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I’ve made all sorts of gluten-free vegan brownies and blondies over the years, and these caramel peanut ones are some of my favourites.
Their centre, they’re thick and gooey and (dare-I-say-it) moist. But the sugar caramelises just so, to give a solid, crunchy crust at the edges, and on the top.
Vegan caramel sauce
The vegan caramel sauce is perfect for these blondies, but could also be used in all manner of desserts and cakes – drizzle some over your vegan ice cream, or in between the layers on a caramel cake.
How to make brownies extra gooey in the middle
Brownies are easy to make – way easier than cakes or biscuits or bread – they’re the beans-on-toast of the baking world.
But, there is a knack to making your brownies gooey-in-the-middle. If you’re baking brownies for a special occasion (which, rarely, because who serves the beans-on-toast of the baking world at a special occasion? Beans-on-toast is for when you’re just hungry and you want some proper food but you can’t afford (or can’t be bothered to wait for) a takeaway.
And so it is with brownies.
Brownies are the answer.
Having said that, if you are making brownies for later (or surprising your future self to a sugary treat, as I like to think of it), the way to get them really gooey in the middle and crispy on the outside is to make up the batter and then stick it in the fridge overnight before baking.
I’m not sure whether its the temperature that allows the middle to stay a little softer while the corners crisp up in the oven, or whether allowing the batter to ‘sit’ overnight changes its’ structural integrity somehow, but whatever.
Peanut Caramel Blondies
For the blondies:
- 1 tbsp. Ground flaxseed
- 3 tbsp. Warm water
- 55 g Dark brown sugar
- 55 g Light brown soft sugar
- 3 tbsp. Peanut butter (smooth)
- 3 tbsp Coconut oil
- 2 tbsp Mylk (any variety of vegan milk will do)
- 50 g Ground almonds
- 60 g Rice flour
- 0.25 tsp. Xanthan gum (gluten-free)
- 0.5 tsp. Baking powder (gluten-free)
- 0.25 tsp. Salt
For the peanut caramel sauce:
- 40 g Peanut butter (smooth)
- 40 g Maple syrup
- 40 g Golden syrup
- 40 g Coconut oil
- 1 tsp. Salt
- First, preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F approx.), and line an 8-in square baking tin
- First, make a flax-egg: put the ground flaxseed in a small bowl, add the warm water, whisk together with a fork and then allow to stand for 10 minutes
- When the flax egg is ready, put it into a mixing bowl, with both the sugars, the peanut butter, the coconut oil and the mylk
- Use an electric hand whisk to cream those ingredients together, for at least 3 minutes
- Then, sift in the ground almonds, rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt
- Fold the floury ingredients into the rest of the batter
- Pour all the batter into the lined baking tin and bake in the oven for approx. 25 minutes
- While the blondies are baking, make the peanut caramel sauce by blending all the ingredients together in a food processor, pulsing for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth
- Leave the blondie to cool completely in the tin
- Once the blondies are cool, turn them out of the tin onto a serving platter, pour over the caramel sauce, and chop into 16 individual squares