I think I’ve probably tried a hundred brownie recipes. Every kind of chocolate, different spices, fudgey and cakey and everything inbetween. But seriously, I’d never tried any brownies like these ones before. Sometimes a recipe sounds so intriguing that you have to try it, even if it means a trip to the grocery store. These brownies are soft, rich, creamy, and fudge-like with the occasional walnut. Any idea what’s in them?
They’re black beans! I know! Delicious in burritos and salsa. Not so much in brownies. When I first read the recipe I was really turned off by the idea of black bean mixed with chocolate. Then I thought about how I always roll my eyes when I see someone grossed out by the idea of pumpkin mixed into brownies. I figured these brownies were definitely worth a shot. The recipe is from Ania Catalano’s Baking with Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature’s Ultimate Sweetener and it is surprisingly good. I did get a hint of the beans, but it wasn’t unpleasant. My mom didn’t taste anything at all, and she liked these better than my usual brownies.
Black Bean Brownies
4 oz baker’s (unsweetened) chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups soft cooked or canned black beans, well drained
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup natural coffee substitute or instant coffee
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups light agave nectar or honey
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line an 11×18 inch rimmed baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely.
Process the beans, 1/2 cup walnuts, vanilla extract, and several spoonfuls of the chocolate in a food processor for 2 minutes, or until the batter is thick and smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat the eggs for about 1 minute until lightened and creamy. Add the agave nectar and beat until well combined.
Stir the bean-chocolate and chocolate-walnut mixtures together. Add all of the egg mixture except 1/2 cup, combine, and then pour into the pan.
Beat the last 1/2 cup egg-agave mixture until light and fluffy, then pour over batter in pan. Swirl with a toothpick. Bake brownies for 30-40 minutes until they’ve set. Brownies will be very soft after baking. Cool completely and refrigerate before cutting into bars.
Makes 45 2″ brownies.