Vanilla Custard Brownies

I found a recipe for non-vegan cheesecake brownies through tastespotting, and it didn’t take me long to veganize it. I used my trusted brownie recipe and added a topping made with silken tofu, oat cream, and agave syrup, and the end result was really just deliciously decadent. The topping is more like a creamy custard than a cheesecake filling, hence the title of this post – I think I actually prefer the lighter texture of a custard to complement the rich brownie layer underneath!

The agave syrup in the custard caramelized around the edges, which gave it a very nice burnt sweetness.

The Custard Topping:

  • 175 g (half a package Mori-Nu) silken tofu
  • 2 dl oat cream (or soy creamer, or any other vegan cream)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 4 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • pinch of salt

I combined all the ingredients and blended until completely smooth.

The Brownie Batter:

  • 70 g vegan chocolate (semi dark)
  • 60 g margarine
  • 1 dl plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 dl dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 dl plain, unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 1 and 1/2 dl raw cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar

First, I preheated the oven to 175 degrees Celsius, and melted the chocolate and the margarine in a water bath. Once melted, I let them cool down while preparing the other ingredients.

I mixed the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Then I placed the soy yogurt, the soy milk, vanilla sugar, and raw cane sugar in another bowl, and whisked them for about 3 minutes. I wanted the sugar to dissolve, so at this point I took the time to prepare my baking dish.

I covered my baking dish (26 X 18 cm) with parchment paper. Then, I whisked the cooled down chocolate-margarine mixture together with the other wet ingredients, and then added the dry ingredients in the bowl. I stirred with a wooden fork to combine, and poured the batter to the baking pan, spreading it evenly.

Then I spread the custard topping over the brownie batter. The original recipe advices to swirl the brownie with a knife for a marbled effect, and that’s what I did. However, since these vegan brownies are leavened with baking powder, the end result is very different – well, if you look at the picture you see what I mean! But I think our brownies came out pretty too, especially after I decorated them with some cocoa powder, and this way you get nice custardy caves in the brownie layer.

I baked the brownies in 175 degrees Celsius, on the lower rack of the oven, for about 35 minutes, when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake came out cleanish (with only some custard topping stuck to it). Then we let the brownies come to room temperature and refrigerated them for a few hours before eating.

Well, actually we had a little bite before refrigerating, but I strongly suggest serving these fridge-cold – it improves the texture immensely!