As part of my quest for "healthy" desserts for Sam, I have introduced several variations on the "brownie" theme, and in the process have learned quite a lot. For one, if your recipe doesn't call for (and if you don't fix it!) melting the chocolate in with the liquids and sugars before adding it to the dry ingredients, you aren't really making a brownie, you are making a chocolate cake with chocolate chips. That can be yummy, but it is not a brownie.
I have also been reminded that applesauce, while good at providing moistness when replacing oil, is more likely to also leaven the final product rather than help keep it dense and chewy. I am working on that, and thinking banana and soy yoghurt might be the way to go.
But through all this experimenting, my partner and I got a serious hankering for "real" brownies. Enter the following recipe, which turned into one of, if not the, best brownies that I have ever tasted. They are made by a blogger who goes by the name "Elizabeth". I am not going to link to her blog however becuase while she understands the dietary aspect of veganism well enough to put together this recipe, the vast majority of her recipes are not suitable for vegans, and she lacks a significant understanding of what exactly veganism is (ie: not just a way of eating!), so much so that her blog post about the brownie recipe made me slighly nauseous at what I am sure were attempts to be funny at the expense of nonhuman animals.
So, on to the recipe (with my modifications mixed in).
Ultimate Chewy Brownies
1 cup organic coconut oil
4 oz. (or 112 grams) organic bittersweet or dark chocolate.
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of strong fair trade coffee
2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup of organic raw sugar, 1/2 cup of oraganic brown sugar that was suitable for vegans and 1/2 cup of organic succanat)
1 cup organic unbleached white flour
1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup fair trade dutch process cocoa (I used Cocoa Camino's cocoa powder).
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp flax seeds (ground)
6 Tbsp hot water
- Preheat your oven to 350F and grease an 8"x8" pan.
- In a double boiler set over gently simmering water, melt down your chocolate and coconut oil.
- Mix the vanilla and coffee and combine thoroughly.
- Add the sugar, stir to combine and remove from the heat.
- While the ingredients are melting, mix the 2 tbsp of flax seeds with 6 tbsp or water and let sit for a few minutes while it congeals.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Combine the ingredients from the double-boiler into dry ingredients and mix until just moist.
- Gentrly stir in the flax mixture until combined.
- Spread the batter into the 8"x8" pan and smooth out until it is even. Cook it on the middle rack of your pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until done.
- Remove from heat, and let it cool on a wire rack until it is COMPLETELY cool. Yes, we are all tempted to taste it right out of the oven, but do not do it. It is best cooled, and even better after a night of chilling.
- Share with friends because you don't want to eat the entire pan to yourself, and you will want to.
Things to try:
- Mixing in a grated beet.
- Adding chopped nuts.