Date Caramel Brownies (vegan and gluten free)

Lately I'm a little obsessed with vegan and gluten free baking. It's like a challenge. What is the most delicious thing you can create without traditional baking ingredients? I love it. I like to think that even though I'm eating a brownie that's so gooey I have to use a spoon to scrape it off the baking paper, it's a wholesome brownie because of all the good for you ingredients inside. Please don't question my train of thought in these matters because in the end...brownies win.
I really love making brownies. I probably post too many on this blog and I have to stop myself from posting more. Every brownie recipe comes out differently. Some are cakey. Some are fudgy. Some are so gooey you could spread it on your toast! After thinking about it pretty solidly I came to the conclusion that brownies are one of my favourite baked goods. Cookies can be too unreliable...unless you have found the perfect recipe that works for you they can invariably be a let down. Whereas I find brownies will pretty much always be good.
These brownies are pretty damn good. I loved the date caramel I made for the pumpkin cake so much I decided it would be perfect swirled into a brownie. I thought it would easy peasy to make it vegan using coconut milk (or any dairy free milk) and it was! The result was exactly the same but dairy free.
Date Caramel Brownies
(adapted from Babycakes NYC)
115g chickpea/gram flour
35g potato starch
2 tablespoons arrowroot
50g cocoa powder
200g rapadura sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
125ml coconut oil, melted
125g apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125ml strong coffee
150g vegan chocolate chips
for the date caramel:
90g soft dates, pitted and chopped
160ml coconut milk (not the tinned kind, the carton kind stocked with the soya milk etc)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 170 C/340 F. Grease and line your brownie pan and set aside.
  2. Make the date caramel but blending together the dates, coconut milk and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a pan over a medium heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until thick. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Start the brownies: Whisk together the flour, potato starch, arrowroot, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, bicarb, xanthan gum and salt.
  4. Add in the coconut oil. apple sauce, vanilla and coffee and mix until smooth. Fold the chocolate chips through the mix.
  5. Add the date caramel and swirl through the brownie batter.
  6. Transfer to the brownie pan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning round half way through.
  7. If you want them a little less gooey, bake for an extra 5 minutes.
  8. Let cool completely before slicing...or attempt to eat warm if you simply can't wait.