Thursday, August 5, 2010

Black Bean Brownies

Here is a brownie recipe that serves up great chocolate taste, not too sweet, yet fudgy texture along with a shocking surprise for your guests – yes, it really has a can of beans in it! I created my version of the recipe after being influenced by other recipes I found in my cookbook collection. Seems I can hardly ever follow a recipe as noted by anyone any more. Hope this one works for you or if you are like me….may it inspire your own creativity to make one to call your own!  BTW...if you have never tried a brownie like this, it is truly worth it.

Black Bean Brownies
1 (19 oz) can of black beans – thoroughly rinsed and drained
¾ cup butter – melted *
1 cup walnuts (used as separate ½ cup measures) – toasted
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup natural coffee substitute *
½ tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
¾ cup apple butter *
4 eggs

Notes for Success on this:
  • This recipe is completely mixed in a 14-cup food processor. If you only have a smaller food processor, make sure you puree the beans and nuts in smaller portions and then use a bowl and hand mixer for the remaining mixing.
  • Puree the beans and nuts to as smooth a texture as possible before adding too much liquid.
  • "Blend” and “Puree” are the same setting on my machine. The difference is pureeing is to take something whole and making it basically a paste (takes longer to mix) and blending is simply to mix several ingredients together (shorter time to mix).
  • Times noted for blending are approximate. I never time them but the idea is to have it well blended and smooth.
  • Please do not serve the brownies warm or from the oven as the bean flavour is strongest then. They store nicely in the freezer and are quick to thaw for serving cold.
Preheat the oven to 325F.

Using a food processor, add the black beans and puree for about 45 seconds. Add the melted butter and process for 1 – 2 minutes or until as smooth looking as possible. Add the ½ cup of walnuts and puree for another minute.

Add in the cocoa powder, the applesauce, salt and vanilla. Before adding in the coffee substitute, first add 1 – 2 Tbsp of water to the coffee granules to dissolve them in a separate bowl and then add to the food processor along with the apple butter. Blend for another minute. Add the eggs and blend the mixture for another minute or so.

Line an 11x15 baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan.

Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of toasted walnuts over the batter and gently tap them into/under the batter to cover them before baking.

Bake at 325 F for 20 – 25 minutes. (20 minutes makes a nice fudgy texture that we enjoy).  Cool completely before cutting.

Serve chilled and topped with plain yogurt and fresh fruit.

Cook's Notes:
Butter: If you find 3/4 cup too much, try decreasing the amount and increasing the applesauce(ie 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup applesauce).  I am not an official test kitchen and do not have time to just repeat baking to try all the small changes one could really make.  But the next time to do make this, I plan to try this combo myself.
Natural Coffee Substitute: I found this one at a bulk food store and it is 100% caffeine free.  It is made of roasted barley, rye, chicory, and beet roots.  It helps to mask the "beany" flavour.  You could always use other instant or strong coffee if you are not avoiding caffeine.
Apple butter: As always, my favorite choice is Wellesley brand.  If you do not have this available, you could use agave nectar or maple syrup as substitutes.  If in doubt, just email me and ask.
Baking Pan: If you do not have a pan 11x15 , feel free to try a 9x13 cake pan but add a bit more baking time...perhaps another 10 minutes.  I would not try a larger pan as the brownie is not very thick in a 11x15

Truly Delicious!


  1. Do you have any idea on the calorie/fat/fiber count of these "clean eating" recipes? Do you eat your daily meals with any thought to that, or no? Do you simply eat clean and what you want? I guess I am asking about your regular eating habits, that have helped you maintained such a slim physique.

  2. sorry Dawne, I do not have a calorie counter for my recipes. I will give that some thought and see what I can find as a tool to use. Appreciate the idea and the value one might have for that.