My mom is my best friend. She has made me who I am, taught me compassion, and shown me how to live life with optimism and an unfailing desire to make the most of each day. She also taught me how to bake.
Countless times throughout my childhood, we would pull a red box of brownie mix out of the cupboards in our kitchen and dump the chocolate powder into a large metallic bowl. We would add in water, oil, eggs, and stir until they made a sweet, rich, irresistible batter. Sometimes, the batter would actually make it into a pan (Salmonella who?). But there were always two crucial steps in the process.
First, my sister and I always got to lick the bowl. And the spoon. The amount of batter that “remained” in the bowl after pouring into the pan always varied. I distinctly remember one time smearing batter all over my belly and promptly being placed into the bathtub. We may not have been perfect (or clean), but we always had fun.
Second – and I hope my mom won’t disown me for giving away her secret to almost all baked goods – the brownies were underbaked. This always created a gooey, delicious consistency – those that weren’t eaten straight out of the over went into the fridge, to be enjoyed later once they had become dense and fudgy. Never cakey. They were brought to school, lacrosse games, birthday parties – or just into the TV room. But they were always the best.
Side note: my mom is also awesome because, knowing that edge pieces were my favorite, she would take a batch of brownies to my sister’s field hockey games but cut off all the edges and leave them at home for me. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
Now that I try to avoid processed foods and animal products, I’ve been trying to find a legitimate vegan brownie recipe. It’s sort of been my baker’s Everest. A brownie-like texture is hard to achieve since eggs do so much for texture, taste, binding, and rising. There are a lot of recipes that SAY they are vegan brownies, but they’re really just chocolate-flavored baked goods. But I FINALLY found the perfect recipe on one of my favorite healthy living blogs, Une Vie Saine. Warning: these are not health food. They are fudgy, chocolatey, perfect. Find the recipe here. I added in 1 C chopped 100% dark chocolate and followed the rest of the recipe to a T(easpoon?).
I think my mom would approve. Now who wants to help me finish the pan of brownies in my fridge?