I've been working on my vegan brownie recipe for years, striving for that perfect balance of a crunchy top with a fudgy center. I've tried brownies with tofu and brownies with black beans. I've tried sweetening them with coconut sugar or agave, all without success. I believe I finally done it, finally perfected the vegan brownie. I've made this recipe twice now and they were delicious. They're made with a lot of sugar, raw sugar, but it's still sugar. I just can't get that crunchy top with out it.
Start by lining a pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with a little oil. This really helps to get the brownies out of the pan after baking. I also recommend these "gold" pans from Williams Sonoma. America's Test Kitchen tested them and found that baked goods bake more evenly with them. They're expensive...but the holidays are coming. Put them on your wish list, that's how I got mine.
These brownies contain half white whole wheat flour and half unbleached white flour and some ground flax seed. I rationalize that this counters the 1 1/2 cups of sugar. The brownie dough is a little stiff so I use an offset spatula to help spread it evenly in the pan.
This is a basic brownie recipe. Feel free to add nuts, chocolate chips, caramels, or whatever you like to give them your signature. You can even have some fun and decorate them for Halloween with marshmallow ghosts. I trimmed the top edge to round the tops off and "painted" the faces with a toothpick and melted chocolate chips.
Then, I dipped them in boiling hot water for 10 seconds to help stick them to the brownies.
Or...you can draw some bats on a piece of paper, cut them out, and use them as stencils. Just dust with powdered sugar and remove the stencils.
Makes 9 brownies - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups unbleached sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground flax
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cups cocoa powder
3/4 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
nuts are optional
Preheat your oven to 350°
Line an 8" pan with parchment paper and oil the sides.
In a bowl, whisk together the oil, water, sugar, flax and vanilla for 1 minute.
Put the cocoa powder in another bowl and mash with a fork to remove any lumps.
Add the flours, baking powder, and salt to the cocoa and stir to combine.
If you're adding nuts, mix them into the flour mixture.
Give the liquid ingredients another stir and pour into the dry ingredients.
Stir until everything is combined.
Put the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.
Bake for 28-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes
Lift the brownies from the pan and let cool for 30 minutes more.