Monday, January 24, 2011

Beet Brownies


I was reading through the Vegetarian Times magazine, because someone had left it on the free table at Jon's work, and was shocked at really how vegan-unfriendly it was. Many of their vegetarian recipes relied solely on cheese to provide flavor, and for instance, the below brownies had eggs + butter. I modified the recipe. Actually, I put in 1.5 cups of beets, which frankly was too much because they came out pretty beety, but I hadn't read the recipe properly. I also was freaked out about using egg replacer for the 2 eggs, so I added 2 tsp cornstarch as well. Don't do that, they came out too rubbery. I'm going to try these again but with the following proportions as reccomended in the recipe

About 2 cooked beets, depending on size - (the amount required to make 1 cup of puree) or One 14 oz. can of beets, rinsed & drained
1/4 cup earth balance margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp egg replacer powder + 6 TBS warm water, beaten
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 TBS cocoa powder
1 TBS instant espresso powder (or instant coffee)

Puree the beets till super smooth. Then beat the egg replacer with water. You can pretty much just mix everything together at this point, because since there's only 1/2 cup of flour you don't run as much risk of overworking it and developing the gluten. Put into greased 9 inch pan, bake at 350 for 30-40 mins, check at 30 with knife inserted at center. I think around 5 points per brownie, same as regular brownie but the benefit is you are eating more of a whole food I guess, maybe I'm just kidding myself here. I might try the 'replace the oil with pureed prunes + water' trick from the millenium. I'm super curious about that idea. Why am I ruining brownies? I don't know, I just think its interesting! I have to admit I've only had a decent brownie 4 times since becoming vegan, so I guess I should probably try to make a delicious vegan brownie instead. :)

I like these brownies, but they are pretty beet-y though that may be my fault for using more beets than called for. I caution the reader against using canned beets, I think they are for experienced beet people because they just aren't as good. Newbies to beets should start with a beet in top form, a fresh beet peeled and roasted (yum!), or steamed (I steamed mine for 20 mins in the pressure cooker).