Okay, so using black beans in brownies isn’t anything new. In fact, I found so many recipes for this online I almost decided not to post about it for fear of redundancy. But I am anyway. Because they’re amazing. And anyone that is on a restricted diet MUST try these, they are a lifesaver when chocolate cravings arise.
I tend to only make small batches of things because I’m a student and can’t spend more than about $30 on groceries every week. But I made a full batch of these because it uses rather inexpensive ingredients! (Well, minus the agave nectar. The next time I make these I really want to focus on reducing the agave – maybe with a stevia rendition of some kind.)
I have made some small changes just for the sake of diet restrictions and personal taste, such as removing butter and the commonly used walnuts. I like walnuts, but not usually in brownies. Besides, I was feeling the need for a more ‘German chocolate-y’ brownie. Hence the coconut and pecans.
German Chocolate Black Bean Brownies:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups soft cooked black beans
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 generous tablespoons instant coffee
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups amber agave nectar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
Preheat over to 325. Line a 9×13 size pan with a parchment paper for easier removal. (Or you can do what I did… I simply sprayed the pan, but left the brownies in the fridge overnight before trying to extract them from the pan. I didn’t have any parchment paper in the house.) I also used a mini muffin tray for some of the batter, but I’ll explain how that was a bad idea later…
Put the chocolate and oil in a glass bowl, put in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes (do in 30 sec intervals just in case) and mix thoroughly. Put 3 or 4 medium spoonfuls of this mixture into the blender. To the remaining mixture, add the instant coffee and salt. Mix well.
To the blender add the black beans, 1 egg, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. (A food processor would be ideal, but I don’t own one.) This process was rather laborious for me. My blender didn’t like the density of the mix so I had to keep stopping it to ‘re-arrange’ the batter. (this is why i say to add some of the chocolate and oil, it really helps to smooth out the batter in the blender.) I could still see small pieces of beans but that didn’t seem to affect anything in the end.
In a separate bowl, use an electronic mixer to beat the eggs until fluffy and creamy. I did it for about 2 1/2 minutes. Add the agave nectar and continue beating the mix; about another 2 minutes. Separately mix the black bean batter and the chocolate/coffee mix together before adding them to the eggs and agave. Mix well. I used the electronic mixer; everything was well blended in about 1 minute.
Pour the batter into your pan and sprinkle finely chopped pecans and coconut on top. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Let the pan cool before cutting. Ideally you want to put them into the fridge to cool for a couple hours or overnight.
The 9×13 glass pan worked great. The mini muffin pan will definitely never be attempted again. In the glass pan, you can cut the brownies and then lift them with a spatula; which worked fine. In the mini muffin pan, there was no way for me to get any utensil underneath the brownie to lift it out. So I ended up with a bunch of tops and then had to scoop the bottoms out with a spoon. Of course, it tasted so good that I just put it all into a storage container and ate it with a spoon later! So it wasn’t wasted, but I would highly recommend using a larger pan for better removal :)