I have always loved brownies. Since going vegan, I have tried out many a chocolate brownie recipe, and I am sorry to say, that despite being delicious, they never turn out like real brownies. I would call them delicious chocolate traybakes… Just not brownies. I think one of the key features of a brownie is the gooey, fudginess, which I never find using vegan brownie recipes.
So, as I’ve done with a few things (e.g. Iced Buns), I thought I’d find a good non-vegan brownie recipe, and veganise the hell out of it!
Needless to say, they came out pretty, pretty good! Crispy on top, fudgy, gooey and oh so chocolatey underneath… And with no eggs!
You see, eggs are the key to a gooey brownie. Compared to other cakes, the egg-to-flour ratio of a brownie is very different. Brownies have much less flour compared to egg in them, making them gooey instead of cakey. So, how did I do without eggs?
One of my favourite discoveries over the last few years, it has enabled me to create vegan alternatives for so many classic bakes.
I’ve described the flax egg before, but just in case you missed it, here’s a quick (and easy) run through…
To make the equivalent of one medium* egg, whisk together a level tablespoon of ground flaxseed (aka linseed) with 3 level tablespoons of water in a cup/bowl/mug. Leave in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, whisking a couple of times, et voila! It will have the consistency of a beaten egg! You can then use the flax egg in the recipe as you would use a beaten egg.
So. Here’s my adapted recipe for vegan brownies!!
225g vegan dark chocolate (I used Plamil Baking Chocolate)
120g dairy free spread (I used Pure Soya Spread)
3 heaped tbsp ground flaxseed (roughly 25g)
150g granulated sugar
50g light brown sugar
5ml vanilla extract (I used Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste)
80g plain flour
10g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt (1.5g)
- Place the chocolate and dairy-free spread in a glass bowl. Heat a saucepan of water, and place the bowl on top, so that the water does not touch the bowl. Stir them together as they melt, and once it is mostly melted, take the bowl off the heat and continue stirring until all the chocolate has melted. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for around 10 minutes.
- Once the chocolate mixture is off the heat, combine the flaxseed and water in a large mug or a bowl, and whisk together. Leave it in the fridge for 10 minutes, occasionally whisking it.
- Organise your oven racks, so that there’s a shelf in the bottom third of the oven, and set to Gas Mark 4/350F/180C.
- Grease and line a 23cm x 23cm pan (or the rectangular or circular equivalent) with greaseproof paper or foil.
- Make yourself a coffee or have a little dance while you wait for the prepared ingredients and the oven to do their thing…
- Whisk the sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture, then slowly add in your flax egg and then the vanilla, until it looks all smooth and shiny.
- Fold in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, until they are completely combined.
- Pour the brownie mixture into the lined tin, ensuring it reaches the edges. Then slide it onto that shelf in the oven and breathe in that sweet chocolatey aroma as it fills the air.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the brownie comes out clean(ish). You might want to check it at around 40 minutes, as all ovens have their own personality, so you never know what it might be doing!
- Once it’s ready to come out, leave the brownie to cool in the tin on a wire rack.Try your best to let it cool before you start cutting it up and taking it out, as it might break apart if it hasn’t cooled enough. Although, it doesn’t really matter, because we’re just making these at home, not at a 5-star restaurant so WHO CARES HOW THEY LOOK I JUST WANT TO EAT THEM.
- If you do want to cut them up, so you can pretend that you’re going to eat them piece by piece, use a nice sharp knife once they’re cooled and cut into squares.
- Enjoy the fruits of your labour. Bon appetit!
*To make large eggs, I just use a slightly heaped tablespoon of flaxseed and another teaspoon of water.