Vegan Triple-Chocolate Carrot Brownies

posted in: Cookies-Brownies-Bars, Desserts, Recipes | 11
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My second favorite episode of the TV show The Simpsons is Lisa the Vegetarian. In one especially funny scene, her classmates tease Lisa by asking her if she’s going to marry a carrot. She sighs and answers sarcastically, “Yes, I’m going to marry a carrot.” Her classmates miss the sarcasm and exclaim gleefully “Ohh! She admitted it!”

At my last office job, I was also teased for being a vegetarian. (I try to keep it low key, but you can’t hide being a vegetarian from your coworkers for long.) One day out of exasperation with being asked the same annoying question once again, I replied, “Yes, I’m going to marry a carrot when I grow up.”

That turned out to be the right thing to say! Half the office were big Simpsons fans, everyone laughed, and now I had an answer for all those hard-to-answer questions. “What do you eat at Thanksgiving?” “Carrots!” “How did you figure that problem out?” “Carrots!” “Are you going to work overtime this week?” “Carrots!”

If you make these brownies and someone asks you why they’re so awesome, you have your answer. Carrots! Carrots stand in for some of the oil, some of the sugar, and even the eggs. Because you puree them in the blender with water and oil, the carrots create an emulsion that gives these a rich, fudgy texture that I didn’t know was possible with a vegan brownie. I’m going to experiment with using carrots (and baking powder) in a boxed mix and see if it’s possible to make those deliciously without eggs. (If you substitute a commercial egg replacer in most boxed mixes and many scratch recipes, you end up with greasy bricks.) I also want to experiment with another scratch recipe or two and see if I can come up with a formula for using carrots and baking powder in place of eggs in any recipe.

All together now: “Carrots!”

Vegan Triple-Chocolate Carrot Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks, about 6 ounces
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, about 3 ounces

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Oil an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt to a medium bowl and mix together with a fork.

Grind the unsweetened chocolate to a powder in the blender. Add the water, canola oil, and carrots. Puree until smooth. Stir into the dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Transfer to the baking pan and smooth out the top of the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the center is set. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting into pieces.

http://chezcayenne.com/2011/11/triple-chocolate-carrot-brownies/

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11 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    I use carrots to replace eggs all the time, especially in packaged gf bread mixes. As a matter of fact I skip the oil altogether. However much liquid is called for in the recipe I use that amount of carrots and water blended in the vita-mix. Works great and gives the bread a golden hue. This is especially helpful when making a gf vegan challah.

    Valerie

  2. Good to know, Valerie! I was wondering about gf bread especially. And now I want challah, yum.

  3. Pardon the stupid question, but the carrots are raw, right?

  4. Yes, Sandra, they are. Not a stupid question!

  5. Thank you. I was trying to picture my blender pureeing raw carrots, but I figured they would come out as little chunks. I guess not!

  6. With a cup of liquid in the blender along with the carrots, it’s more like a…slurry? It’s kind of gross looking, actually, on account of the chocolate, but it all works out in the end as you can see.

  7. Anonymous

    Very glad to find this recipe. Tweaked it a bit of course, on general principle… almost never cook anything “as directed.” Brown sugar instead of white; 1/2 cup coffee instead of 2/3 cup water; butter instead of oil (I’m not vegan); walnuts instead of chocolate chips… used the standard mixing method (creaming butter & sugar) rather than using a blender… shredded the carrots really fine, and shaved the unsweetened chocolate to near powder with a paring knife.

    Superb.

    But coulda been that the chocolate chips (melting into the batter, then solidifying when cooled) would’ve helped the brownies be less crumbly. I’ll probably try that next time, if I have any in the house.

  8. Anonymous, thanks so much for the feedback – I’m glad you liked them! I thought about using coffee instead of water but was afraid it would clash with the carrots, so I love that you were brave enough to try that.

    Mine weren’t crumbly at all, and I’ll bet yours wouldn’t be next time if you were to – hold half (or even less) of the butter out of the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Then, melt the reserved butter and blend it with the coffee and carrots and stir in at the end with the dry ingredients. I’m convinced that it’s the blended liquid, oil and carrots that make the texture what it is. And…

    on general principle… almost never cook anything “as directed” I resemble this remark!

  9. Anonymous

    My second batch, I let them cool completely in the pan, then turned the whole thing out onto a cookie sheet and cut the squares. Much less crumbly that way.

    First batch, I cut while still in the pan & a bit warm. Big mistake.

  10. You are so creative! This is on my must-try list.

  11. This looks awesome!! I am planning to make this tomorrow! I always made chocolate and beets, the cake gets a lovely color! I shd try carrots!!
    If you have the time, would love you to participate in my event-
    http://ambrotos.blogspot.com/2011/12/veggiefruit-of-month-cucumber.html

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