Smoked Paprika Chocolate Brownie with Sticky Caramel Frosting (raw, vegan, gluten-free)
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I have never met a person who doesn’t enjoy brownies or caramel. I am sure there are someone out there who doesn’t, fbut me… or better yet Bob, are true lovers of both. My goal was to make a cinnamon brownie but I accidentally grabbed the smoked paprika (???) C for cinnamon…. S for smoked paprika…???? My spices are alphabetized in my spice drawers so I how I managed to do that is beyond me. But some things are just meant to happen in life and this was one of them. It turned out that we love the smokey flavor that was added to the deep, rich chocolate. Since I WAS going to make a cinnamon brownie and top with chocolate ganache, I decided that caramel sounded like the perfect pairing for the smokey flavor. Sure enough, they came together like two-peas-in-a-pod.
While making the brownie batter and after watching the smoked paprika disappear into the batter, I felt that a hint of cayenne and cinnamon would further round out the flavors. I was right, they balanced each other quite well.
These brownies are rich, chewy, and a bit gooey with the luscious caramel frosting. A person might recommend serving them on a plate and daintily eat with a fork but I say…”Fork be gone, let they fingers do the work!” Besides, half the fun is licking all the sticky frosting from your fingers. Or should it drip beyond your fingers and on to the counter top… I am here to say that there is no shame in licking the counter top either. hehe
There is nothing more satisfying then indulging in a brownie such as this knowing that it is rich in omega 3’s, protein, fiber and energy giving life-forces. But do keep in mind… it is still a dessert and one that ought to be eaten in moderation. I know, I know, you didn’t want to hear that but what kind of “blogger” would I be if I didn’t keep an eye out for you?!
Before I let you go, I just wanted to say that this brownie can made and enjoyed right away or it can be chilled so the caramel has a little more time to stiffen up a bit. It is always nice to have such decadent treats such as this that can be made up quickly (providing you have the nuts already soaked and dehydrated, which is a great habit to get into) for those unexpected guests or cravings. Many blessings, amie sue
Ingredients: yields 8×8 pan
- 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked & dehydrated
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked & dehydrated
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 2 cups packed medjool dates, pitted
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp raw honey or raw coconut nectar for vegan
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Dates ~ if the dates are tough or more on the dry side, cover with enough hot water to rehydrate them for 10 minutes. Once ready to use, discard the soak water and hand-squeeze the excess water out before adding to the recipe.
- In a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, place the walnuts and cashews in and process until they broken down to very small pieces. They won’t grind down to a powder due to the natural oils in them. But be careful that you don’t over process and start making walnut butter.
- Add cacao, smoked paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Pulse together so all the spices get mixed in well.
- Remove the lid and lay the dates around the bowl of the food processor. Add the coconut oil, lemon juice, honey and vanilla. Return the lid and pulse a few times, then process until the dough starts to clump together in a ball.
- Line the 8×8 baking pan with plastic wrap or wax paper.
- Press the brownie batter down firmly and evenly.
Caramel frosting & assembly:
- Pour the caramel frosting on the brownie, cover and chill in the fridge for 4+ hours. If you wish to eat it right away, that is fine too.
- Dust with cacao powder and sprinkle crushed walnuts on top. Cut into squares and enjoy.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for 5-7 days. Be sure to keep them covered.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- Raw honey isn’t vegan but I still use now and again. Read (here) why I like to.
- Learn about the wonderful characteristics of Raw Coconut Nectar (here).
- Dates are an amazing ingredient for raw food recipes, click (here) to read why.
- What is raw cacao powder?
- Why do I specify Ceylon cinnamon? Click (here) to learn why.
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.