Cooking in Heels: Cheap and Easy Vegan Brownies
Disclaimer: this is not a food blog for a reason! I have never followed a recipe in my life and I have no idea about measurements and quantities - I just whack it in there and taste my way to (mostly) satisfying results. So, this is not an actual recipe. Just something to get inspired by and try out.
This is my go-to dessert for when I have no money but am craving something sweet (which is all the time). This is the quickest, easiest and cheapest recipe I've ever tried and it's always proven a success.
Basic self-raising flour, Sainsbury's £0.55 (very important for it to be self-raising, otherwise everything will fall flat!)
Soya Soleil soy milk, £1 (or Sainsbury's £0.65 version for an even cheaper treat. Almond milk for £1.89 is also great, as is coconut milk. Both are from Alpro and can be found in any UK supermarket)
Sugar, £0.79, Tesco
Plain chocolate (vegan), Londis, £0.50
...and my secret trick (not so secret, most bakers use it!) that keeps the brownies fluffy:
Bicarbonate of soda from Sainsbury's, £1.29! Yep, replacing eggs can be as easy as that. No weird chemicals. No strange-tasting substances. No expensive chia seeds or impossible-to-find coconut-whatevers. Just regular ol' flour, sugar, chocolate and a tiny half a teaspoon of bicarbonate.
So. Let's get to the practical side of things.
First of all, pre-heat the oven to I have no idea how many degrees. I just turn it up to max and leave it for approximately 30 minutes before putting in the tin.
I usually blend the flour with the sugar (a lot of sugar. Vegan does not always equal healthy, and brownies are meant to be a treat! Of course you can use different, healthier versions of sugar, but this is a cheap n'cheerful recipe!) and milk until I've got a smooth mix.
In the meantime, I work some magic on this:
Sure, you can go for the organic, Fair trade chocolate - which I do sometimes! - but let's face it, it's pre-payday weekend and if you're anything like me, a £4 piece of chocolate is more of a treat than a necessity (whereas brownies, I'm sure we can all agree, are a necessity!). I melt the chocolate with some soy milk for just a few minutes, blending constantly - not for too long, as it will get too thick and won't blend easily with the flour mix.
I then toss some oil on a baking tin and fold the chocolate mix with the flour mix to create a thick, smooth batter, which I pour on the tin and leave it in for ten minutes. Do not, I repeat not, open the oven to 'check' on them for the first minutes - these are crucial and if you let air in, they'll fall flat.
After 10-12 minutes, I pull out the tin and let it cool for five minutes, then cut the brownies up to squares.
Suggested serving accompaniments:
A dollop of chunky peanut butter and a banana
A splash of coconut cream
A serving of Alpro's soy custard
Betty Crocker's vegan chocolate frosting from Tesco
....and a cup of vegan cappuccino, of course.
Re: the links in this post. I do not work with the aforementioned supermarket (the S one) in any way, shape or form. Google Chrome auto-links any text mentioning its name to the website. So, sorry for the useless links.
Filed Under: delicious