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I love a good pumpkin carving session at Halloween - but as I've got older it feels more and more like I'm just wasting food. I'd never really done much cooking with pumpkin but after trying it in Uganda I was converted.
More than pumpkin itself I love pumpkin spice. It's fruity, spicy flavours to me epitomise autumn and as a superfan of the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, I wanted to come up with a recipe which was inspired by this depth of flavour. Enter these pumpkin spice brownies.
Sweet potato brownies had their time in the limelight last year, and I've based this recipe loosely on the sweet potato brownie recipe I posted a little while ago. They're gluten free, dairy free, egg free and free from refined sugar - using dates, maple syrup and honey as sweetener.
I've cooked with pumpkin puree before but this time I decided to make my own. You can do this by peeling and chopping the pumpkin and cooking it, before pureeing. I chose to boil mine for 35-40 mins in very lightly salted water - but you can steam it for a similar amount of time or even roast it in the skins for 90 minutes then scoop out the flesh.
For the frosting I wanted to keep it dairy free and opted for a spiced cashew-based frosting. It was a little on the runny side but I kind of liked this as it went with the gooey-ness of the brownie.
Overall these brownies are delicious and chocolately, without being too sweet. The pumpkin gives them a really moist, sticky texture, and they'd look fab on a spooky party spread! This also gave me a chance to use the Sweet Freedom choc shot I picked up when Aldi did a gluten free special buy, which was great.
Pumpkin spice brownies with cashew frosting
Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free
For the pumpkin brownies:
3 tbsp maple syrup
10 medjool dates
80g ground almonds
80g Dove's gluten free plain white flour
4 tbsp cacao powder (I used Creative Nature)
3 tbsp Sweet Freedom choc shot
For the spiced cashew frosting:
1 cup cashew nuts, soaked overnight in cold water
½ tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp pumpkin spice mix (made from mixing in equal parts: ground cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves and nutmeg)
⅓ cup almond milk (I used Alpro unsweetened)
3 tbsp Sweet Freedom choc shot
- First make the pumpkin puree. To do this, peel your pumpkin, cut in half and scoop out the seeds (you can soak these and roast them for a tasty snack!). Cut the flesh into cubes and place into a pan of boiling, very lightly salted water. Boil for 35-40 mins until the pumpkin is soft and falling apart, and then drain.
- Meanwhile pit the dates and soak in a bowl of hot water (as hot as the tap will run) for 15 minutes. Drain and add to a food processor with the pumpkin. Blend to form a sweet puree. Leave this to cool completely.
- Once cooled, preheat the oven to 180'C. Add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, ground almonds, flour, cacao powder and choc shot to a large mixing bowl and mix until it forms a sticky, chocolatey batter. Try to refrain from eating it all now!
- Place into a lined square tin, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely - you might want to refrigerate it for an hour or so after it has cooled as it is quite a gooey brownie.
- While it cools, make the frosting. Drain the cashew nuts and place in a food processor with the maple syrup, honey, pumpkin spice mix, almond milk and choc shot. Blend until smooth.
- Remove the brownie from the fridge and cut into squares. Coat each square with a thick layer of frosting and keep in the fridge until you want to eat them. Any leftover frosting is delicious with pancakes!
I hope you enjoy these lovely brownies! They certainly were good fun to make and it's a great way to make sure you're not wasting any pumpkin after you've carved your Jack O'Lantern.
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