I’ve been thinking about brownie recipes recently – brownies aren’t something we ate a lot when I lived at home, but I used to make salted caramel brownies to take to parties. I haven’t made brownies gluten-free vegan before because the ingredients are relatively easy to make free from, but it seems lazy somehow just to swap butter for vegan marg or oil and eggs with Orgran egg replacer. I decided to do some research into what could replace them that was a bit more natural and tasty. Tofu and apple sauce were my first thoughts – tofu can be used instead of eggs and bulks out the recipe a fair bit and also gives some texture; apple sauce can also be used instead of eggs, but it can also be used instead of oils so seemed like a good butter replacement. I went to our local health food shop and picked up some tofu and defrosted some applesauce I’d made a while ago. Because pretty much every brownie recipe I’ve ever seen require some fat, instead of adding any oil I decided to melt a bit of dark chocolate – fat, but with flavour.
I made the first batch, but I really should have gone with my instincts as I thought it seemed too dry going into the oven and it was – should have added more liquid! They turned out fine, but the texture made me think ‘tofu’ a bit too much. It was quite dense and had a bit of a chew, but in a way that was very reminiscent of tofu – though it probably wasn’t helped by me not putting in enough liquid. Because the texture was a bit too close and almost gummy, I decided to next try vegan natural yogurt to lighten up the mix a bit, instead of the apple sauce and also reduce the amount of tofu.
Batch number 2 as you can see in the picture below had more of a proper crumb texture and rose better, but again, that was probably partly thanks to me changing the amount of liquid.
My brownies are actually reasonably healthy by brownie standards. They aren’t very sweet; I’ve tried to minimise the added sugar and then the only other sweetness is from the dark chocolate and chocolate milk – I think this is better because then if you want it sweeter, you can eat it with ice cream (which happens to be what I’m doing as I type this) or add sauce, whereas once a recipe is too sweet, you’re stuck with it. The recipe is also minimally fatty, with the only sources of fat being the natural yogurt (which looking at the label doesn’t have much fat content at all) and the dark chocolate. I hope you like the recipe!
Makes a 9×9 inch pan. Cuts into approx. 12 big pieces.
Keeps well (we ate it all within 72 hours, but it was still fine at the end) – I left mine in the pan, clingfilmed the cut edges and put some foil over the top.
50g dark dairy-free chocolate, melted
170g silken & smooth tofu (I used Clearspring)
230g natural yogurt (I used Sojade, the 250g tub)
1.5 tsp vanilla paste
145ml dairy-free milk (I used chocolate flavoured Oatly, you don’t have to use chocolate milk, but I thought it could only add to the flavour and is less savoury tasting than my unsweetened soya milk)
130g soft brown sugar
230g plain gluten-free flour (I used Dove’s Farm)
1 tsp baking powder
50g cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
100g (or as much as you like really) dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C, 170C fan (my oven is fan).
- Melt the 50g of chocolate – I did this in a pyrex jug on the medium setting in the microwave.
- Measure the tofu, yogurt, vanilla, milk and sugar into a bowl or jug and use a hand blender to mix it all together. Blend in the melted chocolate.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder into a large bowl.
- Fold in the liquid ingredients until the mixture is smooth.
- Fold in the chopped chocolate/chocolate chips.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 x 9inch tray lined with baking paper and smooth the top.
- Cook for about 25 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the pan and then slice when it’s cool.