Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vegan Brownies: How I Have Loved Thee (Sweet Art St. Louis)


If you are a vegan--you know that the old brownie recipes that were the go-to favorites are just a mess when "veganized". My poor Kathryn Hepburn brownie--no way, not edible, even with the egg replacer. My old Moosewood brownie recipe, not this either. They just turn into this glob. I look on horrified as they bake. I am talking a bubbly, mushy, oily mass of ICK. Yes, I have tried several recipes in cookbooks, but nothing comes close to what I want in a brownie--thick, moist, very dark, chewy edges and chips inside-with that nice crust on top.


Recently I visited a St. Louis Vegan Eatery called Sweet Art--mmmm. I loved it! If you can stop by--you will not be disappointed, what a joyful place, what a wonderful assortment of baked goods, what a lovely couple! Her bakery case made my mouth water--all of which she will make into a vegan treat if you'd like. My husband and I had a delicious vegan burger made with, what else, my favorite: Match Meats--these were flavored with a bit of a kick--and served with a wonderful sauce, a slice of orange and watermelon--YUM!--We loved it! And then, there were the vegan brownies--they stopped me in my tracks! I was in love with the brownies I had. Now, being a curious vegan, I asked the owner's husband what binder his wife was using--and I listed several and shaking his head he said I'd have to talk to his wife. When I spoke to her, I was just a bubble of energy! I asked would she please tell me, not the recipe (as I respect the code of baking), but what main ingredients she had used to create this luscious treat--especially the "binders". She knew where I was coming from--she, too, apparently had had the failed vegan brownie experience, but somehow, she got it perfect! She said she'd used maple syrup and canola oil--two very common ingredients in the vegan baking canon. I so appreciated this insight. I thanked her and even took pictures (which did not turn out--so I will be going back--with great anticipation and joy!). Sweet Art St. Louis--go check them out.


So, this weekend, I am having my own kitchen challenge in that I am trying to create from scratch the Best Vegan Brownie ever--my own recipe! I have never "baked" from scratch my own creation--I find it terrifying and meeting with that whole psychology of "Do something that scares you everyday"--well, this scares me. It's daunting really, notes everywhere, cocoa powder everywhere. It is crazy! Meanwhile, eating the dough before I bake it! I am going to be making several trips to the store to replenish my chocolate. This photo is my first attempt--we have a ways to go, my second will happen today. No recipe yet to share.

But soon. . .

1 comment:

  1. I'm in love with Sweet Art too, and the brownie is definitely the show-stopper! It is probably the most perfect brownie in the world. The veggie burger is good too, but my fav lunch item is the vegan BLT!

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