florafloraflora (florafloraflora) wrote in vegancooking,

Silken Tofu Brownies

I had a rare brownie craving and couldn't find any vegan recipes that weren't horribly complicated and that used silken tofu + cocoa powder (I didn't have chocolate in the house). Finally I veganized my go-to brownie recipe from childhood, and to my surprise it worked perfectly, with a fudgy-not-sticky texture and deep chocolate flavor. 

Notes on flavor: This is not a terribly sophisticated brownie recipe (the original came from an ancient ladies'-aid cookbook). You might find it too sweet. I don't usually like anything very sweet at all, but this is the brownie of my childhood, so... You can reduce the sugar and/or add extra cocoa, instant espresso, or a little cayenne for a more grown-up taste. This would also help dispel any beany aftertaste (mine had a slight one, but then the tofu had been on the shelf for a while). You can use all-purpose flour, but I find that whole wheat heightens the chocolate flavor. The ingredients for this might not be available outside the US, but brownies are mostly an American craving anyway. You can do a lot with this recipe: layer some cream cheese and/or jam in the middle or swirl some peanut butter, thinned with a bit of milk, into the top, or top with all sorts of things (crushed peppermints, icing, candied orange peel, etc.).

Makes 12-16 brownies

2 sticks Earth Balance (tub margarine won't work; it has to be solid at room temp)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Ghirardelli—to me it makes a difference)
1 box (12 oz.) firm silken tofu, pressed through a sieve or puréed in the food processor (soft would probably work, but firm is what I had)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur's white whole wheat, which has a milder flavor)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, in small pieces (optional, but I like it)
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (optional, I don't like it)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt buttery sticks in a medium saucepan, or in a bowl in the microwave. Cool a bit, then stir in cocoa powder. Add tofu and remaining ingredients. Pour into ungreased 9x9-inch pan (the pan can be bigger or smaller, within reason) and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool as long as possible before cutting—it's ideal to wait until the bottom of the pan is cool to the touch, but that might be too much to ask of some of us. Enjoy with a cold glass of soymilk or a hot cup of tea or coffee. 
Tags: desserts-brownies, tofu-silken
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