As far as vegan baking goes, this was one of the times when if I did a blind taste test, I would absolutely fail at guessing that what I was eating was vegan. These brownies have all of my favorite typical brownie qualities – chewy and fudgey but not too heavy, firm around the edges, very moist, very chocolatey and with a light and thin crust on top.
The absence of dairy and eggs (or even an egg substitute, for that matter) is not noticeable. My only comment – can’t call it a criticism since it didn’t end up being a negative – is that when these were still warm and I started cutting the baked brownies, I had to be careful to not let the pieces separate. I attribute this mainly to the fact that I should have let them cool longer before slicing, but also because there is no egg or other real binding agent in the recipe. But in the end, it didn’t matter and I wouldn’t go about trying to add something else.
These vegan brownies are by no means “healthy” – but at least if you’re going to eat a brownie, you’re doing your body a bit of a favor by not having dairy/eggs present. And I also like that there are no ingredients atypical of brownies present… which isn’t to0 say recipes out there using non-dairy milk, tofu, alternative binding or levenaging agents, etc. aren’t great, but it’s nice that everything in here is pretty standard as far as brownies go.
I’ve always had success with brownie recipes that include coffee, and a combination of real melted chocolate and cocoa powder, and this was no exception. The taste, texture and consistency of these vegan brownies leave me thinking I won’t ever make them with dairy again. Hope you like them as much as I and my taste testers did!!
(Click through for the recipe!)
Recipe: Ultimate Vegan Brownies*
Adapted from this recipe (just the brownie portion)
What You Need:
- 2/3 cup brewed coffee
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter substitite; coconut oil should work as well)
- 3 oz dark chocolate** pieces
- 2 3/4 c sugar (I used a combination of white and turbinado)
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 c coconut oil (in liquid form), plus a little extra for greasing the pan
- 2/3 c water
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 c all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4-1 c dark chocolate chips
What You Do:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with a thin coating of coconut oil.
- In a double boiler over simmering water (or a small saucepan over low heat), melt the dark chocolate, Earth Balance and coffee – stir frequently until all are thoroughly combined and smooth. Set aside.
- Combine sugar, cocoa powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment***, and mix to combine.
- Add oil, water and vanilla and mix to combine. Then mix in melted chocolate/coffee.
- In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and chocolate chips; add in thirds to wet ingredients, mixing a few seconds after each addition.
- When all ingredients are just combined, pour the batter (which will be shiny and delicious!) into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake on the middle rack for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out just clean.
- Let cool in the pan for an hour or two before cutting and removing.
- Eat as is, with coconut milk ice cream, with an ice cold glass of coconut milk, or however you please! Store in an airtight container, and then freeze what/if you don’t finish within 3 days.
*This recipe is according to sea level needs. I live at about 5000 feet though, so the adjustments I made were to increase the oven temp to 375 degrees and reduce the baking powder to 3/4 tsp.
**Not all dark or bittersweet chocolate is dairy-free. Check the ingredient label before you buy and make sure no milk products are present.
***You can also use a hand-held mixer, or get a good workout and mix with your best trusty wooden spoon!