As of March 13, John and I have been married five years. We did it!
To celebrate I’m sharing 20 random facts about us that you may or may not know. Here goes.
- John hates the smell of brownies baking (hence this no bake recipe). He literally vacates the house when I’m baking anything reminiscent of them.
- I love sweets; he could care less.
- We both grew up in Kansas.
- We dated four months before getting engaged.
- We honeymooned in Breckenridge, Colorado, but didn’t ski once. (We ate our way through town and napped all day – it was perfect.)
- We were opposites growing up – he was into computers and I was into sports and my hair.
- We’ve lived in three states and moved 10 times in our five years of marriage!
- We both think Portland, Oregon, is the greatest city on Earth (where we currently reside and intend to stay forev-ah).
- Between the two of us, we’ve visited 14 countries since getting hitched.
- We don’t have kids but are expert succulent caretakers.
- I’m 2 years older than John. He’ll be 27 this year and I’ll be 29 (cougar alert).
- We’re lovers of good wine and coffee.
- I have one older sister, John is the oldest of six!
- Before Minimalist Baker I had many jobs, including web writer, barista, house cleaner, and waitress at approximately 100,000 restaurants.
- John went to law school and hated it. So I put him to work on Minimalist Baker (wink, wink).
- We desperately want to visit Iceland, Ireland, and pretty much every other country we haven’t been to yet.
- We have a Sunday tradition of eating pizza and watching Saturday Night Live.
- John is a voracious reader. I can hardly sit down long enough to write a grocery list.
- While I write the content and take the photographs for the blog, John does literally everything else. We make a good pair.
- I think he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Now that you’ve taken a virtual tour of our relationship, onto dessert! You deserve it.
These brownies are entirely raw (except for the frosting) and super fudgy and rich. They come together in about 20 minutes and require simple ingredients you likely have on hand right now – such as,
Cacao (or cocoa) Powder + Nibs
And the ganache? Oh man.
It’s butter-free and utilizes coconut oil for an extra creamy finish.
While your brownies are chilling, whip this up in about 15 minutes and you’re good to go!
Spread it on thick, friends. This isn’t the time to skimp.
These gems are everything you want in a brownie. They’re:
Studded with walnuts (and cacao nibs) for crunch
Simple to make
& Highly shareable
One bite in and I was done for.
Hence the reason I shuffled downstairs and handed these off to our apartment manager. Brownies of any form are too tempting to have around the house.
Not to worry, though. I managed to consume three before giving them away. OK, maybe four…
John had none, obviously.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, or – our favorite – take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers!
No-Bake Vegan Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts (divided // as original recipe is written, 1 cup (93 g) + 1/2 cup (47 g) // plus more for topping)
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 2 1/2 cups dates (pitted // if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain // 2 1/2 cups equal ~15 ounces)
- 3/4 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp cacao nibs (plus more for topping)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
GANACHE FROSTING (optional)
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 cup dairy-free dark chocolate (chopped)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (melted // or sub vegan butter)
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Place 1 cup walnuts (as original recipe is written // use 2/3 of the total if altering batch size) and the almonds in food processor and process until finely ground.
- Add the cacao powder and sea salt and pulse to combine. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
- Add the dates to the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove and set aside.
- Add nut and cocoa mixture back into food processor and while processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor or blender spout.
- Process until a dough consistency is achieved, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand. You may not use all the dates.
- Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined 8x8 dish (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and before pressing, add remaining 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (as original recipe is written // use remaining 1/3 of walnuts if altering batch size) and cacao nibs and toss to combine and evenly distribute. Then press down with hands until it is flat and firm. I like laying down a piece of plastic wrap to prevent sticking and get it really flat.
- Lift parchment paper to remove brownies from dish and use hands to slightly squeeze in the sides to create a smaller square - this will make the brownies slightly thicker and more dense.
- Transfer back to dish and place in freezer or fridge to chill for 10-15 minutes before cutting into 12 (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) even squares (If adding ganache, slice afterwards!).
- FOR THE GANACHE: Add almond milk to a mixing bowl and microwave for 45 seconds or until very warm. Alternatively, heat in a small saucepan until just simmering, then transfer to mixing bowl.
- Immediately add chocolate to warm milk and loosely cover. Don’t touch for 2 minutes so it can melt.
- Add salt and stir gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then add melted coconut oil and use a whisk to mix. Set in fridge for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Remove from fridge and add powdered sugar a little at a time to thicken. Whisk again to combine. If it’s still too thin, add another few Tablespoons powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Frost brownies generously with frosting and then top with additional raw walnuts and cacao nibs (optional). Slice into 12 even squares (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
- Store brownies in an airtight container to keep fresh. Will keep for 3-4 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for at least 1 month (though best when fresh).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with ganache.