I love salt and sweet together. Almost all of my desserts have at least a pinch of salt in them. It’s essential to bring out the flavour of chocolate and don’t get me started on salted caramel! I LOVE the stuff, but it’s hard to justify the quantities of butter and sugar… These caramelised walnuts hit that salty/sweet button, using a small amount of maple syrup instead of sugar, healthy fat from nuts rather than butter and a decent amount of good quality salt. They are delicious on their own, or as a topping for ice cream or mousse. Here they perk up the densest and squidgiest of chocolate brownies.
- 1 cup walnuts
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
Brownies – dry ingredients
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 potato starch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarb soda
Brownies – wet ingredients
- ½ cup coconut cream
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
- ¾ cup raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot
- ½ cup chocolate chips, or chocolate chopped into small pieces
Set the oven for 180° C / 350° F / Gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm (8”) square tin.
- Toast the walnuts in a dry heavy-based frying pan, cast iron is ideal, until they start to brown a little.
- Remove from the heat, add the syrup and stir until the walnuts are coated with syrup. Sprinkle with the salt and set aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients well in a bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients, except the arrowroot, in a saucepan and melt over a low heat. When melted, remove from heat and whisk in the arrowroot.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Pour into the tin.
- Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Bake for 20-25 mins, until just dried out on top. Don’t over-bake or the edges will dry out as they cool. The brownie will cool to a nice chewy texture.
- Keep in fridge.