When in doubt…chocolate.
Although chocolate on Valentine’s Day is a bit predictable, sometime predictability can be a good thing. Usually on Valentine’s Day, I try to think out-of-the-box and spend weeks coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert for my husband. However, this year, time seems to have gotten away from me, so I knew I was going to go for something much simpler.
I am a pastry chef and my husband recently became lactose intolerant…talk about bad luck! Could it be that my hubby would never be able to eat one of my desserts again? Yes, of course there are pills that can be taken, but I really wanted him to be able to have a Valentine’s Day dessert that would be no fuss. No pills needed. No issues. I’ve been experimenting with lots of dairy substitutes, coconut oil, nuts, etc and have been enjoying taking on the challenge of converting some of my favorite classic recipes into dairy-free equivalents. For Valentine’s Day, I decided to convert one my favorite brownie recipes and turn my self-proclaimed brownie-hating husband into a brownie lover.
My husband has always said that he doesn’t really care for brownies. He’s always found them to be a bit dense and too dry, but as a chocoholic, I simply cannot believe this. I think he just hasn’t had a good one and so I took on the challenge of making him a gooey, knock-your-socks-off brownie this Valentine’s Day — and it would be dairy-free to boot.
Upon seeing them, he cautiously took a bite, but then quickly exclaimed that these were the best brownies he has ever had! You really don’t miss the dairy in these. By substituting coconut oil and water for the butter, you can still create that great chewy, decadent texture and the coconut oil adds a very subtle coconut undertone to the brownie.
This recipe is definitely a keeper!
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- pinch salt
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper with flaps hanging over two edges.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
Beat the coconut oil, water and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in the two eggs and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and slowly beat together, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
Spread brownie mixture evenly into pan and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes and then use the parchment to lift the brownies onto a flat surface. Use a heart-shaped cutter, or several of them to cut the brownies into shaping, keeping them as close together as possible. This works best when the brownies are slightly warm. Let them cool slightly into the cutters before removing them and cutting out more. Cool completely, or just eat warm.