I promised you all a “fun – and very interesting – chocolate treat” on Valentine’s Day. So it’s about time I deliver on that promise, don’t you think?!
I’ve been eyeing this recipe for nearly a year. Every since I bought Baking With Agave Nectar and flipped through its pages “ooh-ing” and “ohh-ing” at all the yummiest sounding goodies. There were a lot of those. But one recipe in particular stood out for its novelty. I was intrigued. Being the curious cat that I am, I knew I had to give it a go.
That’s how this Valentine’s Day became Black Bean Brownie Day. Yep, you heard me. Black bean. Brownie. Romantic, no?
Here’s the recipe. Besides halving it and using non-hydrogenated shortening instead of butter, I followed everything to a tee. I may be an experimenter, but baking with black beans was a totally new experience for me. Figured it would be best to go with the creator’s vision for this one!
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup agave nectar
Preheat the oven to 325*F. Spray a 12×8-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside. Melt unsweetened chocolate and non-hydrogenated shortening in a bowl in the microwave for about 2 minutes on high. Stir with spoon to melt chocolate completely. Place black beans, 1/4 cup walnuts, vanilla extract and a couple spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. In a large bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, instant coffee and salt. Add bean/chocolate mixture to coffee/chocolate mixture and stir until well blended. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add agave nectar and beat well. Add egg mixture to chocolate mixture, reserving about 1/4 cup, and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Beat remaining 1/4 cup egg mixture with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Drizzle over brownie batter. Use a wooden toothpick to pull egg mixture through batter, creating a marbled effect. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan before cutting into squares.
So here’s my two cents on these brownies…
They’ve definitely got the chocolate-y fudge factor going on – a brownie requirement in my book. And you can’t beat the stellar ingredient list. You’d never guess beans are a key player! And no flour?! No way!
But there are a couple things I’d change next time around. I wouldn’t do the whole egg and agave swirl. I can only imagine this is for looks and the marbled visual effect faded away after a day. So just adding all the egg and agave into the batter at once seems fine with me. I’d cut out some instant coffee because that flavor stood out too much for me. I’m not a coffee fan, remember? And I’d un-halve the recipe, but use the same size pan. I say the thicker the better!
Overall though, cool recipe. Good times.
What’s the most unusual ingredient you’ve used in a baked good?