I have used the same recipe for chocolate brownies, adapted from King Author Flour’s Whole Grain Baking cookbook, so many times that I have it memorized. The recipe is quick and only requires one pan – in my case a wok – to make the batter. And I usually have all the ingredients.
Except on Friday, when I wanted to make a dessert fast and I only had two of the required four eggs. My closest grocery store is a good twenty-minute walk away, and, anyway, the whole point of making the brownies was just to use the ingredients I had on hand. I’d rather use an egg substitute instead.
This isn’t the first time I’ve discovered I don’t have enough eggs when I need them, so I have two go-to egg substitutes. The first – 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon oil, and 2 teaspoons baking powder mixed together for each egg – adds extra fat to the recipe so I’ve been using it less these days.
My other substitute – 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of water whirred together in a blender for each egg – requires an extra appliance, and I wanted to minimize dishes.
I did have a banana though.
I’ve read that bananas can be used as an egg replacer in baked goods that do not contain yeast. They won’t help your cookies, brownies, or muffins rise, but they add plenty of moisture. Since I already use baking powder in the recipe, I gave the banana a try.
The finished brownies still had that dry, crackling coating on top and were dense and fudgy inside. This was the best version of these brownies that I’ve made yet.
From now on, whenever I’m low on eggs and in the mood for baking, I may just use a banana every time.
Adapted from Whole Grain Baking
Because I still had two eggs in the house, I can’t say how this recipe will work out if you substitute bananas for all of the eggs. But if you want to give it a try, ½ a banana is about the equivalent of one egg. Make sure your recipe contains some baking powder or baking soda (most do) so that your baked goods will still rise.
I also favor making my brownies in a deep casserole dish, which makes them quite thick, almost like a fudgey cake. But I admit that the ratio of crackling, dry top coating to dense, fudgy interior is off. You might want to try baking your brownies in a shallow 9 x 13-inch baking pan instead. Just reduce the baking time to about 25 to 30 minutes.
½ stick butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup best-quality cocoa powder
½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, mashed well
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 12 ounces dark chocolate, either chocolate chips or bars cut into bite-sized pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat in a large skillet or wok until the sugar dissolves. Stir occasionally. Pay attention to how the mixture smells too – your nose will tell you if it’s starting to burn. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder and Greek yogurt. When the mixture has cooled down a bit, add the eggs, stirring after each addition. Add the mashed banana and stir. Add the whole-wheat flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir to combine. Fold in the chocolate.
Pour the brownie batter into your greased pan of choice, and give the pan a whack against the counter to remove any air bubbles and help the batter settle. If using a deep casserole dish (for thick, cake-like brownies), cook for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If using a 9 x 13-inch pan, cook for 25 to 30 minutes.