Recipe: Fudgey Chocolate Banana Brownies and Rich Ganache Sauce

So, chocolate brownies have been my go-to specialty since I was in my teens, and were therefore one of the very first things I veganized. I’ve been refining the recipe ever since, and it’s now versatile enough to provide a great vegan alternative for brownies, and for a family birthday favourite: the Bruce Bogtrotter cake.

finished choc cake 3

This recipe is quick, easy, and produces wonderfully fudgey, rich chocolate brownies. The sauce/topping makes this into a decadent dessert option, or a great full size cake and topping.

For 16 brownies/1 large cake:

6oz vegan butter alternative
12 oz caster sugar
4 oz cocoa powder
4 bananas (ripe-ish if you can)
4 oz plain flour
1 flat tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence/vanilla bean paste

For the topping:

1 can of full-fat coconut milk
4oz cocoa powder
agave nectar to taste

Method – Fudgey Chocolate Banana Brownies:

Melt the butter in a generous saucepan (you’ll mix the brownies in this pan, so make sure it’s large enough!).

Remove the pan from the heat, and add the sugar and cocoa powder, and mix until completely combined

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas to a puree (I use a potato masher, but a fork would be fine if the bananas are ripe enough!)

Add the banana puree to the butter, sugar and cocoa powder mix, and stir until completely combined. Add the vanilla.

Sift in the flour and baking powder, and combine.

Pour into a greased and lined baking tray (I like a thick brownie and so usually opt for a 9 inch round tray for a large cake, or a 9 x 11 inch for brownies – bear in mind that this mixture doesn’t rise a great deal, because the bananas are quite heavy)

Bake at 180C or gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes, until they’ve just stopped wobbling if you shake the tray, but a knife comes out with a sticky (not sloppy) coating. If the knife comes out clean, you’ve baked them for too long!

perfect brownie test knife

Cool the brownies in the tray, and lift out when they’re just warm, or fully cool. For brownies, cut them before you turn them out.

These brownies are really fudgey and decadent, so you don’t need a big piece to satisfy those chocolate cravings. Adding the sauce below takes them from a teatime snack to a decadent dessert or celebration-worthy cake (and is also a really versatile recipe to have in your vegan treats armory)!

Method – Rich Ganache Sauce

This recipe is so incredibly easy, and has a multitude of uses:

Hot (either straight from the pan, or warmed up from a jar in the fridge), it makes a rich hot chocolate sauce ideal for pouring over desserts or ice cream.

Chilled, it sets like a ganache or chocolate spread, and is great as a topping for pancakes, spread over a cake or cupcakes, or eaten straight from the jar with a spoon!

It can be added to hot almond milk for a decadent hot chocolate, or poured hot into a clean dry jar and given as a gift (it keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks)

So, to the recipe:

Gently heat the entire can of coconut milk in a saucepan

Add the cocoa and whisk until fully incorporated and all the lumps are gone

The mixture should be the consistency of a thick custard, but will taste pretty rich and bitter at the moment.

fudge sauce method

Add the agave to taste – I usually add 1-2 tablespoons (slightly more if I’m hoping to use it as a chocolate spread, less if I’m going to top an already sweet dessert with it)

Keep heating the mixture until fully incorporated and dark and glossy in appearance, and then remove from the heat. Avoid boiling the mixture.

Allow to cool fully before using (unless it’s intended as a hot fudge sauce). If you’re spreading it onto a cake, make sure the cake is completely cooled too – it doesn’t take much for this sauce to revert back to liquid, so it’ll slide straight off a warm cake!

chocolate spread

Enjoy making (and eating) these – they work especially well with a hot pot of half earl grey and half English breakfast tea, or a pot of hot black coffee.

Ellie x

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