There’s no doubting that brownies are among the easiest treats to bake. Equally, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to effort and time spent cooking. That’s why these No Bake Chilli Brownies are such a triumph. They take the simple and the loved and improve on at least 50% of that.
It isn’t that this chilli brownie recipe is only no-bake either; it is gluten free, vegan, low sugar and dairy free. But this isn’t intentional. All of the ingredients used are delicious and natural. It doesn’t include any tricky to source items or anything that’ll set you back more than it should. In fact, you likely have most of the ingredients in your cupboards already.
Of course, because this is a relatively healthy brownie recipe, it would be a mistake to assume they’re anything like the brownies we all know and love. Still, they possess a wonderfully fudgy texture, helped along by the dates, and still make a great companion for a flavoursome coffee.
In fact, it’s the coffee in these no bake brownies that make them as good as they are. Coffee always helps draw out the flavour of chocolate as much as possible. Combined with a subtle, yet noticeable, kick of chilli and cinnamon you’ll be almost surprised at how tasty these are. Wave after wave, the layering of different flavours washes over you.
The amount of chilli you add to the recipe is more down to personal preference than anything. Besides, not every chilli powder is created equal. I find that half a teaspoon of my hot powder gives my chilli brownies a gentle heat, which develops as the mouthful unfolds.
Fancy your heat a little more brazen? Double it.
No Bake Chilli Brownies
Makes 12 – 14
- 400g dates, pitted
- 100ml strong coffee
- 100g walnuts, plus extra for topping
- 150g ground almonds
- 60g cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp hot chilli powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- Bring the dates to a simmer in the prepared coffee. Cook until the fruit has softened and all the coffee has been soaked up. Set aside to cool.
- Quickly pulse the walnuts in a food processor; enough to roughly chop into small chunks.
- Using a large bowl, combine the walnuts, almonds, cocoa, sugar, chilli, cinnamon and salt.
- Using the food processor, pulse the dates until uniformly smooth. Tip into the nutty mixture and beat everything together thoroughly (you can use a processor for this too).
- Once everything has come together, lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on an oiled baking tray.
- Spoon the mixture onto the paper and press down into a slab – 2cm thick – with damp hands. Press a handful or two of crunched-up walnuts into the surface.
- Cover the chilli brownies with cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.
Cost: Usually, recipes like this – vegan, no-bake etc… – use a plethora of expensive and difficult to find ingredients. These are healthy brownies, made with entirely natural ingredients. Nothing has been manufactured and it is reflected in the price.
Though slightly more expensive than you’d expect a normal brownie to be, these rather different no-bake brownies shouldn’t set you back too much. Perhaps around £4.80 is par for the course. That may seem costly, but at as little as 35p per brownie it’s difficult to moan.