Tahini salted caramel brownies

A super squidgy, fudge cake-like vegan treat from The Cinnamon Tree Bakery

“I don’t normally do vegan. I am not a vegan,” Massimo of The Cinnamon Tree Bakery says sternly. “But these”—he points to the sticky, squidgy, caramelly pile of vegan brownies on the stall—“I like these. They are very tasty.” And, like the sun after rainfall, his face cracks into a grin.

Tahini, salted caramel, gluten-free flour and dark, dark cocoa meld together to form an almost fudge cake-texture: the mixture’s seen an oven, sure, but it’s got out quick before setting. As a result, the inside is everything you want from a brownie: stable enough to eat straight from the bag while walking, cup of Flat Cap coffee in hand—but not so stable you fail to leave sticky chocolatey fingerprints upon everything you touch between the stall and a sink.

There’s no jiggery-pokery here—none of the additives or thickeners that can sometimes crop up in vegan food in lieu of things like eggs or dairy. It’s tahini that replaces the butter of a traditional brownie and, as a bonus, adds a nutty, sesame twist, while “the caramel adds gooeyness. It’s really, really popular. Let’s choose a really gooey one for you,” he smiles, inspecting the pile.

Rich, but not too rich
It’s rich but, remarkably given its contents, not too rich. The salt of the caramel and the bitterness of the cocoa tempers the sweetness. It is gooey though.

Massimo recommends it with coffee. “Biscuits for tea,” he concedes—he’s Italian, but he’s been in the UK long enough to appreciate that—“but this one needs strong coffee.” Vegan, veggie or carnivore, it’s a combination that cannot fail to please.