Vegan and gluten-free pecan praline brownie sundae

I came up with this recipe because I wanted to see how challenging it would be to make a dessert that is both gluten-free and vegan. I wanted to take the most decadent, self-indulgent dessert, being a brownie sundae, and make it 100% free of animal products and gluten. Truthfully, making a vegan and gluten-free brownie was tricky. I usually rely on eggs to give it a fudgy and custardy consistency. So I instead had to rely on the emulsification of fat, sugar, and starch(mochiko) to accomplish that instead. For the ice cream, I went with pecan praline. Mostly because I could make my own pecan milk and use that to churn the ice cream base. That and folding in homemade pecan praline paste would only make it all the more tasty. This dessert is everything you would want from a brownie sundae, and if you were not told it was gluten-free and vegan, I would wager you would have a hard time guessing so!

For the pecan milk:
2oz pecans
2 1/2 cups water
a pinch of salt

Blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve to remove any lumps.

For the pecan brownie:
3/4 cups dark chocolate chips, in three parts
2/3 cups canola oil
3/4 cups granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
3 tbsp water
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mochiko
1/4 cup crushed pecans

In a heatproof bowl, melt down two parts of the chocolate chips over a doubleboiler with the canola oil, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and water. Take off heat and add in all of the other ingredients, minus the chocolate. Once the batter is at room temperature, fold in the remaining chocolate. Line 5 4-inch ring molds and divide up your batter amongst them. Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes, then transfer to the freezer for 20 minutes before unmolding.

For the pecan praline:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp corn syrup
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup pecans
3 tbsp water

In a nonstick pan, heat up sugar, corn syrup, and salt until golden brown. Spread pecans on a silpat and pour the caramel over them. Allow the caramel to cool down and harden. Transfer the pecans and caramel to a food processor and blend with the water until it forms a thin paste.

For the pecan ice cream:
1 cup pecan milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp canola oil
Pecan praline

Heat up the pecan milk with sugar and oil until the sugar has dissolved into the milk mixture. Allow it to cool down before churning in an ice cream machine. Part-way through churning, mix in the pecan praline. Freeze the ice cream for at least 1 hour before scooping.

For the fudge sauce:
1/4 cup pecan milk
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Melt together on low heat. Keep warm for serving.

For serving:
Toasted pecans

Start with the brownie and a scoop of the ice cream. Top with the sauce and pecans to finish. Optionally, you can microwave the brownie for 10 seconds just to get it warm and gooey as opposed to rich and fudgy!

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