I volunteered to make something for the next sharaka meeting. I found a gluten-free almond cookie recipe. Perfect, I thought, for my gluten intolerant comrades. Half way into the recipe, already in the midst of mixing my concoction, I realize that the gluten-free recipe includes an egg and some honey. No honey in the pantry. And one of my comrades is on a 21 day cleansing that calls for no gluten, no sugar, and no dairy (including eggs). I had to improvise quickly. It was already 9pm – nearing bedtime.
Instead of honey, I used carob molasses purchased from a small-scale producer lady (fallaha) from Azzoun.
Then the egg replacement…I had flax seeds in the freezer. I added one teaspoon of flax seeds to two tablespoons of water. I stirred until the liquid transformed into an ‘eggy’ texture.
I mixed all the ingredients in the food processor creating a homogenous brown goop. I stuck my clean finger into the batter for a taste. Yum! But the batter was too loose. There is no way that I could roll cookie balls out this batter. So I baked the mixture in an eight-inch round greased cake pan.
I peaked as I baked. The batter was rising. Success! But then…as I began to smell the carob-almost-but-not-quite-yet-burnt smell, the cake had collapsed. Too late to start over. It was already past 10pm – past my bedtime.
To my surprise, these vegan gluten-free sugar-free carob brownies were a hit at the meeting. Every last morsel, even the stuff stuck to the pan, was scraped up and devoured. The consistency was loose, kind of like a Mississippi mud pie, but without the crust to keep it together.
Vegan Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Carob Brownies
¼ kilo raw almonds
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup carob molasses
pinch of vanilla
pinch of sea salt – or a bit more if you like that salty sweet taste
1 tsp flax seed mixed with 2 tbl of water
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Grind the almonds in a heavy-duty food processor, adding the olive oil to create a paste/butter consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Grease a cake pan with olive oil. Add mixture to greased cake pan. Bake for about 25 minutes. Stay alert and smell! Never let the cake bake to the point of already-too-late-burnt-carob-smell. Let the cake cool. Dig in!