Very chocolatey gluten free coffee & walnut brownies

January has already whizzed by, I hope you all managed to stick to your new years resolutions and kept a few of them going. I for once started meditating on a regular basis. It’s quite a revelation and a bit of a life change.  It feels like I am getting much better at managing stress already and meditating itself, I feel I am getting better at as well.  Not sure why I didn’t start doing this earlier :).  I am using a meditation app and meditate in the mornings, just after getting up- give it a try, it’s well worth it.

This month I am celebrating my first recipe publication. You can check it out in Love East Magazine ( ), a cool East London Magazine that can be read online. It can also be found in East London shops, bars and restaurants and is delivered to the door step of many subscribers.  What is extra cool, is that the photograph I took was illustrated for the magazine !. Illustrater Rachel Gale did a brilliant job, don’t you think?  You can check out her work here:

BrownieIllustrationWhen I was asked to come up with an idea for Valentine’s Day, I thought there had to be chocolate  involved, no doubt, and since I love a coffee and walnut cake, it seemed the perfect combination for a brownie version. I hope you like it too. The brownies are best prepared a day or two before and can be enjoyed after a romantic dinner. To make you not feel too guilty for breaking your good eating habits for a day, you will be pleased to know that there is not only deliciousness in these treats, they also have a portion of goodness to claim for themselves. The coffee and dark chocolate are rich in antioxidants and the walnuts and ground almonds give some extra fibre and omega oils, as well as some vitamins and minerals.

I hope you like the rich and creamy coffee and walnut topping as much as I do, it tastes is just divine ! Please remember though, that coffee and chocolate may have a stimulating effect and possibly won’t make you want to go to sleep too soon after. Although, this may not be such a bad thing on Valentines Day :).

Ingredients- coffee & walnut brownies – makes 10-12

250g of organic dairy free dark chocolate (ideally 80% chocolate)
100g of organic walnuts
125g of coconut oil
100g of ground almonds
100g of chestnut flour
1/2 cup organic dates ( soaked in warm water for 30-60minutes)
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
4 organic eggs
1 pinch of salt
2 tsp of finely ground espresso coffee powder
Vanilla from one vanilla pod

Ingredients- coffee & walnut cream

1/2 cup of organic walnuts
1/2 cup organic dates ( soaked in warm water for 30-60minutes)
3 tsp organic maple syrup
1 double shot espresso


Preheat the oven at 175 C. In order to melt the chocolate it is best to use a bain-marie, simply take a small pot with simmering water and a glass bowl that fits on top of the pot. Just make sure the water does not touch the glass bowl. Break the chocolate into small pieces and together with the espresso powder place in the glass bowl. The simmering hot water will heat up the bowl and gently melt the chocolate. Please keep stirring now and then, so the chocolate melts evenly. Once melted, set aside. Keeping the bowl on top of the hot water pot, will assure the chocolate stays liquid.

Whilst the chocolate is melting away, take a blender and blend the soaked dates, the content of the vanilla pod and the maple syrup until you have a smooth paste, and set aside.

Separate the egg yolks from the egg white and set both aside. Next place the coconut oil and date-maple syrup paste in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth paste, then add the chestnut flour, ground almonds, egg yolks and a pinch of salt, and blend until everything is well combined.  Now the melted chocolate is ready to go in, carefully blend everything together until smooth.

The final touch will give the egg whites. They need to be whisked in a bowl until white and fluffy. Adding a pinch of salt to the egg whites will make this process easier. Once fluffed up carefully fold the egg white into the chocolate mix and towards the end carefully fold the walnut pieces into the mix.

Prepare a brownie or baking tin by lining it with baking paper and pour the chocolate mix into the tin, evenly spreading the mix before putting it in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes and leave to cool on a roasting tray.

Of course there is no coffee and walnut brownie without coffee and walnut cream. This is really easy to prepare, just add the soaked dates,coffee shot,walnuts and maple syrup to a blender and blend until you have a smooth cream. I always prepare a little extra coffee to add in case the cream gets to thick. If the mix is too liquid, just add some more walnuts. Spread the cream onto the brownie before serving. The brownies keep well in the fridge in a cake tin for up to a week and the coffee and walnut cream keeps in the fridge in an air tight jar for 3-4 days. As a variation you can cut the brownies and cream into small bite sized pieces making little coffee and walnut bites.

Enjoy and happy Valentines day.