Monday, August 14, 2006
The incredible vegan brownie...L'incroyable brownie végétalien
En français ici
I love a good brownie but let's face it, they're calorie bombs, especially the good ones.
Brownies made their appearance in France about twenty years ago, in the form of supermarket-sold, individually-wrapped pieces of crap. Then recipes sprouted everywhere in magazines and books. My first brownie recipe, still usable and good, came from my then favourite teeny mag, 20 ANS, then a schoolfriend (male) teased me with his butter-laden and quite authentic recipe -also good, but I won't tell you what I had to do to get it (joking). Then many moons later, I discovered Nigella's, and (sorry Nigella) lately, Nigel Slater's unbeatable 24-carat, very good brownie recipe.
For brownies, like for cookies, every cook has their own recipe. Try every forum and launch a thread about them, you'll end up with as many suggestions as there are posts. Some include chocolate, some just plain cocoa, some both, most recipes are indulgent and buttery, one may add nuts or not. Another debate is fudgey or not?
Well, I'll leave that to the experts....
These days, I'm trying to be good, but the baking itch took over so I ended up searching the www for hours trying to find a suitable low-fat version and stumbled upon this. The picture said it all, I had to try them. So I had to make my own prune purée, then fumbled to find an adequate sub for maple syrup, as my supply was very low. So in went golden syrup diluted in much hot water (maple syrup is way less sugary and thick than GS). I used semi-wholewheat flour instead of part wholewheat and white flour, light brown sugar for plain brown, and a bit more chips than the recipe called for (ah, but no nuts). Phew. Then, as I stirred the ready-to-bake mix, I realized there were no eggs in it. I double-checked, but (bear with me), not only is it dairy-free, it's also egg-free (or do eggs fall under the dairy category ?-forget my non-native speaker ignorance). So yes, it's a vegan brownie. I had my doubts, but it turned out really interesting, "sticky," was my boyfriend's verdict, but "good" nonetheless. That was before their sojourn in the fridge. Afterwards, they became dense and crumbly. On its own, a piece has a strange taste, that must be the taste of the absence of eggs and butter, but dunk it in hot chocolate or eat it with a scoop of gelato and all his forgotten, you end up with dense cocoaness, melt-in-the-mouth goodness.
I won't copy the recipe, it's here for all to read. I will write it in French though...