Black Bean Brownies

I promised one of my friends that I would make her some black bean brownies. She wanted to try them but was struggling to find black beans that were a reasonable price (country living for you lol). Now, I’d managed to source a tin of black beans and had found a recipe for the brownies online. I’d also planned a visit with my sister to meet our friend at Lincoln Christmas Markets so I decided to make some on Friday night to take with us. 

I ended up halving the recipe I’d found as I wasn’t sure how they would turn out and didn’t want to be eating them for the next week. So, with these brownies, the black beans are a substitute for the flour, maple syrup is used as a natural sweetener and cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate. You can tell from these changes that the brownie is not going to like the decadent brownies that I’m normally used to. But, I’m all for trying new recipes and healthier alternatives.

The recipe was fairly easy to follow, with everything being thrown into a food processor. You can then add any extra additions like nuts before pouring into the tin. I’ll be honest, I can’t actually remember where my recipe came from. It’s been sat in my pile of ‘recipes to try’ for a while. I adapted it slightly so that I could make eight brownies (it was meant to be six but it would have been more of a cake and not a brownie with the tin size I was going to use).

So…what were they like? The texture was a little drier than a standard brownie. You also don’t get the same rich chocolate flavour. Mine could have done with a little more maple syrup as some thought they weren’t sweet enough (Mr W refused to finish his). I was worried that you would be able to detect the skin of the black beans in the texture but I think having the walnuts in masks any that remain. Your never going to get away with telling people they are a ‘real’ brownie but they are a good alternative for anyone who wants a treat but wants to minimise the amount of refined sugars or needs it to be gluten free. I might try tweaking the recipe a bit to try and get the balance of sweetness right. 

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Black bean brownies (8)

1 tin black beans

115g coconut oil

43g cocoa powder

2 eggs

80 ml maple syrup (may need more)

1tbsp vanilla extract

sea salt

65g walnuts, roughly chopped

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170C and line a 6in x 5in tin with greaseproof paper. Rinse black beans and leave to drain whilst you melt the coconut oil.
  2. Place the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Blitz until smooth.
  3. Whilst the processor is still running, slowly add the melted coconut oil. At this stage, if you want to, try the mixture to see if it needs more maple syrup adding. Stir through the walnuts.
  4. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the brownie is firm but springy and the top is slightly cracked.
  5. Leave to cool before cutting into pieces.
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