Tuesday 27 June 2017

Vegan brownies with optional dulce de leche swirl

Some foods are easy to veganise and others are more challenging.  Vegan brownies are hard to get right.  I have made a few that are quite sludgy inside.  Actually most of the brownies I have blogged have relied on eggs.  Today I made brownies because I wanted to use vegan choc chips and coconut condensed milk but there were no eggs in the house.  The results were most pleasing.
Firstly I decided to marble caramel or dulce de leche on the top of the brownies.  Because I had coconut condensed milk.  I had used half a tin in some choc chip cookies.  The remainder has sat in the fridge for a few weeks.  I simmered the condensed milk for 10-15 minutes and it got so chewy that I had to warm it up to actually spread it on the brownies.  But in the edge result it just added a small amount of chewiness and sweetness to the top of the brownies.  I had meant to salt it but forgot.

Next is the vegan brownie recipe I have been planning to make forever.  I was intrigued by this recipe that started with a roux of water and flour. 

The mixture then went glossy until I added the flour and it thickened up into a mixture that was so hard it was difficult to spread in the tin.  There were lots of choc chips mixed in at this stage.  And I still have more.  (Thanks Faye for the generous donation to my baking adventures.)

The above photo is of the mixture in the tin with the dulce de leche inexpertly swirled through.  Actually both the brownie mixture and dulce de leche were so stiff that I sort of folded some under like I was tucking it into bed.  I don't think this is the method that any experts would recommend.  It was enough to distribute it.  And once it cooked it looked pretty similar but drier on top.

Finally there is the tasting, to make sure these are the best vegan brownies I have ever made and then to just check again and maybe one more after swimming and parent teacher interviews and then perhaps put a lot of the batch in the freezer because they are too tempting to just leave out begging to be eaten!

I am sending these to Jibber Jabber for Love Cake and Tin and Thyme for We Should Cocoa.

More chocolate vegan baking on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chocolate blackberry cupcakes (v)
Chocolate cupcakes (v)
Chocolate (layer) cake (v)   
Chocolate tahini cookies (v)
Coconut and chocolate chunk cake (v)
Flourless almond butter choc chip cookies (gf, v)
Kale cheesecake surprise choc mint cupcakes (v) 
Lamingtons with a touch of quince (v)
Zucchini brownie with smoked walnuts (v)

Vegan Brownies
Adapted from Pollen on food.com

2 cups plain white flour, divided
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup cocoa powder
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup coconut condensed milk (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 C and grease and line a 28 x 18 cm (11 x 7 inch) slice tin.

Cook 1 cup water and 1/2 cup flour over low heat until you have a gluey paste that holds its shape.  Stir in sugars, salt, cocoa and oil to make a glossy mixture.  Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cup flour and baking powder, then chocolate chips (if using).  Tip into prepared tin and press out to fill tin evenly.  I used my hands to smooth some of it down.

If you wish to use some dulce de leche - I slowly cooked some coconut condensed milk for about 5-10 minutes.  Mine was setting to toffee rather than a sauce so I think let it darken but it does not need to coat the spoon too much.  Dollop over unbaked brownie and swirl a little with knife and then smooth down as much as possible.  (Maybe some salt in the dulce de leche would work.)

Bake for 25 minutes.  a skewer should come out cleanly when inserted in the middle but I looked more at the top being drier and the edges feeling cooked and the middle a little softer but not uncooked.  Cool in tray and then cut into small squares.

On the Stereo: 
Big Red Truck: Rubher


  1. Oh you've got me with tucking brownies into bed. How wonderful. I shall have sweet dreams tonight :D

    I've not come across this method of making brownies before. I'll have to try it as you say these are the best ever. The coconut dulce de leche sounds lush too. No wonder you had to hide these in the freezer. Thanks for sharing the recipe with #WeShouldCocoa.

    1. Thanks Choclette - they are the best vegan brownie recipe I have made (though I have had a few vegan brownies in cafes that have been disappointing as well as the ones I have made often being too gooey) - but I actually am not sure they are as good as the best non-vegan brownies I have made. I think the egg gives that crispy topping that these don't have so much.

  2. I haven't come across coconut condensed milk so I'm off to see where I can get some from. What a glorious treat. I can see why you've had to freeze some!

    1. Thanks Jibber Jabber - we now have coconut condensed milk regularly in the supermarket but I wonder how well it sells and how long it will last.

  3. Do you have a side cut shot Johanna? That's where you can really see the texture of the brownie. They sound great but the ddl isn't optional here hehe :P

    1. Thanks Lorraine - the brownie in the middle of the last photo is the cross section - I agree the side helps to look at the texture though I have checked out a few vegan brownie posts and still can't work out the texture from the photo. It is fudgy in a sturdy way rather than fudgy in a gooey way. I have put the ddl is optional as I know that it is not something I have about regularly and it would work fine without it though it does lift it!

  4. Wow, yes please! They look great Johanna - and with dulce de leche too! I completely agree, the method is very interesting having been made with a roux. I've tried vegan brownies a couple of times, but those were made with black beans (and honestly you can't tell they're there at all!), from an American blog whose name escapes me at the moment!
    Angela x

    1. Thanks Angela - I had a disastrous attempt at black bean brownies because I substituted kidney beans for black beans (many years ago) but can't think if I ever made them successfully. The whole black bean brownie enthusiasm has died down, but maybe some time I will try these

  5. Condensed coconut milk is so pricey here, but i so want to try the dulce de leche. I have made v brownies and some have featured on my blog - hit and miss, but i will give these a go someday. And guess what, i made some more brownies - well lots of them....

    1. Thanks Shaheen - Condensed coconut milk is not that pricey here but I did struggle to find reasons to use mine and I think it was slightly after the best by date - I think it does not last as long as the dairy equivalent. You sound like you have been making heaps of brownies - lucky you and lucky friends and family.

  6. Brownies that need freezing to avoid being eaten all at once - clearly they are very good brownies! They certainly look and sound delicious and the swirled topping is great.

  7. These brownies look so luscious - who could resist?

  8. I've had many good vegan brownies, but I think the texture is probably the hardest bit to get right (the taste is generally pretty good - after all, how bad can a chocolate cake be?!) I think the dulce de leche swirl should be mandatory rather than optional - it sounds heavenly!

  9. Can't beat a good brownie..... I'll definitely take the dulce de leche swirl in mine xx


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