I really wanted to make a vegan brownie ne plus ultra. I wanted it to be the best vegan brownie ever. And I was on track to do it, too, when instead of using tapioca, I (mistakenly) used arrowroot (I didn't realize it until the brownies were already in the oven). And didn't cut back enough on the fat in my recipe. The result, a tasty but useless slab of chocolate goo, ended up in the trash can. Chicago Streets and Sanitation will likely not be able to pry it off until late spring, when things start thawing in Chicago.
So I went back to the drawing board and decided to eliminate only the butter and the gluten. I love eggs, have no particular issue with them, so I kept them in the recipe. I replaced the butter with 1/2 C Sunflower Oil (though you can use safflower) and 1/2 C apple sauce. This made for a tender, gooey brownie. So good! I didn't actually have any apple sauce at home, so I made some - just used apples and water, cooked it until it was soft, and used a hand blender to puree it.
As a basis for my brownie recipe I used Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownies, which were very simple to make and very tasty. Here's the recipe:
Gooey Gluten-Free Supernatural Brownies (adapted from Nick Malgieri)
1/2 Sunflower or Safflower oil
1/2 C apple sauce, unsweetened
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces for easier melting
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup gluten free baking mix (I used Oat flour. You can also use 1/2 C Rice Flour + 1/2 C Buckwheat Flour) PLUS 1/4 C Tapioca Flour
One 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan OR a 10" round cake pan, oiled and floured OR lined with parchment or oiled foil
1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
2. Melt chocolate and oil together, over a double boiler OR in the microwave (in 30 second increments - check and stir every 30 seconds).
3. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl, then whisk in salt, sugars, and vanilla. Add in apple sauce. Stir in chocolate and oil mixture, then fold in flours.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan, make sure batter is distributed evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips or nuts or nothing at all, as desired. Bake for about 45 minutes, until top has formed a shiny crust and batter is moderately firm. Cool in pan on a rack. Once entirely cool, wrap pan in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature or refrigerated until next day.
5. To cut brownies, unmold onto a cutting board, remove paper, and replace with another cutting board. Turn brownies right side up and trim away edges. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares or as you like.