May 26th, 2008

The subtleties of making vegan brownies, from mix

Hi all,

I've been making vegan brownies, from various brownie mixes, for around a year now. They've always been quite successful and tasty, but at the same time I never feel like I have any control over the end product, which always turns out very gooey/fudgy/oily. I've tried various things, but nothing seems to be wildly successful, so I thought I'd turn to the internet.

My current procedure is to take the given recipe, which usually calls for 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 cup water, and 2 eggs, and substitute 1/4 cup applesauce per egg. Sometimes I substitute soymilk for water, but I can't quite figure out what effect this has. I generally use a 13" x 9" pan, and follow the given cooking times.

What I'd like is to know what I should do to this procedure to produce the following types of brownies:
  1. Cake-like/fluffy
  2. Chewy (but not gooey! Much more solid than that)


Maybe I should use a smaller pan? Maybe I should use longer cooking times? Should I use soymilk or water? Less oil? More applesauce? Add bananas? I don't even know what any of these would do to the brownies!

One thing I'm afraid of is one memory where I think I used too much applesauce, and you could definitely taste the applesauce---it was pretty weird. So I've been somewhat conservative in light of that.

I'd prefer to stick with applesauce or maybe bananas; pumpkin or soy seems popular, but those are not as easy for me to acquire without making a trip off-campus. And I'm definitely not going to make brownies from scratch---too much work, and nothing you can say will persuade me otherwise!

Thanks in advance!