Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Brownie Mission

I'm on a mission to master this brownie-making business, perferably without resorting to a recipe that is 80% unhealthy stuff.

Last night's effort was promising. It's gluten-free and lower sugar (I used erythritol). The 'fold ins' are cranberries and chunks of chocolate.

By the time I had enough light for a photo shoot there was only one left. Not awful then.

It's  not vegan,  but once I master the 'eggs and butter' version, I will try a veganised one. I've also been paying attention to what Lou does with dates, and I want to investigate whether dates might add back some of the chewiness that you lose by using erythritol.  Sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol don't caramelise with heat, so you can end up with a crumblier result than if you used sucrose, agave, maple or honey.

I'm keen to try adding a bit of gum arabic - that's the stuff I put in the Sana WPC for 'mouthfeel'.  It might work in cooking or it might result in rubber brownies that are only useful for the amusement of bouncing them around the kitchen. Food additives are touch and go. You need to get exactly the right amount, as anyone who has overdone the tapioca starch or guar gum will know.

In other words, the recipe is not quite perfected. It was really good, but you know when you have that 'this is good, but could be great' feeling?

Vegan readers, I have been thinking of you. While losing the contents of my wallet at the Liberty Market, I went searching for a butter substitute. This is my biggest problem with vegan cooking - often there is a seed oil or soy based spread in there, and neither of those float my boat.

I found this stuff:

It's made from 'mechanically pressed organic palm oil', which may or may not be a good thing, depending on if they have a sustainable source. Spectrum seem to make a big deal of their eco-friendliness, so it's probably ok.

I mean, apart from the fact that coming to NZ via Colombia then New York, it has an enormous carbon footprint. It's a good thing I'm not doing No Junk July like Kek and Liz.


  1. God, what's with the CAKE POSTS everywhere today? It's like the entire blogosphere is conspiring to push me off my "no junk" wagon....

    1. Huh? CAKE isn't "JUNK"! Go and wash your mouth out with chocolate...

    2. Plus, this is not even cake. It's brownies. ;) Completely different.

  2. They look so yummy! Baking is a real science isn't it? It just fascinates me.


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