Beer pairings, like wine pairings, complement each other and double your flavor experience. To my surprise, a vegan brownie beer pairing was the most eye-opening, unique taste I experienced at the Taste of Huntington Beach this past weekend was the Sierra 30 beer from Sierra Nevada paired with a brownie! Who would have thought! A person would consider nibbling on a brownie while sipping a rich, complex Cabernet, but beer?
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has been our beer of choice for years, so it’s no surprise that I sought out their booth to satisfy my palate after tasting Surf Hero Deli’s fantastic Italian Hero.
On my second visit, a line was beginning to form and the guys were talking up Torpedo, a bold IPA with 7.2% alcohol content! We’re all nodding – yeah, yeah we’re in… it was assertive and full of flavor with hints of citrus and herb – everything they said! No surprise that Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo placed 1st in the beer category. On to more tasting…
On my third visit, we knew each other personally by then, I was treated to an advance tasting of the Sierra 30 with a chunk of the brownies they had tucked away for the scheduled tasting debut at 3:30. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, the brewmasters at Sierra Nevada have collaborated with the craft beer brewing pioneers in America to create four special edition brews for Sierra 30. Fritz Maytag, owner of Anchor Steam, agreed to guest brew Pioneers Stout. Pioneers Stout is described as a rich and roasted ale, perfect for aging and worthy of your finest snifter! And it’s a perfect dessert beer! So open your heart and awaken your taste buds to a whole new eye-popping flavor bomb!
Which brings me to the brownies. My daughter is the baker in our family and she’s been experimenting with using more wholesome ingredients, i.e. substitutes for refined sugar and including whole wheat flour, flaxseed, wheat germ, etc. in place of white flour. Her friends are asking her if she’s “gonna go all vegan on them” now that she’ll be joining the “tree-huggers” at UC Santa Cruz – but they had no problem gobbling down these brownies 🙂
Vegan Brownies Recipe
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar*
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
- ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in the water, oil, applesauce and vanilla; mix until well blended. Fold in the chopped nuts.
Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with oil an spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
We used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Sucanat which is made from dehydrated whole cane sugar and has a distinct natural molasses flavor which is especially good in chocolate based recipes. You can substitute Stevia or the sugar substitute of your choice.
This is how the kids liked it: