Ultimate Vegan Brownies

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Ultimate Vegan Brownies

Ultimate is not something that I throw around lightly, especially for vegan brownies. I've had my share of vegan and regular brownies and been baffled by how lacking vegan versions are. Growing up on my Grandmother's brownies, I learned that a good brownie should be dense, fudgy and soft; not light, cakey and dry. Why is it so hard to emulate a traditional brownie recipe that simply consists of a few simple ingredients? Hint: it's due to the egg, which emulsifies, binds, slightly leavens then bakes up as part of the actual base of the brownie itself. To emulate this takes an expedition deep into the innards of brownie science, oh and for me, about seven years of failing until figuring this out.

Vegan brownies need extra special attention paid to flavor and texture

I started by emulating two eggs with water and golden flax meal. I then added some baking soda to the flour to emulate egg's subtle leavening tendencies. Cocoa powder along with semi-sweet chocolate and espresso powder allows the complex chocolate flavors to truly shine. I tested these brownies with canola oil but later settled on Vegan Butter or margarine because it allowed the flavor to mingle and slightly evolve along the flavor profile, rather than diminishing in a downward spiral which was the case with canola oil. This is why chocolate baked goods with canola oil rarely match up to chocolate baked goods with Vegan Butter or margarine. In order to make dense, soft vegan baked goods like brownies and cookies that are similar to their egg-laden counterparts, the dough must be extremely thick because the egg is not going to be there to act as a structure builder as flour does. Thus, you have to add extra flour so it can take over for the egg. The result of this vegan brownie R&D is a dense, fudgy, soft brownie with a complex chocolate flavor.

Update: I originally developed this recipe to call for 35 minutes of baking on the lowest oven rack position in your oven. Many commenters came forward with their results and it started to become clear that a shorter baking time on the middle oven rack position could actually improve the flavor and texture of the brownies. After some additional testing, I've confirmed that baking on the middle rack for 25 minutes actually yeilds softer, chewier, fudgy, more flavorful brownies with fruitier chocolate notes! It looks like the longer baking time I originally called for was cooking off some of these more volatile chocolate flavors. I'm thrilled that your helpful input was able to help me make this recipe even better!

Find more Chocolate recipes on Veganbaking.net

Ultimate Vegan Brownie Recipe

3 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons golden flax meal

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda

7 Tablespoons cocoa powder
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
¾ teaspoon salt

¼ cup boiling water

1 ½ cups sugar
6 Tablespoons (80 grams) Regular Vegan Butter or non-hydrogenated stick margarine, melted (not tub margarine)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1) Prepare the flax meal, your oven and your baking dish

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the water and flax meal. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so the mixture gets goopy. Ensure your oven rack is in the middle rack position. Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper allowing excess parchment paper on opposite sides so you can pull the brownies out of the baking dish later.

Baking Dish Parchment

2) Whisk together the four and baking soda

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour and baking soda. Set aside.

3) Mix the vegan brownie dough

In another medium mixing bowl add the cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, espresso powder and salt. Add the boiling water and using a spoon, mix in the ingredients into a paste, making sure that all of the chocolate pieces are melted. Add the sugar, Vegan Butter, vanilla extract, flax meal mixture from Step 1 into the chocolate mixture and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the walnuts if you're using them. Using a spoon, mix in the flour until well combined. The mixture will become extremely thick and you may need to use your hands to mix. Refrain from mixing this dough with an electric mixer at this point; this will overwork the dough and activate too much gluten, negatively affecting the texture of the brownies.

4) Transfer the brownie batter to a baking dish and bake to perfection

Transfer the batter to the baking dish. You may need to use your fingers or a spatula to press the thick dough into place. Bake for 25 minutes on your oven's middle rack. Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool for about an hour.

5) Allow the vegan brownies to cool completely

Transfer the brownies to a cooling rack by lifting them out of the baking dish by taking hold of the exposed parchment paper on each side. Allow them to cool completely before slicing into squares.
This recipe makes one 8 x 8 inch baking dish of Ultimate Vegan Brownies.

Ultimate Vegan Brownies

A big thanks goes out to (never home)maker for the above picture.


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5.0

I love this recipe a lot, I tried it once and it was amazing so I'm definitely try8ing this again.

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Rating 
 
5.0

So good

I made this for a holiday potluck with my family and oh my goodness it was gone within minutes! This is a crowd favorite that I'll be using again and again. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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The cleaning after recipies

J'adore les recettes vegan surtout pour les patisseries! Ce qui est moins drôle c'est de tout devoir nettoyer après avoir fini de préparer c'est moins amusant. C'est pour cette raison que je fais toujours appel à nos spécialistes de l'hygiène.

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Love Vegan Baking!

I can't believe how great vegan baking has become! I used to think it would never taste good, but I'm finding more and more recipes that I'm loving, and I don't even realize it's vegan! Thank you!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Best Vegan Recipe!

So hard to come across a good vegan brownie recipe! It never tastes right. This one is pretty dang close to the real thing, thank you!

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Great great great brownies! Espcially with some he

Thanks for much for this amazing recipe!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Genius!

I love brownies, and that baking paper trick is Genius!
The recipe isn't overly complicated either. Double Genius!
Delicious and Healthy. Triple Genius! Thank you for the recipe!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Amazing! Thanks for the share, we loved ours!

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Love this, ours came out so dang good. We pay attention to the details, always and forever.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Such Incredible Brownies

Absolutely adore this recipe! They make such good brownies you'd think I was addicted! haha! Might need to get some counseling on how to slow down when eating them :)

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Rating 
 
5.0

Such Awesome Brownies

Such a big fan of this recipe. It's definitely something I'd recommend to anyone looking for a fantastic recipe to give this a try. I'll be looking to make these again.

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Rating 
 
4.0

Tasty Treat

This was pretty amazing to say the least. My partner and I made them and though they weren't as soft, the taste was amazing for a Sunday night snack.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Great

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F-ing Delicious

Um yeah, so we made these, and these are basically the best damn vegan brownies ever! This recipe is da bomb :) Thanks for sharing. We'll be adding these to our regular rotation.

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Fantastic

Best vegan brownie recipe I've ever used, my great-aunt's whole family loves this stuff! Thank you.
Howard

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Gluten free option

Has anyone tried this recipe gluten free?

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Rating 
 
5.0

It is delicious!

It's cool, tasty and not difficult to prepare Thanks for the recipe!

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