Sunday, February 26, 2012

Very Adult Black Bean Brownies

I refer to these brownies as "very adult" because they are sweet, but not overly so. Their taste is almost earthy due to the molasses of the brown sugar. And the unsweetened chocolate and cocoa content make them a potent stimulant with just a few bites. The substitution of black beans for flour means no gluten and a good dose of protein to counter-balance the sugar - so though you will experience the stimulating effects of caffeine from the chocolate, there is no unpleasant sugar crash after the act of enjoying them.

Black Bean Brownies

15-oz. can of black beans
1-½ squares of unsweetened Baker's chocolate (about 1-½ oz.)
scant 2 cups of brown sugar
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of sea salt
½ cup olive oil
2 eggs

Pre-heat oven to 350℉

First drain and thoroughly rinse the black beans - then put them in the microwave for 2 minutes or bring them to a full steam on the stove (with a lid on) so beans are cooked through and easily mashed.

In a medium sized bowl mash the hot beans with a fork.
Chop unsweetened chocolate into fine shards.
Continue mashing chocolate shards and brown sugar into the black beans.
Add cocoa, salt, and vanilla and continue mixing.
Into a measuring cup pour ½ cup of oil and add 2 eggs - beat gently with a fork.
Fold egg mixture into batter. Mix thoroughly.

Pour thick batter into an oiled dish or pan and bake about 45 minutes till firm and a testing knife comes out clean. This is a fudgie and soft rather than cakey brownie. Allow them to cool and then cut into small pieces. If too "soft" exposing the pieces to air or putting them in the refrigerator will firm them up somewhat. Operative words: fudge, chocolate, delicious.


  1. This I've GOT to try, and very soon. Just made gluten-free brownies this past weekend b/c we had two dinners with guests in a row. The brownies were okay, but lacked a certain something. My DIL made brownies with black beans once and reported they were fantastic. Thanks for posting this and will let you know how they turned out.

  2. Something about the black beans I Really Like - you don't taste them but they are the body, the foundation, of the brownie. Am working on a Banana Bean Bar recipe now and think I'm going to have to stick with the black beans (over small whites) regardless of dark color. Their sweet non-taste is what works so well!!! Let me know how you do with the brownies and any doctoring you might do to bring them to your own standards :D

    1. They were incredible, and I'll definitely make them again. I used canola instead of olive oil, as the olive oil I have is very strong-flavored, and I used 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, as I didn't have sea salt. Apart from that, everything was the same.

      I used an 8-inch square glass baking dish. One interesting thing is after zapping the black beans and mashing them, I added the brown sugar while they were still hot, and the sugar liquefied from the heat of the beans, making the familiar thick goopy-ness of brownie batter. And of course the heat helped to melt the chocolate shards, too.

      They tasted crazy-good first thing out of the oven, but were even better the next day. They're so rich that we only ate pieces a quarter of the size we'd normally have with other brownies.

  3. Am sooooooo glad these worked for you!!! Thanks for your wonderful and explicit review :D