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Nov 22, 2014
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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In This Issue: Vegetize It – Feel-good Brownies

August 16th 10:08am, 2013

080113_vegetizeit

 

It seems like once August rolls around, we fill the remainder of summer with a frenzy of picnics and barbecues. And while burgers, brats and beer are certainly the holy trinity of these outdoor get-togethers, there is one more “b” that makes a frequent appearance, thanks to the person who realizes we’ll need something sweet to balance the savory. That we’ll need brownies … vegan brownies.

That’s right. This month we’re taking things a step further by not just omitting meat, but all animal products. And if there is one thing I’ve learned about tweaking baking recipes, it’s that keeping it simple is the way to go.

For this brownie recipe, three dairy components needed replacing: eggs, butter and chocolate chips. Since eggs would be used more for thickening (instead of leavening), I tried two ways to replace them. The first was to use one ripe, mashed banana for every egg, but the flavor of the fruit was way too strong. Round two: applesauce. It’s something a lot of baking recipes call for to add extra moisture, and it has a similar thickness to whisked eggs without tainting the flavor of the final dish. All of these traits worked perfectly in this dish.

As for the butter, it’s like the bacon of the meat world; you just can’t find something that gets the exact same taste and texture. So I hit the “easy” button and picked up a tub of Earth Balance buttery spread, which is available at most grocery stores around town.

I treated the chocolate much the same as the butter, although my fingers were crossed that I could find something besides carob, a member of the pea family frequently substituted for chocolate whose taste I’ve never been able to swallow. Luckily, while walking down the “healthy eating” aisle at my local supermarket, I found non-dairy chocolate chips made from cocoa, which are every kind of “free” you can imagine: dairy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, soy-free … and the list goes on.

So there I was, my three ingredients replaced. I went home to double-check my research before I started baking. And it’s a good thing I did.

To read more about the surprising facts Beth Styles discovered when creating these vegan, feel-good brownies, click here.

- Photo by Carmen Troesser

 

 

By Beth Styles

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