Before I get into my recipe for Vegan Gilmore Brownies I just have to say:
I used to turn all my favourite desserts into cupcakes, but over the last year that has changed. I’ve been trading at a market where I only sell brownies. I usually have a completely new “limited edition” brownie every month and this platform has let my imagination run wild! Almost any dessert can be turned into a brownie – It’s spectacular! Any flavour you love with that chewy, fudgy texture – what is not to love…?
Brownies, for me, are absolutely defined by their texture. Most folks like them fudgy and others prefer cakey (which I unfortunately can’t comprehend). There is, however, a whole different brownie texture category we like to call “chewy”… My ideal texture lies somewhere between fudgy and chewy… Oh man, the sheer joy 🙂 A brownie you can sink your teeth into, but also doesn’t give too much resistance like a solid mass. And of course mounds of flavorful chocolate!
What Makes a “Chewy” Brownie?
The type of flour you use makes a huge difference. All-purpose flour typically contains more protein, which gives your bake more “bite” and chewiness while cake flour gives you a softer, lighter bake. If you make a pizza crust with all-purpose flour it will always be chewy, while bread flour gives you a crispy crust. So YES, you want the bite from all-purpose flour in your brownies.
Another key ingredient for a fudgy-chewy brownie is either Muscovado or Demerara Sugar. It has to be a moist type of sugar. The extra molasses/treacle/caramel helps to densify your bake.
What Makes a Fudgy Brownie?
Chocolate and butter create a denser, fudgier brownie. Recipes that rely solely on melted chocolate for the flavour will always be denser than recipes with cocoa powder. You start achieving that magical balance between fudgy and chewy when you use both cocoa powder and melted chocolate.
Brownies should not contain too much excess liquid in the batter because the liquid will make them cakey. Applesauce or mashed bananas are thus not a good option. A flax egg is just the most genius vegan egg substitute! All you do is take ground flax seeds (I grind mine in a pestle and mortar), add some water and leave it to thicken for 5 minutes. Super easy! Thank you Minimalist Baker!
I adore the combination of cranberries and coconut. I’ve repeatedly used this flavour combo in cookies and muffins, so it’s only to be expected that I would use it in a brownie 🙂 Only this time some Dark Chocolate was thrown into the mix as well.
This chewy-fudgy Dark Chocolate brownie is utterly incredible! The cranberries add a sharp fruity zing and also make these brownies a lovely festive treat. The crunchy, toasted coconut flakes just bring the whole experience together visually and flavour wise. Some clients of mine have tried literally every brownie flavour I’ve made and they are in total agreement that this is my best one to date. I’ve decided to name these brownies “Gilmore Brownies” because I’ve been watching a LOT of Gilmore Girls and this brownie reminds me of them; beautiful, sharp and a little bit nutty 😉
- 210 g Vegan Butter/Margarine
- 60 g Dark Chocolate (at least 65% cocoa solids)
- 140 g White Sugar
- 100 g Demerara/Muscovado Sugar
- 2 Large Flax Eggs
- ½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 130 g All-Purpose Flour
- 80 g Cocoa Powder
- 5 g Salt
- 65 g Dried Cranberries
- Coconut Flakes/Shredded Coconut
- Spray the inside of a 17 x 27 x 3 cm (7 x 10,5 x 1 inch) brownie tin with non-tick cooking spray. An 8 x 8 inch square tin will also work just fine. Line the tin with baking parchment so that it goes up the sides and 3cm (1 inch) over the rim. This makes the brownies easy to pull out once cooked and cooled.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
- In a medium sized pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. As soon as the butter is melted and begins to simmer, add in the chopped dark chocolate and turn off the heat. Stir around thoroughly every 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted into the butter.
- Keep the pot on the stove and stir in the sugar and salt. Leave to sit for 5 minutes and stir very well. Remove the pot from the stove.
- Beat in the vanilla, apple cider vinegar and flax eggs.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients to the pot and stir well with a wooden spoon to combine. At this point I like to transfer the mixture to a standing mixer and beat it on low speed for 3 minutes. If you don’t have a standing mixer, just keep stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes. Do not skip this step – it significantly improves the texture of your brownies.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, making sure to spread out the batter into the corners of the pan. Distribute the dried cranberries evenly over the mixture. Push them down into the mixture with a spatula and then smooth the surface once more.
- Sprinkle coconut flakes on top of the brownie mixture and carefully push them down slightly into the batter so that the two adhere to each other.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. It is important that a skewer tests clean. Remove the brownies from oven and let them cool completely before removing them from the tin. Slice the brownies with a sharp knife. Some of the coconut fakes may squish down the sides – this is completely normal. Enjoy!
Coolio, that’s it 🙂 Thanks for reading!
See you in 2 weeks