I don’t usually bake. I’ve always been good at it, but it just never seems quite as fun. To me, baking is the flip-side of cooking: cooking is all organized chaos and anything goes, while baking is rule-heavy and chemistry reliant. So when the words “I’ll bake you something!” came out of my mouth as a bribe to get my supervisor at work to help me, I got a little scared when I realized I’d have to do something I hadn’t done in years — and this time, do it Paleo.
However, if you know me, you know I love a challenge, and I especially love to excel at them. And with these brownies, excel is what I did. Inspired by a post from The Foodie Teen that I found on Pinterest, I whipped up these decadent coconut caramel brownies. Both the brownies and the caramel came out with a really nice texture — not too dense, not too gooey. And they’re very rich without being too sweet. Kind of perfect for a brownie, especially since you won’t need a big piece to satisfy your cravings. Another win for the Paleo among us.
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons strong dark roast coffee, brewed
2-inch piece of vanilla bean
1/4 cup organic apple juice
1 1/2 cups almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup pure honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/8 cup pure honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
2 1/2 tablespoons coconut milk
2-inch piece of vanilla bean
1 teaspoon arrowroot starch
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Combine first six ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. To include the vanilla bean, first split it down the middle with a knife and peel the edges back. Use a spoon to scrape all of the vanilla bean caviar from inside the pod, tapping your spoon on the edge of the pot to get the caviar into the mixture. When the pod is scraped, add it to the pot as well. Stir all of the ingredients until they are mixed well and have warmed. Remove the vanilla bean pod and transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl.
- Sift the rest of your brownie ingredients slowly into the liquid mixture, whisking to incorporate. Then pour the batter into your brownie pan and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure that the mixture is solidified and then let cool.
- While the brownies are cooling, make your caramel sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium-high heat and whisk gently until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened. To incorporate the vanilla bean this time, you will only include the vanilla bean caviar — leave the pod out.
- When the caramel is ready, pour it slowly over the brownie. 3/4 of the pot is probably the best ratio for this, but use your judgment on how much caramel you think is right. You can always go back and add more if you don’t think you’ve used enough. Let the caramel cool.
- Toast the coconut flakes over medium-low heat in a pan, shaking and stirring to keep them from burning.
- Sprinkle the coconut flakes over the caramel once it has cooled slightly, so that the flakes will stick to the caramel but won’t sink in. Then sprinkle the sea salt and coconut sugar over the top. Let the brownies cool completely so that everything will stay together, about half an hour.
Craving more sweets? Check these paleo brownies out: