Hal's Maple Chocolate Flax Brownies

Remember when I made cupcakes and said that I've yet to make that mythical dried out tasting vegan bakery? Well I did it! (not that that's a good thing...)

These stink. They are "Hal's Maple Chocolate Flax Brownies" from Dolce Vegan. I mean, they're edible. It takes a bad, bad, brownie to be so bad that I won't eat it. The chocolate chips save them. They are very dry- the batter was really dry too, which should have been a clue. For having both sugar and a ton of maple syrup in them, they aren't very sweet- which would be fine with the sweetness of the chocolate chips if not for the overall dryness and the flax seeds. I made peanut butter cupcakes with flax seeds successfully a few weeks ago, so I thought this would be just as good- but these have a TON of ground flax in them (1/4 cup compared to the 1T or so in the cupcakes), and you can really taste it. Which, in a brownie? Not so good. They are denser like a brownie should be (compared to the other Dolce ones that were the really good cake) Still, maybe the word "brownie" means something else in Canada, because Sarah Kramer (Dolce author) and I have wildly different ideas about what constitutes a good brownie (or a brownie- period). I have gotten a few great go-to recipes from Dolce, but also a good few duds. I wonder how much testing went into the book and I don't rule out that I could have goofed too.

I don't even love brownies a ton, I'm just looking for that thick, fudgy recipe with the flaky top that I can go to when I do want a brownie. For now, the quest continues.

Espresso "Brownies"

Either I did something wrong, or the author of La Dolce Vegan has a whole other definition of what a brownie is. What I made was the "Espresso Brownie" recipe from that book. What came out of the oven was a delicious, fluffy, moist, rich chocolate cake (with the somewhat inappropriate bits of walnut in it). As cake- this is amazing! There's bits of chocolate chips in it, aside from the cocoa powder that already makes the batter chock full of chocolatey goodness. In fact, I believe that this will be perfect when I eventually try making fauxstess cupcakes ala Real Food Daily/ the Vegan w/ a Vengeance book.

Also, this is the moistest bit of vegan baking since I made TJ's Pumpkin Bread mix with a banana in lieu of eggs. I know that I haven't eaten dairy in almost 2 years, but I think that in a blind taste test- no one would label this as vegan baking.

As a brownie, however, this fails. Nothing about it is brownie-esque. It's not flat, no crispy, flaky brownie crust- it's just so totally not a brownie.

But it's an amazingly good cake!