It took me for-freaking-ever to find a vegan brownie recipe that lived up to my expectations. I’ve tried a lot of recipes and this one doesn’t even have any weird ingredients like tofu or soy yogurt.
After playing around with this VegWeb recipe for a year, I finally tweaked it to my liking. The secret? Don’t use the cheapest possible flour and melt a whole good-quality chocolate bar in there. I like my brownies fudgy. In fact, in my non-vegan days I used to purposely under cook those box brownies by 5-10 minutes to make sure they were gooey enough (probably not the best idea in retrospect given that, well, they had eggs in them). So, if you want cakey brownies…just eat cake! Or find another brownie recipe. 🙂
My favorite vegan brownie recipe with no weird ingredients, one of my most asked-for recipes.
- 2 cups flour (I recommend a high quality flour like King Arthur)
- 1 cup water
- 1 vegan chocolate bar (I used Green and Blacks 70% Dark Chocolate)
- 1 cup brown sugar (make sure there's no clumps)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup oil (I used canola)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, I used walnuts)
- Boil water and 1/2 cup of the flour in a sauce pan over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches the consistency of a thin gluey paste.
- Break off about half of the chocolate bar with your hands and add to the flour mixture in pieces, while continuing to stir. Put aside the rest of the chocolate bar.
- Stir until chocolate is all melted and mixed into the flour mixture.
- Remove saucepan from heat and set aside to cool. I'm convinced this step is the secret to this recipe, but I've no idea why scientifically.
- In another bowl add vegan sugar, salt, vanilla, cocoa and oil.
- Add the flour-water mixture. It should be cool, but I'm usually too impatient to wait and it still seems to come out fine, though the time the brownies came out the best I did actually wait for it to cool (but only because I started the recipe and then realized I had no canola oil and had to go get some). Stir to combine.
- Chop the rest of the chocolate bar into chunks with a big knife/hammer/other bludgeoning object. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder and the chopped chocolate chunks and nuts (if you're using nuts). The mixture will be much thicker than your average brownie recipe and a bit hard to stir, so don't worry.
- Stir until everything is combined, then spread the mixture into a greased 11 x 7 inch pan. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 25 minutes.
Edit 5/27/2010: I just made these again using semisweet chocolate chips instead and it turned out equally fabulous, if only a bit less tart due to the lack of dark chocolate. If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate or just don’t have it on hand, sub 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips into the flour-water mixture and about 2 handfuls into the completed mix!
I ate the entire batch myself. Don’t judge me. How could I help myself?