One of the most common requests I receive from new bakers or upcoming pastry chefs is to provide egg substitutes for recipes. Of course, the dessert that tops that list is Brownie!
What is a Brownie?
It is a delicious chocolate dessert that has a texture that's a mix between a cookie and a cake. Classic brownies usually have a thin, crisp top and can vary in texture from cakey to fudgy, depending on the recipe. The main ingredients include eggs, chocolate, butter, sugar, and flour.
The science behind eggless brownies
When looking for a replacement for eggs in a brownie recipe, it's important to know what purpose they serve in the recipe. Eggs are crucial in providing structure, a fudgy texture, and aiding in the batter's rise, making them a key ingredient in brownies.
The combination of eggs and sugar also helps in creating the much-loved signature crinkle top. Hence, the eggless version requires substitutes that can perform all these functions to produce a similar result.
Throughout my years of baking, I have tried many different egg substitutes for brownies. Some resulted in too cake-like brownies, while others didn't produce the desired crinkle top. I experimented with different brownie recipes and found that only two of them were nearly perfect. One recipe substituted condensed milk for eggs, while the other used a mixture of water, yoghurt, cornflour, and baking soda.
This recipe uses a combination of sugar and water to create a thin crust, while cornflour acts as a binding agent to give it structure. Yoghurt adds moisture to the brownie and, along with the baking soda, helps the batter rise evenly.
I felt it worked best, so I am sharing it with you.
Preparation time - 20 minutes
Cooking time - 30 minutes
Setting time - 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves - 4
60 ml warm water
90 gms powdered sugar
30 gms yoghurt
140 gms dark couverture chocolate
50 gms butter (at room temperature)
100 gms all-purpose flour
10 gms cocoa powder
10 gms corn flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
To make a simple syrup, combine warm water and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Mix yoghurt into the sugar syrup thoroughly and set it aside. Next, melt the chocolate in a different bowl using a double boiler or a microwave.
Add the room-temperature butter to the melted chocolate and form a homogeneous mixture.
Combine the chocolate mixture with the sugar to form a smooth chocolate mix.
Afterwards, add the dry ingredients and carefully mix them until the batter is smooth without any lumps.
Pour the batter into a 6-inch, lined baking tin and bake it at 170°C for 25 to 30 minutes in a preheated oven.
Once baked, let the brownie cool down to room temperature for at least an hour before placing it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Remove the brownie from the pan and cut it into equal squares.
Tips and tricks
1. Do not use compound chocolate, as it might not produce the desired crinkle top.
2. Ensure that the water is warm and not boiling.
3. To prevent the brownies from becoming dry and cakey, avoid overbaking them.
4. To ensure they are properly cooked, perform a toothpick test. If the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs, then they are baked to perfection. A clean toothpick means the brownie is over-baked.
5. To ensure that these eggless brownies keep their shape when cut, it's best to let them cool completely before slicing them into pieces. They can be quite delicate while hot.
6. The best way to serve it is hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
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