Food Fail: Not-So-Decadent Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Man, I am so disappointed. All day long I was thinking up something yummy I could bake and then share with you guys as part of my triumphant re-entry into the world of the living/MoFo. I toyed with lots of ideas, most of them involving crushed candy canes, chocolate, and suuugarrrrr, but then I decided to stick with a more autumnal theme and bake up some Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies. Mmhmm. It was gonna be fantastic; I envisioned a pumpkin, tofu, and Tofutti mixture swirled into chewy, dense, chocolaty brownies, creating a decadent, beautiful treat.

Well. As they say, the best laid plans of mice and vegan bakers often go awry. When I set out to create my cheesecake mixture, I discovered that both my pumpkin AND my tofu were sporting attractive moldy fur. Apparently they’d been in the fridge much longer than I’d remembered… I guess that’s what happens when you don’t think about anything but work for a couple of weeks! Being the pumpkin-lover that I am, I did have another can in the pantry, so I just forwent the tofu and used pumpkin, Tofutti, agave, and a spice blend for the cheesecake mixture. Whatever; that was manageable, and then the brownies came together as smoothly as decidedly non-vegan silk. Because I don’t have a go-to brownie recipe yet, I decided to try out the Decadent Brownies from The Garden of Vegan, and after an hour or so in the kitchen and in the oven (the brownies, not me), I pulled this out:

Looks delicious, but...

Not too bad, right? Maybe a little cake-y, but I thought I could live with that. When I cut a square and took a bite, I was hopeful; I was sanguine that the flavor would make up for the sad lack of fudginess. Oh, how wrong was I.

Have you ever heard the saying “beautiful on the outside; boring on the inside?” Yeah, neither have I; I just made it up to describe these sad little squares of boringness. They look pretty, but that’s about all they have going for them! These are, quite literally, the least decadent brownies I’ve ever had the misfortune to taste. They don’t even taste like chocolate, for crying out loud! They’re just puffy squares of flavorless cakiness. Somehow, though, their lack of flavor overpowers the pumpkin cheesecake flavor! How absurd! The pumpkin cheesecake mixture tasted really yummy pre-baking; I know because I sampled it not a few times. But in the brownies it just gets lost in a sad mix of blaaaaah-flavored nothingness, whatever that even means.

...looks can be deceiving.

Gosh, I ‘m so disappointed. I don’t even want to look at these stupid little dudes because they make me sad and angry. SIGH. I mean, okay, maybe it was my fault for using the Trader Joe’s brand of cocoa powder, and maybe I should’ve ignored the fact that the recipe called for olive oil and just used vegetable oil instead, but still. Ugh, I can’t even think about it anymore. Please, tell me something wonderful and cheery and puppies-and-rainbows happy!