Sunday 22 February 2015

Chickpea-nut butter chocolate blondies

Having hit upon the recipe on Ambitious Kitchen (via Pinterest) - and subsequently tweaked it a little to suit my own taste - this not-so-naughty take on the peanut butter blondie has been a near daily fixture in my kitchen of late. Gooey, sweet and a piece of cake to rustle up (ha ha), it's hard to find fault with this gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free treat.  

First things first: do not be deterred by the chickpea base! With their mild flavour and easy-to-blend character, chickpeas form the basis of the blondies' dreamy consistency and honestly can't be discerned in the flavour (as my unsuspecting housemates will testify). Plus, these beauties don't even tenuously contribute to your five a day, since chickpeas constitute a key ingredient. A delectable dessert with an undetectable veg portion inside - what's not to love? 

You will need:

> 1 can chickpeas, drained 
> 4-6 tbsp natural peanut butter (or any nut butter of your choice)
> 6-8 tbsp agave nectar (I like to split it ½ and ½ with maple syrup)
> 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
> ½ tsp baking powder
> ½ tsp sea salt 
> few squares chocolate with high cocoa content, broken up (Green & Blacks 85% is a good bet)
> 3-4 tbsp cacao nibs 
> virgin coconut oil (to grease baking tin)


1) Preheat oven to 180ÂșC. Grease baking tin with melted coconut oil.
2) Put chickpeas, nut butter, natural liquid sweetener(s), vanilla extract, baking powder and sea salt into mixing bowl. Blend until cake batter consistency. Test to check it's to your taste - if not, add extra of whatever you feel is missing!
3) Add chocolate and cacao nibs. Mix well. 
4) Pour mixture into baking tin. Smooth out evenly. 
5) Pop tray into oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown on the outside and gooey on the inside. If anything, it's better that you slightly undercook it and leave to rest outside the oven for 15 mins or so (since it has no raw ingredients), to ensure its squishy texture. 
6) Slice and eat (best served warm)! I love them with a little yoghurt and blueberries. They also work a treat when cut into bars, to eat as a sweet snack at any time of day. 

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