A Baseline for my Vegan Brownie Quest

Some vegans may wish to look away now, for to set the baseline on my quest for the perfect vegan brownie I had to temporarily revert to eggs and butter. Fear not though my vegan brownie bunnies I will take you briskly through this journey and aim to not disappoint. For despite making two of the biggest names’ recipes in brownies, this vegan one is better IMHO.

There are several reasons why I decided to have a go at making these tonight and all coincide well with my OH having a boys weekend away. The first is that I wanted what many would consider a ‘normal’ recipe to compare vegan brownies to. The second is that I had a whole load of eggs (‘free range’) and ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter, No I Really Can Believe it’s Not Butter’ to use up from surplus at weekend event. And finally there are a couple of people I owe cakes to, to say thanks.

Therefore I considered this an excellent opportunity to try and compare Nigella Lawson’s Brownies from her book ‘How to Be a Domestic Goddess’ and Nigel Slater’s ‘Very Good Chocolate Brownie Recipe’ posted in The Guardian newspaper. Many people rave about these so I thought they would be an excellent choice. They are indeed both good brownie recipes and as many people say Nigella’s is more cakey in texture and Nigel’s more fudgy.



Be warned, Nigella’s recipe is huge – I made 24 massive brownies. It might be an idea to half the quantities.

Nigella’s Lawson’s brownies
Nigel Slater’s brownies


I never thought I would say this and it sounds weird to do so, but they just taste too eggy. Almost like a chocolate souffle in fact. It took too much away from the chocolate flavour. This is obviously my personal opinion – accept it or disregard it as you like. I recommend that you try them yourself and make your own decision – I’d love to know how you got on. I thought that eggs would be key to brownies and this little challenge gives me encouragement that they are not. Not what I’m looking for anyway.

I always feel a certain disappointment giving cakes away as I will not get to eat them. These however I will be happy to part with and to happily put my days of egg-containing brownies behind me. The receivers I’m sure will be happy but I for one no longer feel the pull.

Was I not getting a sugar rush headache (I only had 1 1/2….plus maybe a bit of spoon-licking) I would be excited at my continuing and now enlightened quest for the perfect vegan brownie.

Nigella Lawson’s Brownies

  1. Cakiness: 9
  2. Gooiness: 7.5
  3. Crispy top: 9
  4. Chocolateyness: 7
  5. Sweetness: 6 (too sweet for me but you may like them)
  6. Ease of making: 8
  7. Ingredient complexity: 7.5 (apart from sheer physical quantity)
  8. Overall taste: 6.5

Nigel Slater’s Very Good Brownies

  1. Cakiness: 7
  2. Gooiness: 9
  3. Crispy top: 9
  4. Chocolateyness: 7.5
  5. Sweetness: 7 (too sweet for me but you may like it)
  6. Ease of making: 8
  7. Ingredient complexity: 7.5 (you have the challenge of finding something to do with a spare egg white)
  8. Overall taste: 7.5

I’m sorry Nigel and Nigella, much as I love you both, these recipes just don’t cut it for me.

Annette X



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