The idea of veganizing celebrity cookbook recipes was inspired by the genre of YouTube cookbook review videos. I wasn’t interested in reviewing cookbooks that were already vegan; written by cooks or chefs who were already well established. To show the world that almost any any recipe can be veganized, I decided to look to the cookbooks of those celebrities who seemed least likely to know their way around a kitchen.
So, why did I decide to start with a brownie recipe even though I’m not an expert baker? Especially not an expert at vegan baking? Other than locking myself into it in my own mind, I’m not really sure. I had purchased Kris Jenner’s “In the Kitchen with Kris” a few weeks ago and then out of nowhere, I saw that the brownie recipe from that book was being used to help promote Kourtney Kardashian’s new website, Poosh.com.
If you want the recipe, you can buy Kris’cookbook (It’s available, second-hand, on Amazon for just a few bucks), or you can get “Kris Jenner’s Famous Brownie Recipe” online from Poosh.com. Be warned, however, that the recipe on Poosh.com has significantly less butter than the one in the cookbook.
I tried three different methods for veganizing this recipe. Normally, I wouldn’t have attempted a recipe that called for the use of 4 eggs as structural support. Everything else about the recipe was cake, but replacing those eggs was my Everest, for sure.
Below, I have outlined my three attempts. The third and final attempt is the one you see in the video below.
Attempt #1: Would NOT make again. 5/10
I decided to try the Poosh.com version first, and make it as it was sold on the site, dairy and gluten free.
Be warned! This recipe calls for a food processor. DO NOT USE A FOOD PROCESSOR! Due to the minimal amount of butter, the batter is way too thick. Not to mention, there is just way too much batter to actually fit in a standard food processor.
I preheated the oven to 325 F. as directed. I followed the steps, using 2 tablespoons of Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter in place of dairy butter, 4 tablespoons of flax meal and ¾ cup of water in place of the egg, and an equivalent amount of Bob’s 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend in place of the all purpose flour.
As I said, the dough was too much for the food processor to handle. It was a mess. I managed to get the batter into an unlined baking dish, and cook the brownies for about 45 minutes. The recipe says they are done in 25 minutes, but that wasn’t the case. I attributed it to the water content from the “flax eggs”, but even so, 25 minutes at 325 doesn’t seem to be enough to activate 4 eggs in a 9×13 pan full of batter. Just saying.
The resulting brownies, after chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours, were tasty. They stuck to the pan terribly because I didn’t use parchment, and they had a weird “taffy” texture that made them even more difficult to remove. The few that I did manage to scrape out were delicious, however, and I didn’t have a problem eating them.
Attempt #2: Would MAYBE make again. 7/10
For the second attempt, I was inspired by a cake recipe in the Thug Kitchen cookbook. In that recipe, they call for a can of coconut milk to take the place of both the liquid and the egg. I figured, why not give it a try in these brownies?
Also, for this version, I decided to use the full amount of “butter” that the original cookbook version of the recipe called for. I also decided to forego using gluten free flour to see if that would fix the texture. Again, I used Miyoko’s vegan butter as the butter replacement, and in place of eggs, I used ¾ cup of full fat coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of flax meal.
This time, I also used parchment paper to line the baking dish.
I followed the recipe instructions exactly, up until it came time to preheat the oven. I decided to try 350 F. this time, to see if they would cook any faster. After 35 minutes, the brownies were still soft, but the batter didn’t jiggle when I lightly shook the pan. I took the brownies out, let them cool to room temperature, and then I placed them in the fridge for a couple of hours.
The brownies cut well when chilled, but they had visible traces of coconut oil marbled throughout. They were quite firm out of the fridge, just like fudge, and delicious, but when left at room temperature, they became almost too soft to eat.
Attempt #3: Would make again. 8/10
I decided to film my third and final attempt. I was over it. Having seen Mississippi Vegan use the Just vegan egg to make quiche, I decided to try to use the Just vegan egg to make these brownies.
As you can see in the video, I used an equivalent amount of Miyoko’s as the cookbook version, and subbed in ¾ cup of Just vegan egg for the 4 eggs that the recipe called for. I followed every other direction exactly, using vegan ingredients.
The oven was set for 325 F., but about 10 minutes into baking, I cranked it up to 350. I wanted to take them out at 25 minutes, like the recipe said, but it was truly a chocolate puddle. I ended up letting the brownies bake for 1 hour at 350 F. before taking them out.
After about 20 minutes on the counter, I transferred the tray of brownies to the fridge to chill for about 45 minutes before filming the “taste test” portion of the video. The brownies were still a bit soft, but super delicious. I ate a few of them still a bit warm
The next day, the brownies had fully firmed up in the fridge, and were actually quite addicting. I’m not sure what caused it, but it was like there was a “crust” layer on the bottom, and then a softer layer on top. Out of the fridge, they were solid, but I at room temperature, they got a bit soft.
There are a ton of amazing vegan brownie recipes already out there in the world, so trying to make this exact one work is not a priority or even a necessity. Does this disprove the idea that every recipe can be veganized? Not at all. Vegan brownies exist. Vegan brownies are incredible. This particular ratio and formulation, just wasn’t as successful as others.