Next on my list of brownie delights was a recipe I found in the book “The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes” by Kris Holechek lent from a vegan friend of mine. Any recipe which is called ‘The Ultimate Brownies’ is up for a challenge. Therefore I just had to try these. What i am posting here is actually a Britishised and slightly modified recipe of the original. To be honest it’s quite rare that I follow a recipe line for line. One reason for this recipe being that I have great difficulty measuring out six tablespoons of margarine (who measures margarine in tablespoons?!). So here’s my modified recipe:
- 60g dark chocolate
- 100g magarine (I used Vitalite)
- 25g cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/2 tbsp ground chia seed
- 80ml water
- 200g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence or better use 1/2 a vanilla bean
- 100g self-raising flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 90g dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 175oC fan. Grease and line a small tray (I used a 7×9.5″ tray). On a side note, these trays from Ikea are amazing. We have the full set. I’ve personally given up on most non-stick products.
- Melt the chocolate (not the chips), margarine and cocoa powder over a bain marie.
- Add the chia and flax seeds to the water in a large bowl, allow to sit for 5 minutes, then whisk well with a hand mixer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the melted chocolate and whisk for another few minutes until well mixed.
- Add the sugar and vanilla essence and mix well ensuring the sugar has started to dissolve into the mixture.
- Add the flour and baking powder beating well for a few minutes to incorporate more air bubbles.
- Finally stir in the chocolate chips.
- Transfer to your greased tray and bake in the oven for about 32 minutes. Use a knife round the edge of the tray as soon as they come out the oven because these are sticky beasts.
- Cool in the pan for a while, cut into squares – I got 12, before transferring to a cooling wrack.
- Keep an eye on the cat.
These were really easy to make. Slightly more washing up than Jamie Oliver recipe but that’s mainly because I was trying to convert to British baking units. Most vegans will have all those ingredients. Next time I want to cut down on the sugar because these are just a bit too sweet for me. However the texture was pretty much fantastic – they were soft, gooey, melt in the mouth with a lovely crispy top. They have a slightly strange chewy base and I think that reducing the sugar a little may help with that. I would suggest dropping it to 150g.
I did forget to grease the liner paper before I baked these but they separated OK. There’s always something. A little stuck but nothing too detrimental. So verdict time:
- Cakiness: 6
- Gooiness: 9
- Crispy top: 9
- Chocolateyness: 8.5
- Sweetness: 6 (too sweet for me but you may like it)
- Ease of making: 8
- Ingredient complexity: 8.5
- Overall taste: 8
I will no doubt be making these again unless another recipe usurps them! I want to try dropping the sugar and see what impact that has on them. Let me know how you get on if you try it.
In fact I’m editing this a few days on and I must say there brownies are pretty darn good. They keep well too which is always a bonus….if they get that far….