22 September 2008

Making Over Martha Month: Much Lighter, Nearly Vegan Carob Brownies

From Making Over Martha

It's been a while since I made a nice batch of agave-nectar-sweetened, carob brownies. So, I dug into my Everyday Food magazines and unearthed this recipe for Light Chocolate-chunk Brownies. As you can see from the link, the recipe resides on Martha Stewart's site and Everyday Food is her publication, so this definitely qualifies for Making Over Martha Month.

Before making the recipe, I decided to try to veganize these, and came just shy of doing it because I don't use soy yogurt. If you do, you'll find these easy to veganize simply by substituting the dairy yogurt for soy. The original recipe uses sour cream, but I find that using the Greek-style yogurts does just as well.

I made a lot of alterations to this recipe in an attempt to veganize it, but I also made it even "lighter" by using carob powder and fat-free yogurt. To further increase the health value of these brownies, I added walnuts and used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. I know there are some folks who refuse to eat nuts in their brownies. Well, I LIKE walnuts in my brownies, especially when they're as fudgy as these were.

My resulting brownies were definitely "light" while remaining fudgy and moist, thanks to the yogurt and applesauce. Between the carob powder, melted chips and chips sprinkled on top, there was a good amount of carob flavor. The vanilla brought out some of that flavor as well. The best part was that during the time I waited for the oven to come to temperature (about 10 minutes), the whole wheat flour was leveled by the protein in the yogurt. No one, including me, could tell these were made with traditional whole wheat flour. Overall, they were a big hit at the co-op. Nancy even hid my container so that she could take a few home!

Here's the recipe as I made it.

Much Lighter, Nearly Vegan Carob Brownies (inspired by Light Chocolate-chunk Brownies from the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Everyday Food)


2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup carob powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup fat-free yogurt (I actually used Cascade Fresh's fruit-sweetened, blueberry yogurt, but couldn't tell at all afterward)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 oz. unsweetened carob chips (melt half the chips and reserve the other half for sprinkling on top)
3/4 cup walnuts (I used halves)


1. Lightly oil a 9 or 8 in. baking pan.
2. In a large measuring cup (4 cups or larger), sift together all the dry ingredients.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, including the melted chips, until well blended.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix for about 2 minutes.
5. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
6. Gently fold the walnuts into the batter.
7. Spread the batter into the pan, making sure to get it all in the corners. Sprinkle the remaining chips on top of the batter. It's OK if they don't sink.
8. For the first 20 minutes, bake at 325, then lower the heat to 300 and bake the remaining time (about 15 minutes) or until a tester comes out almost clean. You still want a few moist crumbs on the tester.
9. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before cutting them and removing them with a spatula.
10. Enjoy!

Just as an Aside...
I'll have one more recipe for Making Over Martha Month before September comes to a close, but I made it in advance (this past weekend) because I'm having a procedure done on Thursday, and I probably won't feel like doing much of anything for a little while afterward. I made a commitment to myself (and a few others) to write about the experience and the results, which you can follow that on Here and There.


Destiny's Kitchen said...

Wow, I'm surprised at how fudgy they look! I'm definitely bookmarking this recipe for future cravings. Thank you.

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Destiny. These were fudgy, but in a light way. ;D