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Eggless Brownie


Jenni
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I'm not vegan, but I'm a (dairy loving) vegetarian who doesn't eat eggs. I also have a craving for a good egg free brownie! Trawling the internet brings up plenty of vegan brownies, but some of the stuff that goes in them seems a little unnatural to me - I've got no desire to use hydrogenated vegetable oil spread when I could use butter. I'd really like some advice from the baking experts (that's you guys!) about making egg free brownies that taste like the real thing.

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Eggs are just a structural ingredient, so it shouldn't be a problem replacing them. You'll probably discover many choices, all leading to different textures. The challenge might be finding one you like. I had a Ferran Adria flourless, eggless cake recipe once ... the experience was a bit like eating chocolate flavored nothing. Not my favorite, but some people loved it. It used some combination of hydrocolloids to create structure. Some other combination would have given a different result.

You could try looking at vegan recipes (although I don't know if I ever ate a cake or cookie labelled "vegan" that I didn't want to spit out). Another great option, if you don't get a good answer here, is to join the Alinea Mosaic site and ask that community. Many of the world's high-tech ingredient ninjas gather there, and they could probably make you an expert in no time.

Notes from the underbelly

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In my 74 years of living I've never found anything that tasted like the "real thing" that didn't have the ingredients of the "real thing". :biggrin:

I'm not trying to put down your request for an eggless brownie... just reminding you that ingredient replacements never taste like the "real thing".

Have you tried modifying the vegetarian recipes by substituting butter for the fat listed in the recipe?... it may give you some of the flavor you like. I encourage you to experiment by substituting ingredients until you come up with a flavor you like/remember. Good luck in your search.

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Flax seed can be used to replace eggs

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Xanthan gum is a very common egg replacer in vegan recipes, and is easily accessible at health food stores. As someone else said, I'd suggest starting with a vegan recipe that looks pretty good, but then substituting real butter for whatever stick margarine they're using.

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As suggested above, the eggs in a brownie are all about texture, not about flavor.

The eggless Korova Cookies from Pierre Herme (from Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets) are glorious and miss the eggs not at all. However, they are crumbly and crunchy, not brownie-like. I'd start with my favorite brownies and try milk protein as the binding agent, since you indicated that other dairy is ok. Might try it a little denser than regular milk by using powdered milk, and instead of the usual 1 cup powder to 4 cups water for reconstitution, would try 1 part powder to 2 parts water, so using an approximate volume of one large egg as three tablespoons, would start with 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk and 6 tablespoons water per pan of my favorite brownies. And maybe add an extra tablespoon or two of butter per pan to make up for the missing richness of the egg yolk.

Could require several tasty rounds of experimentation to get it right.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)
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In my 74 years of living I've never found anything that tasted like the "real thing" that didn't have the ingredients of the "real thing". :biggrin:

I'm not trying to put down your request for an eggless brownie... just reminding you that ingredient replacements never taste like the "real thing".

You may be right, but eggs aren't in the recipe to taste like anything. They're just structural additives. I'd be all over this thread with wisecracks if someone were looking for a chocolate substitute! Or even a butter substitute.

But the truth is, pastry chefs and chefs in general have become such wizards with texture that I believe almost any traditional texture can be duplicated. Sometimes even improved upon.

For example, if someone can find an ingredient that gives the texture of eggs, but in much smaller quantities, this would allow you to make much more intensely flavored brownies ... there'd be less structural stuff diluteing the flavors.

Notes from the underbelly

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Sorry guys, should have qualified that. When I said "taste like the real thing", I meant that many vegan/ eggless brownies seem to me to have a weird texture and aren't really like a brownie. Bad use of the word taste on my part!

Thanks for the ideas, I'm going to give them a try. Stupid as it sounds, I didn't think of doing a vegan recipe and adding the dairy back in. Experimentation certainly sounds fun!

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DSCN3348.JPG

It wasn't actually a brownie, but I did make a very delicious eggless chocolate cake today. It was very moist. We cut slices pretty much as soon as it came out of the oven, so the slice in the photo above is not so neat! It's my own cobbled together recipe, so I'd be happy to share if there are any other eggless bakers around.

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...I meant that many vegan/ eggless brownies seem to me to have a weird texture and aren't really like a brownie.

Oh, yeah, I wince when I hear "vegan dessert." Usually what kills it for me is the lack of butter. And I've had the same experience with weird textures from the egg substitutes. But while I haven't had a great eggless brownie, I'm convinced that any pastry chef fluent in the language of texture ingredients could do an amazing job.

I've been working on removing the eggs from my chocolate marquisse recipe ... not because I'm averse to eggs, but because I want less stuff between me and the chocolate. It's been a tricky project, because I'm still learning my way around the various gums and related ingredients.

Notes from the underbelly

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I've had really good luck substituting 1/4 cup mashed tofu per egg in boxed brownie mixes.

A lot of the other vegan egg substitutes just don't do the job for brownies... not enough moisture. I had to bake egg free for 6 years when my oldest child was egg allergic, and it took me 5 years to find a decent egg free brownie.

Cheryl

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Have you ever tried Black Bean Brownies?

I used to make these all the time, and no one could tell that they had black beans in them. They were fudgy and soft.

At first, I didn't want to make them, but since I live in freaking Veganville, I did so reluctantly. After tasting the results, I was impressed, and it's one of the few Vegan recipes that win my star of approval.

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Hi Jenni: I've had to make egg-less cakes for my child's birthday party (one of the guests was egg-allergic) and I had good success using bananas: to sub for each egg, use 1 small banana (or 2/3 large one) mashed with 1 tbsp oil (any neutral flavored one). And I used 1/4 tsp more baking soda or baking powder that the recipe called for overall.

Maybe this substitute would work for brownies too?

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