Easter is almost upon us. An amazing time of year, it’s traditionally a time to gorge on chocolate after enduring six weeks weeks of lent. More often however, it’s a time to enjoy some sweet treats and maybe an easter egg with the family.
This poses a problem for vegans worldwide. While vegan goodies have come far, there is still a distinct lack of easter-themed vegan treats. Over lockdown, our founder’s daughter found the best vegan brownie recipe that any of us at New Kings Coffee had come across. Perfectly gooey and moist, it’s everything a non-vegan brownie is and more. With the problem at hand, we thought it was only sensible to convert this into an easter themed brownies for the vegans out there.
For this recipe we use the contents of a New Kings Coffee bag. You could use any one of our bags you prefer, but we recommend the medium roast for its nutty and toffee notes. The coffee isn’t the star of the dish, but it supports the chocolate in making these brownies uber rich and delicious. No need to brew the coffee, gently tear open the coffee bag at the top and use the contents as instructed in the recipe. The bag can be added to your food waste bin. All our coffee bags are made of biodegradable Bioweb, a corn starch by product, and can be disposed of in as sustainable a way as possible. On top of this, it requires significantly less energy in the production process of the coffee bags than traditional cellulose products. It even has a neutral taste so that you only get the purest flavour from our coffee bags.
There are a couple of more unusual ingredients in this recipe. Flaxseed being the principal eye-catcher. Flaxseed is a common addition in a lot of vegan baking. It serves to replace eggs which are definitely not vegan. Eggs are the binding agent that keeps all the ingredients together in traditional baking. Flaxseeds in water take on a glue-like consistency and replace the need for eggs. In some other recipes they can also be used as substitutes for oil.
One big thing to check in this recipe is that your dark chocolate is actually vegan. Most dark chocolate is pure cocoa but some of the cheaper brands will add milk or whey protein (which is milk derived) in order to cut costs. Make sure your chocolate clearly states that it is vegan.
For the toppings, it is important to make sure the label declares them as vegan. Pretzels are usually vegan, but it’s worth checking the packaging to make sure as sometimes they are made using an egg wash. Vegan marshmallows can be tricky to find, but Holland & Barrett sell amazing vanilla-flavoured ones by ‘Free From Fellows’. While you are there, you can also grab some vegan mini eggs by ‘Doisy&Dam’. Almonds and digestive biscuits are usually vegan - but it doesn’t hurt to check!
This is of course a vegan recipe, but you may simply be after a delicious brownie made with our coffee. There are a couple of substitutions here to make this non-vegan. You can swap the flaxseed and water for 2 whole eggs and the vegan butter for regular butter. If you are looking for a recipe that is simply dairy-free, just substitute the flaxseed and water for two whole eggs and leave the butter vegan.
Sustainability is a big focus here at New Kings Coffee. Our packaging is 100% recyclable, and our products are organic, Fairtrade and, of course, vegan. We have partnered with Grounds for Health who are a women’s health charity that focuses on coffee-growing communities. They provide screening, treatment and training to support cervical cancer patients in coffee growing regions. A portion of our profits is donated to them every year.
This recipe makes about 12 servings (although it will be hard not to eat them all in one sitting). Prep time is about 15-20 minutes and they bake for 40 minutes. It’s a super easy recipe and would be perfect to do with the kids! The brownies can be stored for up to three days in an airtight container (again, we’ll be impressed if it lasts that long).
THE BEST VEGAN EASTER ROCKY-ROAD BROWNIE
Prep: 15-20 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
2 tbsp flaxseed,ground
6 tbsp water (for the flaxseeds)
200g dark chocolate, roughly crushed or broken up
Contents of a New Kings Coffee bag, we recommend our medium roast but you are welcome to use any of our bags
80g vegan butter (such as margarine or olive spread), also a little extra for greasing
60ml water (for the chocolate mixture)
125g self-raising flour
70g almonds, ground
50g cocoa powder¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt 250g golden caster sugar
1½ tsp vanilla essence
2 handfuls vegan marshmallows 2 handfuls pretzels
60g flaked almonds
5 Digestive biscuits, broken up into assorted bits
1. Preheat the oven to 170C, 150C for a fan oven or gas mark 3½
2. Use the extra butter to grease inside a 20cm square tin and then line with baking paper.
3. Combine the ground flaxseed with the 6 tbsp water in a small bowl and set aside for a minimum of five minutes.
4. In a medium saucepan, melt 100g of the 200g dark chocolate, the content of the New Kings Coffee bag, the vegan butter and 60mls of water on a low heat. Watch very carefully and stir constantly to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. After it has melted, allow the mixture to cool slightly.
5. Mix the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Ensure there are no lumps.
6. Use a hand whisk to mix the sugar into the melted chocolate and beat well until very smooth and glossy. All the sugar must be well dissolved.
7. Stir the flaxseed mixture, vanilla essence and half the remaining chocolate into the glossy chocolate mixture. Then add the flour mixture and stir in well. Add in the digestives and half the almonds and gently mix in.
8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and put in the oven.
9. After 20 minutes, pull the tin out and scatter the vegan marshmallows, pretzels, remaining chocolate and remaining almonds on top. You might want to poke the pretzels into the brownies so they stick out at odd angles (otherwise they’ll all lie flat).
10. Bake for another 15-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean with moist crumbs and the bits on top have started melting together.
11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
12. Place in a fridge until completely cool - this gives the brownies their fudge texture.
13. Cut into squares and enjoy with a mug of New Kings Coffee!