Vegan Month of Food | 2. Chocolate – Brownies with Walnuts
I was quite curious when a friend treated me to some gluten-free vegan brownies. I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to question and re-confirm it they were truly vegan and…..strictly gluten-free? What I was eating was unbelievably awesome and I just couldn’t tell the difference from a (real) brownie.
To me a (real) brownie contains flour and eggs. Since we adopted a predominantly vegan diet and I further took to an entirely gluten-free living, we’ve not made brownies at home and have not eaten the store-bought ones. The vegan carob chips help satisfy the cravings for brownies, that I occasionally get. (I know those two are not even close, but that’s what I have gotten used .)
The recipe my friend shared with me did not call for eggs or flour as ingredients. This really caught me by surprise and I got super excited to make some by myself. Without any longer, I requested the recipe, letting her know my eagerness and enthusiasm to try it.
I just found it hard to believe something without all the gluten and butter fat could be this delicious. And, to my joy it turned out just the way my friend made them. Absolutely divine! The husband’s reaction was exactly as mine ( when I had these brownies for the first time). His question “ Are you sure this is vegan and has no flour whatsoever?” My reaction – smiles and giggles.
So here’s the recipe that I adapted from the original….
Vegan, Gluten Free Brownies with Walnuts
(An adaptation from The Gluten-Free Vegan by Susan O’Brien)
1 cup applesauce
½ cup organic sugar
1 cup agave nectar
¼ cup canola oil
1 banana, peeled and mashed
1 ½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer whisked together with 2 tablespoon warm water 1
1 cup cocoa powder
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup quinoa flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ cup vegan chocolate chips 2
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup walnuts, crushed or chopped into little pieces
Olive Oil cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray an 8-inch square non-stick pan with olive oil cooking spray.
For the oil mixture: In a large bowl, beat together canola oil, agave nectar and sugar. Mix for about two minutes.
For the egg replacer mixture: In a separate bowl, whisk egg replacer very well with warm water, until bubbly. Make sure the powder is completely dissolved.
Wet Ingredient Mixture: Add the applesauce, mashed banana and egg replacer mixture to the previously prepared oil mixture. Mix well and set aside.
For the flour mixture: Sift together brown rice flour, quinoa flour, salt, baking powder, xanthum gum, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
To the wet ingredient mixture, add the flour mix and stir well until well blended. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir slowly without over beating.
Add spoonful of batter, one spoon at a time, into the previously prepared pan. Spread evenly and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and cut into squares.
Enjoy with cold or warm Almond milk.
NOTE: For the toothpick test, I did not wait till the tooth picks came out clean, I pulled out the brownies from the oven at the 38 minute mark, to prevent them from drying out.
1 Per the instructions on the box for the egg replacer – ‘1 ½ teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer plus 2 tablespoons warm water equals one egg’. If any other egg replacer, like flaxseed meal, is used make sure you use a quantity equivalent to using one egg.
2 I used lesser vegan chocolate chips than what the original recipe called for as I didn’t want the brownies too bitter. To make the brownies with additional chocolate, use ½ cup or more of the vegan chocolate chips. The resulting brownie will be even more softer when you pull out from the oven, because of the melted chocolate.
Yield: 24 square pieces (based on how small or big you cut out the squares)
My theme for the first five days for the Vegan MoFo is all things vegan, gluten-free and chocolate. The recipe for Day 1 was Mexican Chocolate Cake with Almonds (vegan, gluten-free and soy-free). For more details on Vegan MoFo.