I know. You guys. I know. Black bean brownies. Why even bother, right? I'd heard about black bean brownies for years but never bothered to try them (because why?) and then my office hosted a healthy baking day so I relented. They're fine. I mean, they're not exactly "healthy" because they're full of sugar but the lack of flour (plus the goodness of black beans) makes them healthier than traditional brownies. Plus I think they're gluten-free? Don't quote me on that. Do beans have gluten? Whatever. They don't taste beany. That was my major concern.
I started with this recipe and made some tweaks. This is what I ended up with:
1 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed very well
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brewed espresso or strong coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9"x9" square baking pan.
In food processor or blender, buzz all ingredients except chocolate chips and walnuts together until very smooth. Batter should look just like brownie batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth. Sprinkle chocolate chips and walnuts evenly over the top.
Bake for 28 - 33 minutes until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Store in the fridge for a dense, fudgy brownie.
Listen, if you know me at all you probably got all wide-eyed and "whaaaaat?" when you read the bit about the walnuts. I strongly believe nuts do not have a place in baked goods. Especially brownies. But I was concerned about the brownies tasting beany so I decided I embrace the healthy aspect of black bean friggin' brownies and add the nuts. If you hate nuts in baked goods as much as I do, skip them and up the chocolate chips to 1/2 cup.