Although carob is often referred to as a cocoa alternative, I certainly don’t see it that way but as a flavour and ingredient in it’s own right; unless you’re allergic to cocoa I see no reason to substitute it – it has it’s own properties and nutritional value, as does carob, and neither have been proven to be better or worse than the other, health-wise. It may be similar in colour and smell, but the flavour of carob is unique; much more earthy than chocolate with a slight fruitiness to it, and far less sweet. This recipe resembles brownies, but I hesitate to call anything a brownie unless it has real chocolate in it. I have also found carob powder to be much drier than cocoa powder, making it tricky to bake with and producing more of a cake-like texture than the gooey texture of a brownie, thanks to the chocolate content. The roasted cashew topping helps to give the traybake moisture and a delicious saltiness, so I recommend heavy-handedness when it comes to topping the traybake (I added three times more topping after the photographs were taken – it’s all about that drizzle aesthetic, after all). A squeeze of honey or agave syrup also finishes it off nicely.
- Plain flour – 50g
- Carob powder – 100g
- Light brown sugar – 80g
- Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
- Butter – 80g
- Eggs – 4
- Vanilla – Tablespoon
- Milk – 50ml
- Cashews, chopped roughly – 100g
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- Roasted cashew butter – Place 200g cashews on baking tray & coat with oil, sprinkle with sea salt. Roast in oven at 160º for 20 minutes. Place in blender with tablespoon coconut oil and dash of milk of choice. Blend until smooth, add more milk to achieve spreadable consistency.
- Honey or agave syrup, to top.
- Combine flour, carob powder, salt and baking powder in bowl.
- Melt butter. Whip in the sugar and beat until it begins to pale.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Fold the liquid into the dry ingredients. Mix in cashews.
- Pour into a brownie tin or small tray.
- Bake at 180º for 15 minutes – do not overbake as they will become very dry.
- After it has cooled, drizzle (or drench…) with the roasted cashew butter and some honey or agave syrup to add sweetness.