Vegan chocolate and prune brownies

by Jacqueline Meldrum
Vegan chocolate and prune brownies

Vegan chocolate and prune brownies

When my husband turned vegan I was confident about cooking his meals, heck half of our veggie meals are vegan when you get right down to it, but baking was another matter altogether.

How do you substitute the butter and eggs in a recipe?

Instead of butter you can use a flavourless or lightly flavoured oil, such as vegetable oil. If you look through a few muffin recipes you’ll be sure to come across some using oil. Nigella Lawson uses this technique. You can also use dairy free margarine in a recipe in place of butter, this is what I usually do and it produces the same results as using butter.

The eggs are a bit more tricky. After a Google search I found something called a flax egg. Basically it’s flax seeds (also know as linseeds) which you grind into a powder, then add water, whisk and pop into the fridge for at least ½ hour, but preferably 1 hour. The mixture goes gloopy and this is what binds the brownies in place of eggs.

I have to say I was pleased with this discovery, as I didn’t want to add anything artificial and additive laden to my recipe.

The brownies are fudgey and exude the flavour of dark chocolate with little sticky, chewy bites of sweet prune. I use Californian Prunes, which are a favourite of mine, but to be honest any prunes would do.

The brownies are a little more crumbly than traditional brownies, but this could be due to the fact I used flax seeds mixed with goji berries.


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a square brownie pan
Melt the dairy free margarine with the chocolate and sugar in bowl set over a pan of simmering water - do not allow the bowl to touch the water, or the chocolate will seize. One melted, set aside
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl
Beat the flax eggs into the chocolate mixture. Gradually fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the prunes and chocolate chips
Pour the mixture into the brownie tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven for 25 minutes for a more fudgey brownie, or 30-32 minutes for a more cake-like texture. Use a skewer to test after 25 minutes, there shouldn’t be too much mixture clinging to it when removed. The brownies will set a little more while cooling
The brownies will continue to set while cooling