Friday, September 27, 2013

Best Brownies Ever

Making vegan brownies is tough. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. Next to making or eating vegan cheese, making vegan brownies is the toughest part about vegan food-ing.

Most vegan brownies crumble, or they fail to fully cook. They sog, they lack flavor and texture -- and conviction. But, today, all of that is about to change.

Because today, my friends, I am going to provide you with 2 things that will change your vegan brownie world as you have always known it. Today, I will provide you with both a recipe, and a tip that will save your vegan brownies' lives.

Actually, first I will share the tip:

Always allow your vegan brownies to completely, fully cool after baking -- and always refrigerate your vegan brownies.

That's it.

While they're cooling, they're still "gelling." The vegan brownie in its purest, post-birth form is still half-formed, living on the edge between existence and non-existence. Like Schrodinger's cat, it seems it can be both edible and solid -- until you go in for the kill. And then you discover whether all your vegan brownie fairy tale dreams will come true.

But, if you cool them and refrigerate them, I can guarantee that they will.

Regarding the recipe: Mmm. Seriously, these brownies are so good, your non-veg friends will be crying, sobbing for the recipe. I took 40 of these suckers -- because this recipe delivers on its brownie-count -- to a medium-sized social event function after my very first experiment with them, and all of them were gone. I had also brought my best chocolate-chip cookies and peanut butter cookies, but these were gone.

Also, my mom, who doesn't believe in vegan brownies due to their repeated failures throughout her many faithful attempts, is now a believer. Big win.

These brownies come from the Love Food Eat blog and I will basically be repeating, verbatim, every thing the original baker and poster said about these things, because she got them perfect. Okay, slight lie, because I subbed some regular flour instead of using all whole wheat, and also I took out 1/4 of the sugar. I like them less sweet. I have pretty much nothing to add, except for my own less-impressive pictures.

And now, on to the good stuff. 

Best Vegan Brownies Ever

Serves: a million.

½ Cup over ripe banana mashed well -- basically 1 banana (can be frozen and thawed)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Cup regular flour
1 ¼ Cups of whole wheat flour
1 ½ Cups brown sugar
1 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ Cup olive oil
1 ½ Cups water
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ Cup chocolate chips

Start by thawing your frozen banana if you've frozen it. Once your banana is ready to be handled by the living (i.e. those who cannot touch frost-caked banana peel), deposit its innards into a large bowl. Now mash that sucker. No lumps, no regrets. You want to create nice, smooth, beaten-egg-consistency banana. Good! You've done well.

Now, add in your baking soda and salt and stir it all up so that there are still no more lumps. It's now time to add your flours, sugar and cocoa powder. Once you've mixed your banana-dry ingredients concoction well, add in everything else except for the chocolate chips. Mix your dough until it resembles a smooth paste (no lumps), but don't over-beat.

Fold in your chocolate chips.

Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit (170 Celsius). Pour the batter into a large greased (with olive oil) and dusted (with whole wheat flour) baking pan. The pan should be rectangular-shaped, around 9" x 13". Bake your brownies for about 20-40 minutes or till the top looks cooked. You can bake them until a toothpick or sharp knife comes out clean and the top of the brownies is firm, or you can leave them slightly undercooked for a gooey, fudgier brownie.

(Gooey is good. Just make sure you really let them cool.)

Remember that the brownies will still continue to cook inside the hot pan after you remove them from the oven. So don't over-cook them before you take them out!!!! That's a biggie.

Okay! Now you sit back, bite your lips and wait. And then, when they're ready, the brownies will rock your world.

(more pictures to come. I was hungry and ate them greedily. Not the pictures, the finished brownies)
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