Vegan Gluten-Free Raspberry Brownies

Standard

To me, baking has always been a science. Change a few key ingredients or “variables” and achieve and completely different result. Attending culinary school to learn traditional baking techniques helped me to learn the science of baking. Knowing the traditional science to baking helped me to change around those “variables” to make tasty vegan or gluten free versions of my favorite foods.

My new roommate is allergic to dairy, eggs and gluten, so baking something for everyone has been a challenge. I am proud to announce my first vegan and gluten free recipe that I feel can rival any traditional recipe out there.

Vegan Gluten Free Raspberry Brownies.

-2oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

-1/2 cup brown sugar or sucanat
-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon almond extract

-1/4 cup teff flour
-1/2 cup rice flour
-3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1 1/2 cup frozen raspberries mixed with 1/4 lukewarm water

Preheat oven to 300 F. Line an 8 inch pan with parchment paper and lightly mist with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the chocolate in either a double boiler or the microwave. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, vigorously mix together the sweetener and apple sauce. Stir in the extracts and the melted chocolate.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix very well until a stiff dough forms. Fold in the raspberries mixed with the water. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. It will be very thick, you’ll probably need to use your hands to evenly spread the batter.

*For a fun twist, sprinkle with shredded unsweetened coconut or a handful of walnuts.

Baking Without the Eggs, Milk and Buttah

Standard

vegan

These helpful tidbits were taken from the post punk kitchen.

Baking without eggs, milk and buttah

Get rid of the eggs
Replacing eggs is the most challenging aspects of vegan baking. Those suckers bind, they leaven and they give structure to our baked goods. However, like a bad boyfriend, they can be replaced, and with pleasing results. Here some info on replacements I have tried.

Flax Seeds
How to use it:
1 Tablespoon flax seeds plus 3 Tablespoons water replaces one egg. Finely grind 1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds in a blender or coffee grinder, or use 2 1/2 tablespoons pre-ground flaxseeds. Transfer to a bowl and beat in 3 tablespoons of water using a whisk or fork. It will become very gooey and gelatinous, much like an egg white. In some recipes, you can leave the ground flax in the blender and add the other wet ingredients to it, thus saving you the extra step of the bowl.

When it works best:
Flax seeds have a distinct earthy granola taste. It tastes best and works very well in things like pancakes, and whole grain items, such as bran muffins and corn muffins. It is perfect for oatmeal cookies, and the texture works for cookies in general, although the taste may be too pronounced for some. Chocolate cake-y recipes have mixed results, I would recommend only using one portion flax-egg in those, because the taste can be overpowering.

Tips:
Always store ground flaxseeds in the freezer because they are highly perishable. This mixture is not only an excellent replacement for eggs, it also contributes vital omega-3 fatty acids.

Where to get it:
Health food stores

Silken Tofu
How to use it:
1/4 cup blended silken tofu = 1 egg. Whiz in a blender until completely smooth and creamy, leaving no graininess or chunks. You will want to add other wet ingredients to this mixture to get it to blend properly. I recommend vacuum packed extra firm silken tofu, such as Mori-Nu.

When it works best:
Dense cakes and brownies, and in smaller quantites for lighter cakes and fluffy things (if the recipe calls for 3 eggs only use 2 “tofu” eggs”). Whizzed tofu leaves virtually no taste, so it is an excellent replacer in cake recipes. In cookie recipes, it may make the cookie more cake-y and fluffy than anticipated, add 1 teaspoon of starch to the recipe (such as arrowroot or corn starch) to combat that. It may make pancakes a little heavy, so it is not recommended as a quick replacement for eggs in pancakes, although it could work well with a little experimentation.

Where to get it:
Health food store shelves, and in some supermarkets.

Ener-G Egg Replacer
How to use it:
1 1/2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons water mixed well = 1 egg
Many people swear by this egg replacer. I think it is good to use in a pinch, in all baking that requires a few eggs. However, I can definitely taste it in cakes and cookies (tastes chalk-y), and I’m not crazy about the dense texture it turns out.

When it works best:
It seems to work best in cookies, or things that are supposed to be a little crispy.

Where to get it:
Health food stores, some supermarkets in the baking or ethnic food section

Bananas
How to use it:
1/2 banana blended until smooth or mashed well= 1 egg.
Bananas work wonders as an egg replacer in baking, which is the reason many banana bread recipes don’t require eggs. They hold the air bubbles well, make things nice and moist, and impart a nice flavor. However, you don’t want everything tasting like banana, so use in things where the taste won’t be intrusive. I’ve also noticed that baked goods using banana brown very nicely.

When it works best:
Quick breads, muffins, cakes, pancakes

Tip: Make sure bananas are nice and ripe and have started to brown.

Where to get it:
Just kidding, I think you can figure this one out.

Soy yogurt
How to use it:
1/4 cup soy yogurt = 1 egg.
Soy yogurt works a lot like whizzed tofu as an egg replacer. It makes things moist and yummy.

When it works best:
Quick breads, muffins, cakes

Where to get it:
Health food stores, yuppyish supermarkets

Lose the milk
This is a no-brainer. Use soy, rice or almond milk. Butter milk? Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to your milk and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

It’s like buttah…
Instead of butter try unsalted margarine or go ahead and use salted but reduce the amount of salt in the recipe. Lose 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 stick of butter. But try to use the non-hydrogented kind, I dunno’, for your health?

My favorite thing to use instead of butter is canola oil, but you can use any vegetable oil, just reduce the amount. If a recipe calls for one stick of butter, which is a half cup, I use 1/3 cup of oil.

You can also try prune puree which will also obviously reduce the amount of fat. To use, puree 1/2 cup of pitted prunes with 1/4 cup of water. You will want to reduce the amount used, or the final product may be too moist. If the recipe calls for a half cup use 1/3 cup instead. You may also want to add a little oil, maybe a tablespoon per cup of fat needed, because a little fat goes a long way in taste and texture.