brownies made with black beans replacing the flour have been around for a few years now. i’ve seen the formula for this recipe all over the place. i have been meaning to give it a crack for 2 years or so, but keep pushing it into the back of my priority list. finally, i had an intense craving for brownies, and a complete lack of chocolate chips. regardless, my acute cravings for chocolate can not be ignored. i needed brownies. like, yesterday.
after reviewing the 3 recipes for black bean brownies that i had bookmarked, i came to the conclusion that none of them would suit me.
some didn’t use any chocolate in the recipe- use cocoa powder only and you get a dry, cake-like tray of brown. i am of the school where you use at least 1 square of chocolate in all brownies. always.
some had too many steps- blend half the nuts with the beans, mix eggs and sweetener separately from the beans… no. brownies should be uncomplicated.
some used bananas instead of fat- no thank you. black beans in place of flour is enough health for me today.
some called for a home-made sauce for topping the batter with- again, brownies should be uncomplicated and adaptable, even if they are made of unique ingredients.
given these finicky preconceptions of what brownie-baking should be like, i decided to cut out those frills i wasn’t fond of and run with it on my own. the idea was that if it didn’t work, then, well, whatever.
i was surprised at how great these brownies turned out. the unique ingredient goes completely undetected. no traces of bean. they taste both fudgy and cakey, which is typically impossible for me to accomplish when it comes to brownies. the corner pieces hold up to their crusty reputation. these are not wet, as i assumed they would be. -they are simply moist. the flavor is anything but musty or earthy like beans are. they are deep and rich, and over-the-top chocolatey. are they too over-the-top to have a third of the finished product savored greedily before dinner? no. they were not. that did not stop me.
a few notes-
*i used chopped toasted almonds to top the brownies, but any nut could be used here.
*i used up an ugly but tasty chocolate bar i found in my pantry, chopped, to top the brownies with to incorporate some creamy richness. i highly recommend you do this, but it is obviously not necessary at all.
*since using almonds to top, i added almond extract to tie the whole deal together. again, not necessary.
* coconut oil can be used in place of butter, and maple syrup in place of honey if you wish.
*i used a tbsp coffee grounds to deepen the flavor, but if you don’t feel like it, then skip it.
1 14oz can black beans, unseasoned and unsalted, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 oz unsweetened chocolate (1 square of baker’s chocolate)
1 tbsp fine ground coffee
1/2 cup chopped nuts
small handful chopped chocolate or chips
preheat oven to 350f. butter sides and bottom of 8×8 baking pan, and line with parchment paper.
melt unsweetened chocolate and butter in small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. once melted, whisk in coffee grounds, place lid on, and set aside.
put the beans, eggs, honey, cocoa, salt, and extracts in food processor. blend until smooth. while running, add the butter and chocolate mixture.
batter will appear very liquid. pour it into pan, top with chocolate and nuts.
bake for 35 minutes. cool on counter top. don’t you dare burn your mouth on those brownies.
be a lady and wait until they cool, about 40 minutes, before slicing. your slices will be cleaner for it.
for breakfast, put yogurt on the brownies. for snack, have with a glass of milk. for second snack, have with a sliced banana. for dessert, have with ice cream.