Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recipe; Black Bean Brownies

Recipe Review; Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

Here is the recipe with my tweaks;
  • 3/4 cup dried black beans, soaked at least overnight to reduce their phytic acid content. I do not recommend using canned beans as they have not been prepared properly. 
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tbsps (75ml) vegetable oil (I used coconut)
  • 1 cup (200g) muscovado sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (55g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (55g) almond meal/flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (make sure this is certified gluten free)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (again, make sure gluten free)
  • 100g (approximately 3/4 cup chopped) dark chocolate, chopped roughly (I used mini chocolate chips because that was all I had on hand.)
  • Walnuts and Sea Salt to put on top
  1. Drain soaked beans and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, skim off the foam or replace the water, bring to the boil again until there is no more foam, then reduce and simmer for one to two hours until very soft, but still holding their shape. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease a 18x28cm slice tin (rimmed) and line with baking paper. (I used a Pyrex dish and greased it with coconut oil.)
  3. Tip cooled beans into the bowl of a food processor and blend to form a smooth paste. If you have trouble blending them like I did, add the vanilla and coconut oil and try again - the liquid should help them blend. Just don't add the eggs or they will froth up!
  4. Add the oil and the vanilla if you haven't already. Add the eggs and pulse to combine. Add sugar, cocoa, almond meal and baking powder. Process until smooth and well combined. Spoon mixture into prepared slice tin and stir in the chocolate, then smooth the top off with the back of a spoon.
  5. Decorate by sprinkling walnuts and sea salt on the top if desired.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a inserted skewer comes out clean. Be aware that it might not come out clean due to the chunks of melted chocolate. Cool in the tin. Slice into 12 squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days (that's a guess as ours only made it to the second day!). It will firm up and go more fudgey if stored in the fridge.
Mmm, Fudgey!

Looks like I ended up closer to the original recipe!

These were really very good, apart from the fact that I put the eggs in the blender to try and get the black beans to go into a proper paste - really, don't do that! It made them poof up more than they should have. They were still wonderfully moist and fudgey, and you really can't taste the black beans. Even my bean hating husband loved them!

We did end up with a couple of pieces having a weird taste to them, so we think we had a few old beans in the batch. However we suffered no ill effects, including the notorious "musical" quality to beans was absent due to preparing them properly. It really is important - don't skip this step, it only takes 30 seconds, you don't get much easier than putting beans and water in a bowl!

The chocolate I used was Enjoy Life's mini chocolate chips as that is the only dairy and soy free chocolate you can buy locally. It would have been so much better with their chocolate chunks, but sadly no one sells them here.

Does anyone have a good suggestion for a blender that can handle beans and doesn't cost an arm and a leg? We have an Oster 8 speed blender that does smoothies very well, but really struggled with the beans. Our Cuisinart stick blender likewise does well immersed in soup, but that's really about it, the one time we tried to use it to make hummus I about burned out the motor. Or has anyone tried using a pestle and mortar to smush beans, or start them off that way and finish in a blender?

This recipe was shared through Slightly Indulgent TuesdaySimple Lives Thursday and Fight Back Friday.

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