Brownies with tonka bean and walnuts – without flour


My chocolate brownies are not only super-juicy, chocolaty and delicious, but also vegan, baked without flour and industrial sugar – with lots of healthy ingredients. Above all, I used white beans and almonds instead of flour, which makes my vegan brownies little protein bombs. And as if that wasn’t enough, the brownies are also very spicy and aromatic – thanks to a great spice, the tonka bean.

Tonka bean: Aroma of vanilla and marzipan

For a few years now, the tonka bean has also been enriching the universe of spices in this country. The inconspicuous, dark beans are the seeds of the tonka tree from South America. Their aroma is strongly reminiscent of vanilla – which is why many use them as a cheaper substitute for the now insanely expensive real vanilla. This is how I initially came to use the tonka bean. But you do her wrong if you see the tonka bean only as a substitute. Tonka beans contain so many more aromas: caramel and rum, almond and marzipan, cinnamon and hay flowers… No wonder that the spicy bean is perfect for sweet dishes like cakes, desserts, chocolate or ice cream. But it can also give that certain something to hearty dishes. If you grate a touch of tonka bean into your homemade tomato sauce, you will immediately taste what I mean.

Although tonka beans are not a cheap spice, they are very economical – you can get by with a small tin of 2-4 beans for quite some time. Because tonka beans (like cinnamon) contain coumarin, you shouldn’t eat too much of it anyway. Because in large quantities coumarin can damage the liver. You can easily grate it with a small nutmeg grater.


Brownies with tonka bean, walnuts and coffee

12 pieces/ square baking tin (15 x 15 cm)

  • 1 glass of white beans (230 g drained weight)
  • 120 g dates
  • 3 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp grated tonka bean
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 30 g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 80 g dark chocolate (approx. 70 % cocoa content)
  • 30 g walnuts


  • 50 g roughly chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Chocolate icing

Preheat oven to 175 degrees top/bottom heat. Let the beans drain in a sieve, collect the drained cooking liquid. Roughly chop the dates, then puree them thoroughly together with beans, oil, salt, vanilla and 2-3 tbsp. water in a high performance blender or with a hand blender.

Mix all dry ingredients except chocolate and walnuts in a large bowl, add the bean purée and mix everything to a smooth dough. Add approx. 3 tbsp. of the drained water. Coarsely chop chocolate and walnuts and stir into the dough.

Line a baking tin with baking paper, fill the dough into the tin and smooth it down. Bake in the oven on the middle shelf for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave to cool a couple of minutes in the tin, then remove the brownies from the tin and leave to cool completely.

For the topping, caramelize the chopped walnuts with maple syrup in a small pot for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cut the brownies into squares. Prepare the chocolate icing according to the instructions on the packet and spread on the brownies. Sprinkle with caramelised walnuts.

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