Friday, February 22, 2013

Real Food: Black Bean Brownies

I originally posted about these brownies a couple of years ago, but thought I'd bring them back for the weekend.  You can find the recipe and read suggestions from other bakers here.

Black bean brownies have a distinct quality; they really do taste good, but you aren't fooling anyone into thinking these are traditional brownies (but they certainly do the trick.)

The good news is that they look very appealing, are crazy simple to make, and will probably make your kids (and you) very happy.

The brownie pictured above is made with carob chips, but milk chocolate chips are the go-to here.  If you want to go all-out swap in some chopped Green & Blacks.  Maybe two kinds...espresso and mint?  Maybe add some pecans or walnuts?  Keep the additions on the top of the brownies rather than mixed in, or you may have problems with the brownies falling apart when you cut into them.  These are great out of the oven, and if you let them sit in the fridge overnight, the chocolate flavor seems to intensify.

My other suggestions are to use melted coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil, and I like a full tablespoon of instant espresso instead of just a teaspoon of instant coffee (I highly recommend you do this!!).  Instant espresso really gives a boost to the chocolate flavor in just about any chocolate recipe, and when I use a full tablespoon, I can't taste the beans at all.  I did taste them a bit the first time I made these with just a teaspoon.  If you've never used instant espresso in your baking and don't like coffee, no worries: using instant espresso deepens the chocolate flavor but will not come through as a coffee flavor.  You can find it in your coffee aisle; there will probably only be one brand- it's worth it and lasts a while in the cupboard.

I also whip mine up in my food processor rather than in a blender like the recipe suggests.  It's so easy to throw these together; it's a good idea to make a double batch.

If you do double it, I'd recommend using two 8x8s or round cake pans rather than a 9x13, just to help them bake a bit more evenly- rotate the pans halfway through baking.  Then you'll have one batch for now, and another batch you can store in the freezer for a rainy (or in our case snowy) day.

Again, find the recipe here.

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