So, today’s VeganMoFo is about Fancy, but Frugal. I don’t actually do a whole ton of “fancy” food – you know, haute cuisine, giant plates with teeny portions of food, exotic ingredients – most of my savoury food is firmly in the home cooking, comfort food genre. If you want something fancy from me, it’s going to be a dessert. And so, I made brownies.
This may be my fourth brownie recipe on this blog, but it’s SO worth it. It uses pretty much the base recipe from my fudgy brownies, but it’s topped with marshmallow! Vegan marshmallows are, as you probably know, a bit expensive, but this isn’t! It’s made using aquafaba, which you use in the brownies anyway, and you probably have leftover from chickpeas.
The brownies end up topped with a fluffy, gooey, sweet cloud of marshmallow fluff that’s toasted lightly under the grill (or, broiler to some – apparently they’re the same thing) to give it a caramelised top. When I say lightly, I mean it – sugar caramelises very quickly so you have to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn, burnt sugar is nasty.
The marshmallow fluff is based on what I used for these hot chocolate cupcakes, though you make less fluff (the perfect amount to cover the brownies!). It has xanthan gum in, which is necessary as it gives the fluff that gooey, slightly stretchy texture that marshmallow fluff has, but also more importantly stops the fluff from losing its shape – if you don’t put it in, it’ll look fine for a little, but disintegrate very shortly, which is very sad. You only need a small amount of xanthan gum, and it lasts forever, so it’s a good investment, and it means you can always whip up fluff when you like! (it goes great on hot chocolate).
Marshmallow Fluff Brownies
- For the Brownies
- 115g vegan dark chocolate, broken in to pieces
- 50g cocoa powder
- 90g vegan butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp aquafaba
- 360g white sugar
- 50ml milk of choice
- 300g plain flour
- 100g chocolate chips For the Fluff
- 100ml aquafaba
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
- Begin by placing the chocolate, cocoa powder, and butter in a heat proof bowl and melting (I do this in the microwave, but a double boiler is fine too!).
- Once melted, add the vanilla, salt, bicarb, baking powder, aquafaba, and milk, and stir until combined.
- Whisk in the sugar well.
- Fold through the flour and chocolate chips.
- Press the brownie mixture into a lined tin – it’ll be quite thick, but that’s a good thing!
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean.
- Leave the brownies to cool completely before making the topping.
- To make the topping, begin by placing the aquafaba in a very clean bowl (important – if it’s at all greasy it won’t whip!).
- Set aside 50g of the icing sugar, and add the xanthan gum to it, and mix well.
- To the aquafaba, add the vanilla extract and cream of tartar.
- Whisk the aquafaba with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks – up to ten minutes.
- Now, with the mixer running, add the plain icing sugar a spoonful at a time, allowing it to combine.
- Once the plain icing sugar is added, add the xanthan gum mixture a spoonful at a time, with the mixer still running.
- Once thoroughly combined, your fluff is done! Spread it evenly over your brownies.
- Preheat your grill (or broiler).
- Place the fluff topped brownies under the grill, and grill until turning brown on top (watch carefully, as they can turn very quickly!).
- Leave to cool, and then slice into individual brownies.