Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vegan Cherry Brownies with Coconut Cream from One Part Plant

Vegan Cherry Brownies with Coconut Cream // Bubby and Bean
I recently discovered a website called One Part Plant, and became instantly obsessed.  So much so that I stalked its author, fellow Chicago girl Jessica Murnane, and asked if she could put together a special recipe just for Bubby and Bean readers.  Because she is rad, she agreed.  And I can't stop drooling over what she came up with.  Once you're done reading through all the deliciousness, see my notes at the bottom of this post on where you can find more of Jessica's awesomeness.  xo, melissa

Whenever anyone asks me if there are any foods I don't like, the answer is always the same: 1. "Salads" that don't include lettuce (potato salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, pasta salad) and 2. The combination of chocolate and fruit.

I'll never budge on the salads, it's been a thing for me for as long as I can remember.  But the other day I was experimenting in the kitchen and it got me thinking twice about chocolate and fruit hooking up.  I realized that my prejudice against the combo started when I was little, with a single cherry cordial.  You know the kind, with the weird fakey-cherry gel in the center? It's the original Fruit Gusher. As soon as I bit in, I immediately spit it out...and at that moment decided that I hated fruit and chocolate together. Forever.

But like so many other things since I changed my diet, I've found that the natural version is so much better. Celtic salt has so much more flavor than the table kind.  I never liked honey until I tried the real-deal, raw version.  And maple syrup that's actually made of real maple syrup (and nothing else) is 1,000 times better than the kind I grew up with.  So with this recipe, I ditched the cherry goo and strange chocolate coating and went with the real stuff.  And now, I officially have a  place in my heart for chocolate and fruit together. And I'm also loving this coconut cream, an updated and even tastier version of the tub of whipped stuff from Thanksgiving Days past.

This brownie is a riff on one of Terry Walter's brownie recipes. I changed up the flours a bit and added the cherries and some extras.  But I highly recommend checking out her books. She has so many great recipes that you can take and make your own.  And thankfully, not one mention of salads that don't include greens!

8 pitted dates (soaked in almond or rice milk for a few hours)
15-20 pitted cherries diced
1 banana (the more ripe the better)
1/2 cup applesauce (natural)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can of coconut milk (chilled in fridge overnight)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dates, banana, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla in a food processor. Mix until smooth, but there should still be a few chunky date pieces. In a large bowl, combine your remaining dry ingredients. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and add cherries. Fold together. Pour batter into a lightly greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake for 23-25 minutes until cooked through.

While brownies are baking, take chilled coconut milk carefully from the fridge. Do not shake. The coconut cream and water have separated and you want this. Open the can and scoop the coconut cream from the top into a small bowl. Keep the coconut water for a future recipe. Add your vanilla and maple syrup and use an electric mixer to mix until stiff and creamy.  If you don't have an electric mixer, just mix together quickly with a fork - it will still be delicious.

Let cool completely and top with coconut cream. I like to use a pastry bag to make pretty dollops or swirls. -Jessica

Huge thanks to Jessica for stopping by and sharing this recipe with us!  I'm hoping she'll come hang out on a more regular basis - I am a huge fan of the creative ways she incorporates clean, whole ingredients into delicious recipes.  She also really likes hats, which automatically makes her a kindred spirit in my book.  Make sure you guys check out One Part Plant - I promise you'll be glad you did.  You can read more about Jessica and OPP here, like OPP on Facebook here, follow on Twitter here, and check out her Instagram photos here

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  1. Omg this recipe sounds delish. It's almost like... black forest cake in brownie size!!! :) Will definitely have to make this one.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Well these sound delicious! I love the sound of the coconut cream, too.
    Jessica's photos are lovely!

    Jess xo

  3. I don't like the fake cherries either, but real cherries and chocolate - yum! I love that this recipe is vegan :)

  4. Oh. My. Gosh! I think I just died a little reading through this recipe... it sounds heavenly! I want to make & eat it right now!! Thank you for this recipe. I can't wait to explore Jessica's blog! xo

  5. Oh my goodness...those look amazing!

  6. This look amazing!!!! I have been trying to eat healthier but have a hard time giving up sweets so this is perfect!! :-D

  7. Yummo!! I've never added pepper to brownies. Might have to give this a try!

  8. This looks like a little taste of vegan heaven!!!
    I had some vegan cookies awhile back, and they were awesome. These brownies look even better, so I can't wait to try this recipe out. Awesome guest post.

  9. These look delicious! One Part Plant looks pretty great too!

  10. just pinned the heck out of this. i'm allergic to eggs (i know, the irony..) so a good vegan dessert is always worth a try.

    xo The Egg

  11. these look awesome. love that they're health conscious too.

  12. that looks awesome.. I like the coconut cream portion.

  13. These sound delicious! I really like the idea of using fruit in brownies - I can't believe I've never thought to try that before!

  14. That looks absolutely delicious!

    Ps: i'm doing a fashion-related survey for my dissertation, 5 mins, much much help ♥

  15. That looks so good... my mouth is watering right now! :)

  16. These sound divine Melissa, thank you for sharing! Bookmarking!


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