Friday, February 4, 2011

Black Bean Brownies

I've been intrigued by and wanting to make black bean brownies for a long time. I've seen plenty of variations on the recipe, but finally decided to try 101Cookbook's Amazing Black Bean Brownies. I stuck pretty closely to the recipe, since I was unsure of how they would turn out. They ended up being delicious...amazing, you might even say. I absolutely love them...I don't think I can explain how much I love them, actually, and it's difficult to control my enthusiasm as I write this.

You would never guess that there are beans in these. They're pretty powerfully chocolate and make a great companion of milk. I froze mine once they'd cooled and it made them more dense and fudge-y. I adored them this way! To me, they are definitely brownies and fulfilled my craving, unlike the Sweet Potato & Nut Butter "Brownies" which were also incredibly delicious...but not brownies.

The recipe is a bit labour intensive...and I made a fairly extensive mess in the process.

The original recipe calls for coffee instead of carob, and I think that would taste great, but I don't drink coffee, so I didn't have any on hand. I bet these would be delicious using unsweetened carob instead of chocolate.

Black Bean Brownies
(makes 1 full jelly roll pan; barely adapted from 101Cookbook's Amazing Black Bean Brownies)

  • 230 grams unsalted butter
  • 115 grams unsweetened chocolate
  • 310 grams soft-cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 30 grams carob powder
  • 2 grams (1/4 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 200 grams eggs
  • 450 grams honey

1. Melt chocolate and butter together in a microwave or over a double-boiler. Stir until combined.
2. In a food processor, combine 3/4 of the melted butter/chocolate with the black beans and vanilla. Process until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, stir remaining chocolate with carob powder and salt until they form a smooth paste. Add chocolate beans and mix until smooth.
5. In a separate bowl, beat egg until light and creamy. Beat in honey. Add to the rest of the batter and stir until combined (see note).
6.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 325F for 30-40 minutes, until set and toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely or even refrigerate before cutting—they are not as sturdy as your typical brownie.

  • The original recipe says to reserve a portion of the egg/honey mixture to create a marbled effect. To do so, reserve 1/2 cup of the egg/honey, and once the batter is in the pan, drizzle over the brownies and use a toothpick to pull through the batter.


  1. I had the same problem taking pictures of those brownies I made after Christmas!! I think it is true that brown is hard to photograph and make look tasty, especially with a point and shoot (what I have). Your pictures look much much better than mine, though! Maybe they do not look as true to life as you wanted but the first one especially makes them look good to eat.

  2. ALSO what is the purpose of black beans in brownies? Are they used for texture? I am very intrigued.

  3. I assume they are meant to replace flour as the main body to hold it together/give it texture? But, that is just a guess. They make the brownies very dense and so good...hmmm

  4. These look so good! Aah I love brownies.

  5. What a delicious way to make brownies more healthy. I definitely would never guess that there are beans in there. I hope you'll come by and link this up to Sweets for a Saturday #3.

  6. Amazing. Visiting from Sweets for a Saturday linky party. I LOVE unexpected ingredients in things. Black beans + Brownies...who would have guess? I will give these a whirl.

  7. I would love to hear how they turn out if you do try them!

  8. Brown is a lovely color to photograph. You just have to find the colors that bring out its texture. As a general rule, that works well when photographing all types of colors. I think that we do this automatically with foods in colors that we are more used to.

    However in the west, there are not many foods that are solid brown. This is unlike some other parts of the world, where you have delicious black, dark brown and green dishes. Experiment with other colors and textures and you will see how beautiful the texture of the brownies look.


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