December 13, 2011

Black Bean Brownies

By popular demand, a beanie brownie! I made these for the first time last year at the request of a friend who wanted a chocolatey dessert but was on a strict low fat diet. They are surprising. They are dense and fudgy, but not too heavy. The beans lend a subtle earthiness that makes them taste hearty but not too much like health food. Actually, they taste a bit like a more delicious version of a chocolate power bar. I guess that may sound unappealing to some. But for me in conjures up a strong and happy memory of long bus rides to high school cross-country meets.

There are a lot of versions of these brownies out there. This one, from 101 Cookbooks, promises to be truly yummy, but in addition to the beans, it contains both butter and eggs. I thought that if I was going to add beans to my dessert, they should at least be performing some central function, so I went in a different direction. The recipe below is completely vegan (unless you count the real butter I used to grease the pan, oops).

These are great as dessert or as a protein-rich snack. If I still ran (or really exercised at alll), I would pack one of these to eat an hour before the run. Instead, I'll just have a piece after dinner with a scoop of raspberry sorbet and some chocolate sauce. Overkill? Maybe.

All in all, however, although I thought these were pretty tasty, I guess I might not make them again. Or I might try the 101 Cookbooks version. Don't get me wrong, I gobbled these up, but I eat a lot of beans anyway, so I don't need the two for one that these provide.

- Franklin

Vegan Black Bean Brownies
Adapted from No Meat Athlete
Total Time: 45 minutes
Sweetness Factor: 7; Richness Factor: 6; Difficulty:3; Chance I'll Make it Again: 4.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup spelt flour (you could sub in all purpose)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/4 cups raw sugar
1 1/4 cups cocoa
4 teaspoons instant coffee
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (optional)
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed, and returned to the can, and refilled with water
1/4 cup maple syrup (add if you add the extra chocolate)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9*13 inch glass baking pan. Line with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.

Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Chop up the chocolate and melt in the microwave or in a double boiler. Combine all the other wet ingredients (including the beans) and puree until smooth. Add the melted chocolate to the other wet ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisking until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the center looks set.

1 comment:

  1. This is the kind of thing I would be intrigued to taste, but I don't know how likely I'd be to make it (unless I knew I loved it beforehand). Still an intresting idea! Like you, though, I eat pleanty of beans in savory form. Hummus in particular is a big favorite in our house.