Black Bean Brownies- crazy, right?


I remember seeing this recipe in the January/February 2012 issue of Everyday Food and wondering what sort of heresy they were getting at.  Black beans in brownies?!  For the love of all that is chocolate, why?!  Then one day last week, on a whim, I came back across the recipe and decided to try it.  I had some extra black beans from another recipe (watch for Meatless Monday!) and decided to experiment.

The results?  Not bad.  I may or may not have over baked them- I never got the "cracked top" that was supposed to indicate doneness, but the toothpick test came out about standard.  The first day they were a little too cakey for my liking, but after the first day they got a little fudgier.  They were tasty- quite chocolatey, and my two taste testers declared them good before they knew what was in them.  The one complaint I do have is that I noticed a textural issue that I am guessing (though not certain) is caused by the black bean skins.  I used beans I actually prepared from dried beans, and I don't know if that possibly made a difference.  Either way, if you want a lightened up indulgence, these brownies just may do it for you.

Due to what I had on hand vs. what the recipe called for, I did not make these exactly according to the recipe.  I'll post what I did below, and you can click on the recipe title to view the original recipe.

Triple Chocolate Brownies
from Everyday Food, Jan/Feb 2012 issue

1/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup black beans, drained, rinsed, and pureed until smooth
5 oz semisweet chocolate (either already in chips or chopped)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, bean puree, and chocolates and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Whisk in sugar, eggs and egg white, and vanilla until smooth.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture until just combined. Pour batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until top is cracked and a toothpick inserted in center has moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes (center will seem undercooked but will set further as it cools). Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using parchment, lift brownie from pan and cut into 16 squares.

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