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.