Vegan Strawberry Cream Brownies. A rich and chewy brownies, with a strawberry fondant and finished with a thin, smooth layer of delicious chocolate. This rich and fruity slice is the perfect ‘any time’ sweet treat snack and a great idea for Mothers Day!
I am so excited to share this recipe with you! These brownies have become a recent favourite of mine and I’ve been making them every couple of weeks for friends and family to enjoy.
The idea of making a strawberry cream brownie came about when I remembered a favourite chocolate fondant I enjoyed mine growing up. Have you ever had strawberry creams? The round of creamy strawberry fondant wrapped in a thin layer of chocolate, sealed in foil. Yummm!! The strawberry and the orange creams were always my favourite. They became a favourite treat every Christmas as I grew up.
I wanted to replicate the flavour and texture, but make them even more delicious by adding a chocolate brownie at the base!
Layers of these strawberry brownie slices
Brownie: A rich, chewy and truly scrumptious chocolate and strawberry brownie sits at the base of these slices. Made with flaxseed to give it a chewy texture and cocoa powder for the yummy chocolate flavour.
Strawberry Fondant: This is what gives these slices the sweet and ultra fruity, strawberry flavour. This is a layer of strawberry fondant, made with strawberry jam or a homemade compote, along with other ingredients to form a silky smooth filling. The filling is poured all over the brownie base, which is then set in the fridge, ready for topping with scrumptious chocolate.
Chocolate topping: You can’t have a brownie slice and not top it with chocolate. The topping is made using dairy-free dark chocolate mixed with a drop of oil. The addition of the oil gives the chocolate some extra shine. It also helps to prevent the chocolate cracking when you cut the slice with a knife.
Tips and tricks to make these strawberry brownies:
Make sure the brownie is cool before adding on the fondant: The last thing you want is to have a hot brownie then add on the fondant as any heat will make the fondant melt, which will result in extremely messy bars.
If you don’t want to make a compote just use strawberry jam: If you don’t have time to make the compote or would just prefer to use a jam, make sure to get a good quality strawberry jam. I like to use a jam with the seeds in as it adds more flavour, texture, and a tiny crunch to the filling.
Make sure the compote is completely cool before using: Like I mentioned with the brownie base, the compote will need to be completely cool before using. If you add the compote into the filling mixture when its hot, you risk melting all the ingredients. It will be extremely liquid and won’t set when in the fridge.
Make sure to store these bars in the fridge: Place them in a sealed container in the fridge and store until you are ready to serve.
Eat directly from the fridge: These bars hold their shape well, but if left out at room temperature for too long, the filling may begin to get a little sticky. I prefer to store in the fridge, and serve immediately so the filling is still set.
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Preheat oven to 180ºC fan, and line a 9 x 9 inch square baking tin with grease-proof paper. Allow the paper to hang either side of the tin. This makes it easier for removing the cheesecake bars when ready.
Make the flax eggs. Add the ground flaxseed into a small bowl and add in the water. Stir to combine then set aside to thicken. This will take around 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter/margarine, sugar and thickened flax egg. Whisk to combine until light in colour.
Add in the cocoa powder, baking powder, flour and strawberry flavouring. Mix until a thick brownie batter.
Spoon then spread the batter into the lined tin, making sure to get it as flat as possible.
Smooth out using the back of a spoon or offset spatula.
Place into the middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Allow the brownie to cool fully in the tin. Set aside.
Method (strawberry compote)
Place the strawberries into a medium-sized saucepan and sprinkle over the sugar, cornflour / cornstarch and water.
Place on top onto the hob over a medium to high heat and bring to the boil. This will take around 5-8 minutes. Keep stirring with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from sticking and burning. Once thick, remove from the heat and allow to cool before using. As it cools, it will thicken up even more and turn jelly-like.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Make sure it’s completely cool before adding into the fondant mixture.
Method (strawberry fondant)
Place the icing sugar, softened butter, vanilla and strawberry compote in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until a thick paste. Add a tablespoon at a time of hot water, mix to combine. It should resemble a thick paste that smooths out within about 20 seconds when the bowl is left to sit.
Pour the fondant over the brownie base, level out with a spoon or spatula. Place into the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
Place the chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Fill a small saucepan 1/4 with water and place over the hob on a low / medium heat. Place the bowl on-top to create a bain-marie. Melt the chocolate. Add in the oil and mix to combine.
Remove the brownie slab from the fridge and drizzle over the melted chocolate. Level out with the back of a spoon or off set spatula. Place back into the freezer for 5 minutes to set the chocolate.
When all set, remove the brownie from the pan by using the grease-proof paper slings, cut into 12-16 slices using a sharp knife, wiping the knife between each.
Tip: To help cut the bars neatly, heat up the knife before cutting in a bowl full of hot water or use a kitchen blow torch to gently heat it. Be very careful when doing this. Score the chocolate with the knife to slightly melt it, then cut. This will make for neat slices, without squishing the fondant filling. If they do become soft, simply place them back into the fridge / freezer to firm up.