 8 x 8 brownie pan (I use spray olive oil)
Whisk the ground flaxseeds and water together in a small bowl, and let sit for about ten minutes. These flaxseed "eggs" help baked goods set in the oven.
Meantime, whisk together the almond butter, almond milk, amaretto or almond extract (if using), and sugar in a medium mixing bowl until smooth.
Whisk the flax "eggs" into the other ingredients in the medium bowl.
Now add the cocoa powder and almond flour, mixing everything together with a large spoon, until smooth.
Add in the dark chocolate chips, and stir.
Pour everything into the baking pan, and smooth the top.
Sprinkle the almonds and sea salt evenly over the top.
Bake for 50 minutes to one hour (the longer it's baked, the less fudgy and the more chewy-crisp edges).
Allow to cool completely. (I love to put these in the refrigerator, personally.)
Using a large heavy knife, cut into small squares. (You should have twenty squares.)
If saving for later, use wax or parchment paper on the bottom of your tupperware and between layers, and store in the refrigerator.