Vegan Salted Caramel "Goldmine" Brownies
Those of you who lived in London in the last 5 years and enjoyed the odd baked good will have probably stumbled across my dear friend Chloe Timms, AKA Fatties Bakery. Chloe and I shared a production kitchen together for a good few years and I ate more than my fair share of her RIDICULOUS salted caramel baked goods. My favourite was her “Goldmine” brownies.
If you like a cakey, spongey brownie, these are not for you. The goldmines are STUFFED with salted caramel and are so fudgey they’re almost indecent. They’re perhaps the most indulgent treat ever. I’ve missed them terribly since Fatties Bakery closed down and since I went vegan, so here’s my vegan version!
The thing I’ve struggled to develop if the caramel sauce. This is a REAL caramel sauce - not made with brown sugar and dates - I’m talking real caramelised, smoky sweet molten sugar. When you make traditional caramel you use double cream to keep everything liquid and to introduce fat. It’s been tricky to find a replacement for double cream but I’m glad to say I’ve finally cracked it! Give it a go! I think you’re going to ADORE these brownies!
For the Salted Caramel
45g raw unsalted cashews
80g boiling water
200g caster sugar
100g coconut cream (the solid white stuff at the top of a can of refrigerated coconut milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch flaky sea salt
For the Brownies
2 tsp psyllium husk powder + 7 tsp water (alternative use 2 tbsp ground flax seed with 5 tbsp water)
175g vegan butter
100g dark cocoa powder
1 tbsp espresso powder
300g caster cugar
57g plain flour
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
4 tbsp soy milk
100g vegan dark choc chips (most chocolate over 64% cocoa is dairy free)
200g vegan salted caramel
To Make the Salted Caramel
In the cup of a high speed blender, place the cashews and the boiling water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Once soaked, blend until very, very smooth.
In a small bowl, measure out your coconut cream and 60g of your cashew cream.
In a medium, high-sided saucepan over medium/low heat, place the caster sugar. Stirring constantly, heat until the sugar is completely melted and is turning a nice golden brown (don’t worry if it smokes slightly). Remove from the heat and add the coconut cream. The mixture will splutter and spit so be careful. Stir gently until the coconut cream is combined. Pour in the cashew cream and add the salt and vanilla. Stir well.
Return to a low heat and simmer gently for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and set aside. Allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, place in the fridge to chill for an hour.
To Make the Brownies
Preheat the oven to 170c. Line a 20 x 10cm brownie tray with baking parchment.
In a small bowl, mix the psyllium husk powder with the water and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, add the vegan butter and allow to melt completely.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cocoa powder and the espresso powder and mix well. Add the melted butter along with the caster sugar and the psyllium egg mixture and beat well.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the stand mixer and beat until combined. Add half of the soy milk and beat until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until combined followed by the remaining soy milk.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the chocolate chips. With a silicone spatula, mix until the chocolate chips are evenly distributed.
Pour or spoon 2/3 of the brownie batter into the prepared baking tray. Spoon 2/3 of the cooled caramel on top of the batter (it’s best not to spread out the caramel, just allow it to sit in evenly spaced wells across the batter). Top with the remaining third of brownie batter and spread out to just about cover the layers below.
Drizzle the remaining caramel on top and sprinkle with a few pinches of flaky sea salt.
Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The edges should be quite firm but the centre will be quite jiggly when you remove it form the oven.
Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully to room temperature. Once cooled, chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. (I know it’s tempting to eat straight away but I promise you, these taste so much better when chilled).
Once chilled slice into 6 and serve!