Molten Lava Brownies!


I’ve wanted to make Poppy’s 3 Ingredients = Nutella Brownies for a long time, but brownies are a splurge that I only make for special occasions. When I got invited to a 4th of July potluck, I was excited that I’d finally get to make these brownies.

Before the potluck, however; I saw a commercial for Nutella that said the hazelnut spread was made with “healthy” ingredients like non-fat milk. This surprised me – I’d assumed it was vegan. I knew Poppy was vegan, and I wondered if she knew.

Should I tell her? I went back and forth about this. I felt uncomfortable saying something. It’s kind of like telling someone “you’ve got stuff between your teeth.”

I ended up telling her because I figured that she’d want to know. She got back to me and told me that she already knew, and had posted this recipe before going vegan and left it up for those who had bookmarked it. She also told me that the recipe had vegan substitutions and suggested that I make it with a vegan hazelnut spread and egg substitute.

Since Nutella isn’t popular in the US, I figured it would be hard to find a vegan substitute. I was right – I couldn’t find one. I told Poppy this and she offered to buy a jar and send it to me. I was touched, but I couldn’t have her do that. Besides, the spread wouldn’t have arrived in time for the potluck.

I ended up making Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies for the 4th of July party (which were amazing!), and had given up on Poppy’s brownies. But then she sent me a link for Vegan Essentials where I could order Choc & Nut, a vegan hazelnut spread.

Through all the talk about Nutella I’d learned that my husband loves the stuff, so I ordered a jar of Choc & Nut. It arrived earlier this week, and it’s delicious! My husband and I have been enjoying it all week.

Despite the fact that there’s no special occasion today, I decided to make Poppy’s brownies because that jar of Choc & Nut won’t last. When I scooped the spread into a measuring cup, however; there was less than a quarter cup left and the recipe calls for half a cup. Bummer!

I was disappointed – my husband and I both had our hearts set on brownies. So, I did a Google search and found Gluten Free Vegan Girl’s Black Bean Fudge Brownies. Not only was this recipe healthy and gluten-free, but that I already had all the ingredients for it.

I just finished making and sampling them, and they’re the richest, gooiest brownies I’ve ever had! Maybe it’s because I didn’t fully cook them, but their consistency was more like a lava cake than a brownie. I didn’t bother baking them for longer because I thought they were perfect this way.

You can find the recipe here, but please note that I altered it. The batter wasn’t sweet enough for me, perhaps because I only had 2 cups of dates (the recipe calls for 2 to 3 cups of dates), so I added 3/4 cup of sugar and an entire bag of chocolate chips. I know this makes them less healthy, but I rarely eat brownies so I figured I’d splurge.

I do hope I can find a local store with a vegan hazelnut spread, because I still want to make Poppy’s brownies. At this point, however; I can’t see spending the money to order another jar of Choc & Nut – with the shipping it’s just too expensive.

Also, I’m so embarrassed to admit that despite all my photography practice that I didn’t take this photo. It’s courtesy of Full Time Foodie and her amazing, although not vegan, Rick Katz brownies.

About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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30 Responses to Molten Lava Brownies!

  1. Hey Celeste – I haven’t made this vegan Nutella recipe yet, but thought I would pass it along as it looks pretty quick and easy. Maybe it would work for your recipe.

    • Oh thanks cowgirl! Poppy actually referred me to this recipe too, but I was too lazy to make both the nutella and the brownies. One of the reasons I want to make Poppy’s brownies is because they look so simple. On looking back at all I’ve done with ordering the Choc & Nut, it would have been easier for me to have just made nutella. Sometimes what I do doesn’t make sense even to me. Celeste 🙂

  2. Poppy says:

    Ahh Celeste, I’m so sorry you felt awkward to tell me. I really appreciate that you did! Please always feel comfortable to say anything in future, I’m always grateful.

    Shame about the Choc & Nut for the brownies but the ones you made sound awesome, I really need to try black bean brownies – been on my to make list for too long! I’m off on holiday in the morning (woohoo!) but when I return will finally give them a go. 😀 Poppy

  3. sophiazerg says:

    What an ordeal! Well, at least in the end you got to indulge in what sounds like a delicious, gooey brownie! I (skeptically) made my first batch of black bean brownies a little while ago, they were so delicious. I wouldn’t make brownies any other way now that I know I can sneak in an entire can of black beans and they are still totally awesome!

  4. I, too, was disappointed to learn Nutella is not vegan, but it IS easy to make your own. I did it here: Today I’d probably make it a bit more complex by using unsweetened chocolate, adding cocoa powder, and using dates or stevia – but this version is a quick and easy splurge ;-).

    • Thanks for stopping by and tempting me with such a luscious recipe Annie! Now that I know how much my husband loves Nutella and how hard it is to get a vegan version around here, I probably should make some. I’ve been resistant to this for some reason. I suppose it sounds like too much work. I looked at your recipe, however; and it looks easy enough. I like your suggested changes to make it more complex too. My husband’s 50ith birthday (yikes!!) is coming up, maybe I’ll make a batch and surprise him for his special day. Celeste 🙂

  5. Anna says:

    Hi Celeste,
    each brownies have a story behind, and I am sure they do taste wonderful.

    • Hi Anna! I really don’t think you can go wrong with brownies! They’ve always been my favorite dessert. I like the black bean brownie recipes, however. At least I know I’m getting some nutrients with all that sugar. Celeste 🙂

  6. carmen says:

    I wonder if it would do any good to write to the makers of Nutella and ask them to leave out the dairy, or make one for the countless people (including children) who are lactose intolerant and vegans (though smaller in number, we are a growing population).

    Pura vida, my dear!!
    ❤ carmen

    For anyone wondering what PURA VIDA means:

    • Hi Carmen! Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. I never thought of contacting Nutella to see if they would be willing to make a dairy-free version. The more outreach we do as vegans by letting companies know we want meat and dairy-free options, the more things will change. I’ve done some vegan outreach on a small scale by talking to local restaurants to see if they would be willing to put some vegan items on their menus. This has not always been successful, but I think it’s worth it to put it out there. Celeste 🙂

    • Okay Carmen – you’re on! I looked up Nutella and it’s made by the company Ferrero. Here is a link for how to contact them.

      I really believe in vegan outreach. We need to let companies and restaurants know that we’re here and that they’re losing out by not providing vegan goods. Celeste 🙂

  7. Brittany says:

    WOW! This looks so unbelievably delicious! I would destroy so many. I love your blog name, so cute!

    • Thanks so much for your comment Brittany! It took me a long time to come up for the name for my blog. I tried to use a lot of other names before this one, but they were all taken. Then one day, this name just popped into my brain and I knew it was “the one.” Celeste 🙂

  8. run4joy59 says:

    yum!! I can’t allow myself to make all of these delicious-looking recipes you keep posting. I’ve lost 22 pounds and sure don’t want to gain it back. LOL

    • Congrats on your weight loss – that’s awesome! Yea, too many brownies are not the best for weight loss. Of course, this recipe is pretty darn healthy as far as brownie recipes go. Still, it’s not something for every day. I’ll be posting a healthy Kale and Artichoke Heart Pizza recipe later today. Maybe that’s something you can enjoy. Thanks so much for your comment – I appreciate it! Celeste 🙂

  9. Lorrie Wenzler says:

    The brownies look delicious. Since you didn’t take the photo, did they look like the one in the photo. Looking forward to see some of your photos.

    • Hi Mom! Yes, I know I have to start taking my photos. The brownies I made do look a lot like the ones in the photo, however. I’m still struggling with photography. Sometimes my photos turn out great and sometimes not-so-much. I’ll be posting a pizza recipe today and I took the photos for this one. Celeste:)

  10. ediblevie says:

    mmm I want brownies now …. I’ve yet to try any such recipes with black beans but they are certainly on my list!! I’ve made My New Roots’ raw brownies though and they were **AMAZING**

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