I made brooowwwwniiiieeees. Vegan. Gluten-free. But you only know because I told you.
Fudgy, slightly cakey. Deep chocolate flavor. Like intense flirtation deep. And studded with chocolate chips to bring a little more sweetness, a little creamy contrast. Though you could certainly add other things. Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, candied ginger, dried cherries. I suppose I’ll give you the recipe. Including the gluten-containing version.
King Arthur flours developed the recipe. I adjusted it. Obviously to make it vegan, as well as gluten-free. But there was also a cocoa issue. The original recipe calls for Dutch-processed cocoa, which is regular cocoa that is alkalized, which reduces the acidity. When used in baked goods, this type of cocoa gives off a darker color, but a softer chocolate flavor. To quote Seinfeld, Not that there’s anything wrong with that… But I’m all about intense chocolate. Which is why I typically buy natural cocoa powder. The natural acidity of cocoa is what makes it swoon-worthy (to me). Now, the heart of the cocoa issue is how the two different types of cocoa react with baking powder and baking soda. Baking powder and baking soda both do about the same thing, but they work better with different partners, and baking soda is way stronger than baking powder. Baking soda reacts with acid, which means that recipes calling for natural cocoa will also call for baking soda (and sometimes also baking powder). Dutch-processed cocoa is neutral, and therefore will not dance with baking soda, so recipes calling for that type of cocoa will require baking powder, unless there is enough acid from another ingredient to tango with baking soda. Long story short, I got rid of the baking powder in the original recipe, used natural cocoa and added a smaller amount of baking soda.
1 cup Earth Balance spread (or whatever vegan butter substitute you have)
2 to 2 and 1/4 cups sugar (depending on how sweet you would like them)
1/4 cup arrowroot starch mixed with 1 cup non-dairy milk (this will sub for eggs)
1 and 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp espresso powder (I didn’t have any but it’s optional anyway. I wish I had it though)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
*1/2 cup each of amaranth flour, sorghum flour, and tapioca starch, combined with…
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 cups chocolate chips, or whatever add-ins you desire
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit, that is). Get a 9×13″ baking pan and coat it with cooking spray. I also like to line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil so that I can lift out the whole brownie slab before cutting.
2) In a small saucepan, melt your faux butter over low heat. Stir in the sugar, and cook for one or two minutes, constantly stirring, until the mixture becomes more cohesive and almost fudge-like (this particular step makes these brownies extra NUM-NUM). Remove from heat.
3) Transfer the mixture to a medium/large bowl. Add the arrowroot and milk mixture, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and espresso powder if you’re using it. Beat with an electric mixer, or whisk by hand because you’re hardcore. Either way, get all these guys well blended.
4) Stir in your flour(s) with a rubber spatula (it’s just easier with a rubber spatula). Then stir in your chips or what-have-you.
5) Scrape the batter into your pan, smooth it out. Lick the spatula and bowl as clean as you can. You’re allowed to because since it’s eggless you won’t get salmonella! Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, or until the edges look dry, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a bit of fudgy residue.
6) Cool, cut, and let your eyes roll back.
*If you’re not doing the gluten-free thing, skip the special flours and gums, and just use 1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, OR whole wheat pastry flour, OR soft white whole wheat flour.
P.S. And yes, it is totally appropriate (and kind of ironic?) to post a brownie recipe right after a post about our conception of the word “diet” ;)