Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Egg-Free Brownie Recipe, 1st Attempt

(if you want to skip to the recipe, scroll to end of post)

In my quest for an awesomely delicious brownie recipe that contains NO egg, I have hit some hurdles, but also made some great progress.

I started with a recipe from this book, Bakin' Without Eggs by Rosemarie Emro.
This book was given to me as a present, and I am very very happy to have received it since I often have to cook without eggs due to food allergy in my family.  There are several very happy reviewers of this book on Amazon, so it seems like it will be a great resource.

I had high hopes for the "Heavenly Brownie" recipe, promising to make the perfect eggless brownie.  As I stirred together the strange mixture of ingredients (corn syrup? vinegar?  sour cream?), I couldn't help but give it a taste.  Mmm, quite yummy, so it felt like I was on the right track.

Sadly, the final product did NOT pan out.  I blame the short cook time of only 20 minutes, which left my 9x13 inch pan of brownie dough just that- still dough-y!  No good!  Though it has already completely cooled by the time I realized this, I next tried what is never been recommended, and put it back in the oven to salvage it.  Alas, all this did was turn the mixture into brownie bricks, totally glued to the pan, and pretty much inedible.  Sad sad story.

And yet I remain undeterred in my quest.  Maybe that recipe would have worked if I cooked it much longer to begin with (I'm guessing it needs somewhere around 40 minutes) and done a toothpick test before calling it done (something the book recipe makes no mention of doing).  Right now I'm not ready to trust this book again with our family's urgent chocolate cravings.  Instead, I rummaged around for another recipe.

I found a recipe for Brownie inside this vegan cookbook, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine by Mark Reinfeld.

I can only describe the book and its recipes as highly pretentious, which is a funny thing to be when you are a cookbook!  Seriously, take a look at some of these items listed as ingredients for the brownie recipe:  sucanat, spelt flour, arrowroot powder, kava kava, flax seeds... HUH?  What the heck are those and what are they doing in a simple dessert recipe?  Not only that, but items that are actually familiar are twisted around so to make you feel like what you have isn't good enough, they require, "sea salt" instead of salt, "filtered water" instead of water, "vanilla extract, alcohol-free" instead of vanilla extract.  Come on!  Gimme something I can work with here!

Anyway, after some online searches for what the ingredients actually mean, I decided to use the recipe as a rough guide, substituting what I actually have in my pantry and adding things found in a normal brownie recipe.

So now, I will introduce you to my first attempt at my own personal recipe, made up by me, tried and eaten by our family, with happily delicious results!
mmm, brownie

Dora's NO EGG Brownie Recipe - first attempt

Grease 8x8 baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together:
1/2 stick melted butter
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar

Gradually add in dry ingredients which have previously been mixed in separate bowl:
1 cup flour (I use whole wheat)
3/4 teaspoon corn starch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt

Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.  Pour batter into pan.  Bake about 30-35minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

I call this first attempt because although they turned out great, I feel there is room for improvement.  My family agrees to serve as test tasters for as many future versions as I'd like to create, so of couse I must oblige.  If I had to criticize this batch I would say that it could be more fudgy, more chocolatey, and less cake-like.  I will be sure to keep you posted on my progress, but even if I don't come up with a better recipe, this one here is a crowd pleasing keeper!

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