Vegan Cherry and Chocolate Brownies

After so much preparation, Christmas has finished for another year. Well, almost...I still have Christmas Day #2 with my family today so we are heading northwards to see everyone crowded into my parents house, including my sister's new puppy! I was very lucky this year and finally got a food processor...perhaps moaning about not having one all year does work. Nick found a Kenwood one that was the perfect size, as I've mentioned before we are limited on kitchen space but he found a dual blender and processor that will just fit on the worktop if we do some moving around. I don't really want it in a cupboard because I want it to get used. 

Did you have a good Christmas? I hope everyone got what they wanted. One of my stocking fillers was a set of cheese knives which made me exceptionally happy. We went to a friend's for Christmas lunch and it was amazing, I was so full that as soon as I finished I could have fallen asleep at the table. I watched Doctor Who for the very first time and had my first ever 'Snowball' drink, which I loved, and I ate a ton of cheese and pickled onions. I can only describe it as an awesome day. Any day spent in the company of family/friends with plenty to eat and drink is something to look back on with a smile. I can't wait to see my family today, my little cousins are coming down from the North West and bringing their dog as well and it will be so good to see everyone.

These brownies were born of experimentation. It was a combination of missing vital ingredients for non-vegan brownies (i.e. eggs and butter) and having a tin of cherry pie filling lying around with no purpose yet assigned to it. Normally I'm all for recipes, I like to adapt and experiment but I'm not great at just throwing stuff in willy nilly. But I felt confident this would work, the more I bake for this blog, the more I feel confident about taking risks because I've learnt more. I'm always a little cautious though. 

They are gorgeous. Really really moist and fudgy and the cherry is not overpowering against the chocolate. These are great cold but I think they are at their best served warm with some cream or good quality vanilla ice cream. Brownies are, in my opinion, one of the most versatile bakes out there. It's really hard to mess them up because they don't need to rise in the same way as cakes. You can mix in just about any ingredient, from nuts and fruits to candy and biscuits, and it won't mess up the recipe. I've made a lot of brownies in the last few weeks and aside from this recipe, my other favourite was Lily Vanilli's chocolate brownies, they were amazing. I wanted to be able to adapt them, make them my own but they were so good there was nothing I could change. 

Vegan Cherry and Chocolate Brownies
(Recipe adapted from All Recipes)

250g plain flour
350g demerara sugar
65g plain cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
250ml water
250ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1x 410g tin of cherry fruit filling
icing sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F. Grease and line a square or rectangular baking tin.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla and mix until well blended. Pour in the cherry filling and stir just a little. Don't overdo it, you want it to almost swirled through so you can still get a hint of cherry. Pour into the baking tine and spread evenly.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is no longer shiny and a cocktail stick comes out pretty much clean. It's a very fudgy brownie so the cocktail stick won't come out completely clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and dusting with icing sugar.