Vegan chocolate and prune brownies

Vegan chocolate and prune brownies

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How do you substitute the butter and eggs in a vegan baking recipe?

Instead of butter you can use a flavourless or lightly-flavoured oil, such as vegetable oil. If you look through a few muffin recipes, you’ll be sure to come across some using oil. You can also use dairy-free margarine in place of butter, this is what I usually do and it produces the same results as using butter.

The eggs are a bit more tricky. After a Google search I found something called a flax egg. Basically it’s flax seeds (also known as linseeds), which you grind into a powder, then add water, whisk and pop into the fridge for at least ½ hour, but preferably 1 hour. The mixture goes gloopy and this is what binds the brownies in place of eggs.

These vegan brownies are fudge-y and exude the flavour of dark chocolate with little sticky, chewy bites of sweet prune. I use Californian Prunes, which are a favourite of mine, but to be honest any prunes would do.

The brownies are a little more crumbly than traditional brownies, but this could be due to the fact I used flax seeds mixed with goji berries.

For more information, here's a guide to staple alternative ingredients for a vegan diet.

1
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a square brownie pan
2
Melt the dairy free margarine with the chocolate and sugar in bowl set over a pan of simmering water – do not allow the bowl to touch the water, or the chocolate will seize. One melted, set aside
3
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl
4
Beat the flax eggs into the chocolate mixture. Gradually fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the prunes and chocolate chips
5
Pour the mixture into the brownie tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven for 25 minutes for a more fudgey brownie, or 30–32 minutes for a more cake-like texture. Use a skewer to test after 25 minutes, there shouldn’t be too much mixture clinging to it when removed. The brownies will set a little more while cooling
The brownies will continue to set while cooling
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