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We all need a treat from time to time and who isn’t a fan of something chocolatey?

I spent a weekend at an event called “Farms2Forks” in Orange County in California in April 2013. At the weekend event I ate food that the hotel chefs created based on the recipes from the Forks Over Knives cookbook. I have to say that this was the starting point for my wanting to eat a wholefood, no added fats plant-based diet. I have not looked back since. What I discovered at the weekend is that whilst what I am eating now can contribute to my health and well being, I can also have a treat from time to time. I can deviate entirely, as this is NOT A DIET, nor am i forcing myself to follow it 100% of the time. What i have found, is that I want to eat like this. I find that when I don’t, my body does not respond as well. That does not mean that I cannot or won’t have treats from time to time, which brings me back to the brownies – the subject of this post. These are not your sugar-laden, fat dripping brownies but they are fudgey and delicious squares that for me represent a guilt-free snack that i can enjoy at anytime.

I served them last night with some plant yogurt and berries as dessert – oh yum!

This recipe is quite forgiving. I tend to use a whole carton of tofu (who has time to weigh tofu?) I also use the pitted prunes in apple juice so i reduce the water content. Using those already plumped prunes means that the milk doesn’t have to be hot – that’s to plump the prunes.

You could add any nuts but broken walnuts are an obvious choice.

“Ok, ok – enough chat – show us the dammed recipe…”

Walnut Brownies
(Adapted from – Forks Over Knives Cookbook Recipe)

3 Oz Extra Firm Silken Tofu, drained (I just use a pack of any tofu)
1/3rd cup Pitted Prunes, rough stems removed (i use the ones in apple juice – just ensure that they are pitted)
1/2 cup Plant-based Milk, heated until very hot but not boiling (I have used soy, rice and almond – all are equally good)
3/4 cup 100% pure Maple Syrup (As i use prunes in apple juice, i only used 1/2 a cup and anyway, Maple Syrup is expensive)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa powder (I just bung in 4 Tbs of cocoa)
3/4 cup Water, heated until very hot but not boiling (See my note above)
2 teaspoons pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Whole-wheat pastry Flour (any wholewheat four works)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder/Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Walnuts, roughly chopped (I probably used more)

Preheat the oven to 170c 325f degrees. Line an 8 x 8 pan with a 10” square of parchment paper. (I use one of those teflon liners – much easier and re-usable)

Method:
Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the prunes. Pour in the hot milk and puree for about 30 seconds. Add the maple syrup and puree until relatively smooth. Some flecks of prune are okay, but there should be no chunks of tofu left. Scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula and make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.

Sift the cocoa powder into a mixing bowl. Add the hot water and mix with a fork until well combined. It should look like a thick chocolate sauce. (Personally – can’t see the point of this stage – just lob it all in the blender and blend)

Add the tofu-prune mixture to the chocolate in the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Mix in the vanilla.

Sift in half of the flour, and add the baking soda and salt. Mix well. Mix in the remaining flour an fold in the walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 17-20 minutes. The top should be set and firm to the touch. Let cool for at least 20 minutes. (I find you need to cook these for at least 20 mins and they still come out moist)

I cut them into small squares once cold and store in the ‘fridge as i like them cold and fudgey (my new favourite word).

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