I am always amazed when a brownie or cookie recipe calls for anything less than a stick of butter. Usually you see a shocking 2 sticks of butter!
As a pastry professional, I’ve learned to get over my fear of using generous amounts of butter. That’s just how the cookie crumbles in that world. But at home, I try to only use butter when I can really make it count. Less is more. I want to treat myself, but still look good, ya dig my flow?
Black beans are the new applesauce when it comes to baking. Their dark color blends in perfectly with the chocolate, and they’ve got protein and fiber that are not only good for you, but help retain the whole rich-dense brownie thing.
I live with 3 dudes who dove head first into these fudgy squares. Dudes are into black bean brownies. It especially helps to put walnut studs, extra chocolate chips, and some coarse salt on top.
I don’t have a food processor. I hope you have one because it makes life easier. If you have one, just give the beans a whir. If you are like me and do not have one, you can smash your beans with a fork or your fingers, or pour your beans into the melted chocolate/butter mixture and then use an immersion blender and get it as smooth as you can. It’s ok if there’s a little texture. It all gets baked up and masked by the chocolate anyway.
Note that I first tried to blend my beans in my blender, but the blender was too large for the small amount of beans and nothing was happening. Moral of the story, buy a food processor. I just like to take the hard way, mostly because I have no room for another kitchen gadget in my apartment.
Black Bean Brownies
makes 9-12 brownies
adapted from Joy the Baker
1/4 cup (half a stick/2 oz) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz of the darkest dark chocolate you can find (think 72% and up), chopped
2 large eggs + 1 egg white
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed, drained, and pureed in the food processor
1 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (155 g) all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
walnut chunks, chocolate chips, and coarse salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch (9-inch is ok, too) square baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Butter and flour the parchment paper as well.
In a small bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a simmer. Place the butter and chocolates in a heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over the simmering water and stir until the chocolates and butter are melted and combined. Carefully remove the bowl from the saucepan and let it cool for a minute or two.
Whisk the eggs and white into the chocolate/butter mixture, one at a time. Next whisk in the pureed beans, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Dump the sifted dry ingredients into the mix all at once and fold and incorporate everything together with a spatula. Once thoroughly combined, pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with walnuts, chocolate chips, and coarse salt, if using.
Bake the brownies for about 25-28 minutes. Note that brownies are better slightly underdone than overdone. Right? Right. Let the brownies cool on a wire rack for 10-20 minutes, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment overhang. Slice and enjoy.