Aren’t chocolate brownies just about the best answer to any problem? I feel tired: brownie. I’ve lost my car keys: brownie. We’ve had a fight: brownie. A ravenous bear is chasing me: brownie. See? Any problem at all!
Of course, you get into a bit of a metaphysical twist when the problem itself is ‘I want to make the perfect vegan brownie’. Actually, no you don’t. The answer is still: brownie.
A whole bunch of batches of brownies!
I’ve been fiddling around with recipes for a while. I really wanted to find that perfect balance between a luscious, soft gooey centre and a top (and edges…mmmmmm…edges) with that almost toasted, satisfying munch.
You’ll be pleased to learn that I think I’ve cracked the mystery here. These brownies have just the right texture and the flavour is fantastic – a rich velvety chocolate with pleasing little melty chocolate bits to amp up the richness factor. Yum.
Even better, these brownies are super kind and 100% vegan – yay! They use a flax egg, which is a terrific alternative to actual eggs. The only caution is to stir these bit by bit into the batter – as described below, otherwise you’ll end up with chunky bits (which are actually kind of ok, in a weird way).
Vegan chocolate brownies
Time to prepare: 45 minutes (total)
Course: dessert, snack, morning tea, afternoon tea, picnic
Vegan, nut free (if optional nuts omitted)
2 tablespoon ground linseed (flaxseed) + 3 tablespoons of water
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate, broken into chip sized bits
7 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of apple sauce
3 tablespoons of vegan butter (you can swap this for coconut oil which results in a slightly denser brownie)
1/4 cup mylk (I used rice milk but I’m pretty confident other mylks would give a similar result)
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 20 x 20 baking pan.
In a little bowl mix together the ground linseed and water.
Next you need to heat 3/4 of the dark chocolate, the cocoa powder, applesauce, butter and water. If you have a microwave you can pop all of this in for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in-between each zap. However, I prefer to use a stove-top bain marie to heat my chocolate.
Add some of the chocolate mix to the linseed mixture and combine until there are no lumps, slowly add more of the mix until you’ve got at least a cup of the combined mixture. Then add all of this back into the original chocolate mixture.
Remove from heat and add the sugar and vanilla and stir. Then fold through the flours and baking soda until just combined – at the last minute stir through the remaining bits of dark chocolate and nuts (if using).
Pour the batter (it will be quite thick) into your prepared pan and smooth (you can jiggle the pan back and forth or use the back of a spoon).
Bake in your moderate over for 20-25 minutes (unless you don’t like gooey centres, in which case leave them for 25-30 minutes).
The pretty pictures for this post are from Peter Foote – I had a really lovely time collaborating with this Sydney based photographer.
I’d love to hear about your tweaks and experiences with this recipe in the comments – or see your version on instagram – tag me at #melissamieow xxx