Monday, July 2, 2012

Blueberry Brownies (Vegan)

Summer has arrived everywhere else in the country...but not here in the Pacific Northwest.  So, bring on some chocolatey comfort food, but with a bit of a summery twist!

I had a brownie recipe that I had been itching to try in the vegan cookbook that the fiance gave me.  I've been wary of vegan baked sweet treats as I had some misadventures with some black bean brownies (weirdest texture ever) and some other adzuki bean/banana brownies (weirder still).  Expectations were low, to say the least.  But they turned out really well.  Fantastic, actually!

They texture is great, and more of a cakey brownie.  The flavor is really good and doesn't taste 'healthy' or 'odd.'  The the secret ingredient of blueberry spreadable fruit and whole blueberries is a fun surprise that adds to the yumminess.  In the book they also mentioned raspberry as an option (I'm sure we'd be game to try that as well!)

The plan is to bring some of them into work for treats (and independent taste testing)...that is if the fiance doesn't chase me down with a fork to eat them all!  (Don't fear for him, he'll get some in his lunch this week!)

Give this recipe a try, you won't miss eggs or butter!

Blueberry Brownies
(adapted from Veganomicon)
Makes 16 brownies

2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
10 oz. blueberry spreadable fruit
1/4 cup soy milk (I used almond milk and it worked great)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Melt the 2/3 cup of chocolate chips, reserving the other 1/2 cup to fold in later.  Melt using a double boiler or in the microwave.

In a large mixing bowl, (or KitchenAid) combine the blueberry spreadable fruit, soy (or almond) milk, sugar, canola oil, and extracts.  Mix on high speed until no large clumps of the spreadable fruit are visible.  This could take a few minutes.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir until well mixed; we use a fork here because the batter is very thick and can clump up in a whisk or mixer.  Mix in the melted chocolate as well.

Fold in the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and the fresh blueberries.  Spread the batter in the baking pan.

Bake for 45 minutes.  A toothpick test doesn't work because of the melted chocolate/chocolate chips make it look wet and the top will appear soft.  It's done in 45 minutes - promise!

Remove from the oven and let cool.  Slice into sixteen squares (or three, or whatever!)  If you want to serve it warm, wait about 30 minutes, so it is still warm but not hot.  For true decadence, serve with vanilla ice cream (vegan....or not!)  and a little bit of blueberry syrup, plus some fresh blueberries for good measure.

(More fresh fruit makes it healthy, right?)


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