Black Bean Brownie

Black Bean Brownie

Wait – keep reading, these are so good. I swear. You should know this about me – I am extremely fussy about desserts and sweets, especially chocolate. Especially chocolate. When I started baking with alternative ingredients, I began to hear whisperings of cakes and brownies made with black beans. Of course, like you, I was skeptical. And then I became intrigued. And then I started to experiment. I have a number of guinea pigs friends who, I’m certain, would be willing to give sworn testimonials on the deliciousness of these brownies. But you can trust me, I’m a professional. These are even moister the next day, if stored in a tight-lidded container. If you would like to make these entirely refined sugar-free, then refrain from glazing with ganache.

Makes 24 bite-size brownies

Pre-heat oven to 350ยบ. I bake these in a mini muffin silpat pan, so there’s no need to prep pan or line with papers. If you’re baking these in tins, line with mini paper baking cups.

1 cup cooked or canned black beans

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons agave nectar

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 tablespoon almond flour

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Put black beans into the bowl of a food processor and whir for several seconds. Scrape down the bowl and add all remaining ingredients. Process for a few moments, scrape down the bowl again. Now, inspect your batter: you should see smaller-than-pea-sized bits of black bean. Are your black bean bits larger? Then pulse a few times, that should do it. Drop batter by teaspoonfuls into your pan, batter will almost fill the cup. Other than a slight rise from the eggs, there’s no other leavener in this batter, so they won’t puff too much. Slide onto the middle rack of your oven, and bake for 13 – 15 minutes, brownies will spring back when gently pressed. Allow to cool, or not. Try one now. Really good, right? If you would like to glaze with ganache, allow them to cool completely.

Ganache, optional

Yield: enough to glaze 24 mini brownies, plus some for taste-testing

2 tablespoons excellent quality dark chocolate*, finely chopped

2 tablespoons boiling water

Pour boiling water over dark chocolate. Let sit for about two minutes, the hot water water will thoroughly melt the chocolate. Stir minimally – too much enthusiasm will create bubbles or, worse, split your fine chocolate and cause it to curdle. Stir until the chocolate and water just come together into a shiny, sexy-sleek glaze. Set aside. You can taste it, if you wish, there’s more than enough. Just don’t get carried away – warm, melty ganache is irresistible. Once your ganache has cooled somewhat, gently pick up your brownie, turn it upside down, and dip the top in. Quickly flip it right side up and set it onto a cake plate. Serve to amazed guinea pigs friends.

* Excellent quality dark chocolate is easy to find. I use a number of different brands, and suggest a 60% to 70%. The darker, more bittersweet the chocolate, the less refined sugar it contains. Since this recipe requires very little chocolate, you can really treat yourself and others – seek out an organic, fair trade one.