When I had just started to learn about food and baking, one of my mentors Chef Vasanthan, whipped out his secret recipe book and taught us the recipe for a chocolate walnut brownie that was the signature dish at The Ritz Carlton in London and this was apparently ‘The Queen’s’ favourite brownie.
No doubt all our minds were blown, they had to be. This was only the richest, most gooey and yummiest brownie that we had ever tasted. It’s strange how gibberish words like gooiest, fudgiest all make so much sense when referring to indulgent sweets.
Now the question arises. How do we achieve these desirable characteristics?
This is the Secret to Chef Vasanthan’s recipe.
- 2 parts chocolate
- 2 parts butter
- 1 part flour
- 1 part cocoa powder
- 24 yolks/ kg flour
- 1.5 part sugar
- Vanilla essence
It had to be mind-blowing; it has enough fat to eradicate malnourishment in 2 African villages. No offence to the recipe and its creators; I personally love it. However, I was adamant, on finding a better/ healthier and more nutritive way to make the same dish with the same desirable taste, texture, appeal, mouthfeel, aftertaste, richness … basically everything. I wanted all the good parts and none of the guilt.
So I came up with the following alternatives to prepare a vegan brownie.
First I needed to replace the eggs- Use a mix of Flaxseed and cashew that have been soaked in hot water.
Then I needed to replace butter – Use vegetable oil and ripe bananas
I reduced the sugar in the recipe and supplemented the flour with some oats.
There you have it, a delicious vegan brownie that doesn’t guilt-trip every time a craving strikes you.
All ingredients in a bakery recipe play a major role in the overall chemical reaction that is baking. One must expect it to behave very differently when the ratios are changed. Understanding the composition of the ingredients itself and then manipulating the recipe armed with that knowledge. I believe that with enough research; trial and errors and perseverance, it is possible to make anything better; even if it’s a super indulgent brownie.
Explore the potential uses of aquafaba, also known as “water of beans”; flax seeds; Banana; chia seeds; konjac root powder etc to replace eggs in conventional recipes.
Stay Tuned for PlantMade’s Vegetarian Anda Bhurji, that’s going to be out soon.
Brownie Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ73vbK3x1I
Also, if you wanna learn about one of the biggest failures in the Food Startups, do check our article.