Monday, May 30, 2011

An experiment in chocolate

What would you do on the perfect day off?  I would sleep till seven. Yep, that is late for me. I wouldn’t want to sleep too late though. Morning is my favorite time of the day. This day is for me, so why waste it in bed.  I didn't quite make it all the way till seven but the last three days I have felt so rested.

I would have a large mug of flavored coffee. Butter toffee anyone? Served with steamed milk for a latte kind of feel.  Or better yet I would get one of these

I don't know what kind of magic exists in lattes but they make me so happy. 

My favorite thing to do when I have some extra time is play in the kitchen.  This weekend I was somewhat limited just because it was so darn hot.  I didn't want to turn on the oven.  I caved one day though to whip up some brownies.  A couple of years ago I made some cookies with white beans in them.  I wouldn't necessary call them cookies because the texture was somewhat off but they were a good sweet treat.  I have since heard of a few other ways to use beans in baked goods.  One of these being black bean brownies. 

Now, I am a big cookie fan.  Brownies are good but not my favorite.  Thus, although I wanted to test the black beans there were plenty of other treats on my list.  The brownies slowly fell down on the rankings.  This weekend though I was craving some chocolate.  So here comes the brownies.

Black Bean Brownies
Adapted from How to Cook Everything
Makes About 1 dozen
Time: 30 to 40 minutes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus a little softened butter for the pan
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 can black beans, drained and mashed ( I used a food processor.)
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 9 by 13 baking pan with butter or line it with aluminum foil and grease the foil.

2. Combine the butter and cocoa powder in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate is just about blended, remove from the heat and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth.

3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the sugar. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add black beans and combine. 

4. Gently stir in the flour, salt, and vanilla. Add in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.  Pour and scrape into the prepared pan. 

5. Top with remaining chocolate chips and bake until just barely set in the middle, 20 to 25 minutes. It's better to under bake brownies than to over bake them. Cool on a rack before cutting. Store, covered, at room temperature, for no more than a day.

OK, so the results are amazing.  I might have gone a little two heavy on the cocoa powder.  I actually misread the original recipe and more than doubled the amount of chocolate.  This is not a problem in my book but these are definitely DARK chocolate brownies.  Mr. J thought the chocolate was a little too heavy but he adjusted with a big glass of milk.  It might have been the extra dose of chocolate but you cannot taste the black beans at all. 

Now you may ask why you would even attempt to add black beans to a brownie recipe.  Well, black beans add extra protein and fiber to this dessert.  It also allows you to adjust the amount of butter and eggs in a recipe.  This all depends on whether or not you like cake or fudge brownies.  Regardless this was a fun way to experiment in kitchen.


  1. I have been wanting to try black bean brownies for while too, but just like you, they always seem to migrate to the bottom of my 'to-make' list of recipes. I NEED to give these a go...they look so good :)

  2. Interesting combination. Never would have thought to put black beans in brownies, but it looks really good!

  3. Yep, lattes do it for me, too!

    The brownies look yummylicious!!

  4. I had a black bean brownie last week and it was delicious! Will def have to try your recipe!

  5. haven't done the beans in brownies yet but i'm all about them in cookies!

  6. delicious dessert haven't made with black beans

  7. I have never heard of black bean brownies; I am intrigued. Great post. I have never had a brownie I didn't like! I will need to try these.

  8. How very interesting that is!! What a great recipe, this is a must try!

  9. Love it when I can sleep until 7! My have a 6 year old who is and always has been an early riser!
    Love the brownies! I have wanted to try this before, but have been nervous! Your review might have pushed them to the top!

  10. I think this is the 10th brownie recipe I read using black beans. I just have to try it. Everyone seems to be in love with this combo. Thanks for sharing

    Happy weekend!

  11. I'm not the biggest fan of black beans, but I have to tell you that your brownies look delish. I would to try your recipe. And BTW there is no such thing as too much cocoa powder :)


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