Vegan chocolate and prune brownies

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If you’re a vegan or cooking for a vegan you might find baking cakes tricky. Jacqueline Meldrum wanted find a good substitute for butter and eggs for her cakes. See what she came up with in her recipe for these wonderfully rich chocolate brownies.

How do you substitute the butter and eggs in a vegan baking 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. You can also use dairy-free margarine 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 known 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.

These vegan brownies are fudge-y 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.

For more information, here's a guide to staple alternative ingredients for a vegan diet.





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

Jacqueline Meldrum is a food writer and recipe developer from Scotland.

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