These wheat-free, butterless brownies are decadent and dense. "It's really, really hard to make a good vegan brownie," says chef Erin McKenna. Her first efforts using applesauce and vegetable oil were cakey or fluffy. It took her six months of making small adjustments to perfect them.
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Vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill gluten-free, all-purpose baking
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. Spray 2 mini muffin pans with vegetable oil spray. In a bowl, whisk the baking flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum. In another bowl, whisk the applesauce, oil and vanilla; stir into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the muffin pans, filling them three-quarters full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until set. Let the brownies cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Gluten-free baking flour: McKenna likes the flour from Bob's Red Mill, made from fava bean and chickpea flours. Dairy-free chocolate chips: Vegan chips are made without milk or milk solids. Bittersweet and semisweet varieties of artisanal chocolate, like Scharffen Berger, may also be dairy-free; check the labels. Xanthan gum: A natural gum that binds like gluten and adds volume to baked goods.
One Brownie 69 cal, 4 gm fat, 0.8 gm sat fat, 10 gm carb, 0.8 gm fiber.
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Review Body: I made these first for a Secret Santa gift, with the recipe as written, and did not like them (though the recipient said he did). They were set, but only just. The tops did not crack, and they were too soft. And it turns out I just hate the taste of canola oil.
Then a few days later I made them again to take to a party, and I used melted coconut oil instead of canola, and I baked them for a few minutes longer (about five? I don't know because it was accidental—the timer went off and I didn't hear it), and they came out better tasting and smelling, and with a much more appealing texture.
It's a very easy and quick recipe which I will definitely make again, with the modifications mentioned.