Oh joy! These chocolate brownies are as good as I've ever made, yet are easy and downright healthy. I love their deep chocolate flavor, interesting mix of lighter cake with deep chocolate streaks, and a crisp top crust. If you don't tell people these are vegan brownies, no one will guess. The aquafaba provides tenderness and lightness that most egg-free brownies lack. With no worries about raw eggs, you can safely lick the extra batter from the spoon!
These brownies are downright good for you, with whole grains, phytonutrients from the cacao, fruit, and a little healthy fat. See the nutritional information below for how much healthier these are than ones loaded with eggs and butter, like Alton Brown's version. Your budget will love them too at just 33 cents each, assuming 16 brownies from the 8x8 pan.
Active time: 14 minutes. Total time: 55 minutes. Makes one 8x8 pan, about 16 brownies or 8 servings. Vegan.
1 cup white whole wheat flour (120 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams)
1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder (36 grams) (I use Healthworks raw organic cacao powder)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (80 grams) (I use Sunspire Organic 42% cacao chips)
1/4 cup well-mashed ripe banana (about 1/2 banana)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a little for the pan
2 tablespoons chickpea aquafaba (homemade or drained liquid from a can of chickpeas)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Make sure there is an oven rack in the center position and heat oven to 350°F. Oil an 8x8x2-inch pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine and break up any lumps. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir with a large spoon or spatula just enough to combine, about 50 strokes.
- Pour batter into oiled pan and pop it in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes for perfect lighter brownies or a few minutes less for more fudgy ones. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
- Cut and serve warm or at room temperature. The chocolate flavor deepens as they cool. Store any extra covered at room temperature. Should freeze well.
- Save money. This recipe uses two free ingredients: apple cider vinegar made from apple cores and aquafaba saved from cooking beans. I also bought the chocolate chips on sale for $4.79, but used the regular price of $6.49 to calculate the costs. The brownies shown above actually cost just 59 cents each. I wish I'd bought a case of chocolate chips while they were on sale!
- Use what you have. Use brown sugar instead of white sugar, apple sauce instead of banana, or a neutral vegetable oil (canola, corn, grapeseed) instead of olive oil. Your brownies will still rock.
- Mix in nuts. Add a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts with the chocolate chips for crunch and more nutrition.
- Get fancy. If you are taking your brownies to book club, a bake sale, or just serving on a plate for Sunday dinner, try Alice Medrich's smart way of lining the pan with foil instead of oiling it. I don't mind oiling the pan and prefer to not use the foil, but sometimes you may want perfectly square brownies. These brownies are so good that you will want to show them off!
Per serving based on 8 servings per recipe. For comparison, Alton Brown's Cocoa Brownies each have 466 calories, 27 grams of fat, and 16 grams of saturated fat, assuming the same 8 servings from an 8x8x2-inch pan. That's 40% more calories, 59% more fat, and a whopping 81% more saturated fat. Per serving, his brownies has 168 mg of cholesterol while mine have none. I chose Alton Brown's recipe as one for a reasonable, traditional brownie, the kind I would have made it back when I still cooked with eggs and butter (and still had arthritis and migraines).