Black Bean Brownies: No flour, No butter, Just Chocolate Fudgy Goodness by Cleo Coyle

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These chocolate brownies nearly qualify as magic. There is no white flour in the recipe. The structure comes from nutritious black beans, which add fiber and protein, but you won't taste the beans. You'll taste only delicious fudgy chocolate. 

My Coffeehouse Mystery readers may recognize these brownies as a bonus recipe from A Brew to a Kill. To view more recipes from the book, click here.  


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For the Black Bean Brownies recipe, keep reading...








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The batter for these brownies can be whizzed up in a food processor or a blender/processor. That's what you see in my photos, an Oster Fusion blender. I'm not sure a regular blender would be able to handle this, but if you have a very powerful blender, it might work. Either way, here are my quick tips for getting the best out of this recipe...

(1) The better quality your chocolate, the better your brownies. 

(2) Chopped, block chocolate is the best way to go. Chocolate chips just won't give you the best brownie here. You can, however, tart the brownies up by stirring in chips and/or toasted, chopped nuts just before baking.


(3) Be careful when melting the chocolate. Once chocolate is burned, there's no saving it, and the burned taste will be in your brownies. So be sure to follow the recipe directions.


(4) The black beans should be "low sodium" (or no salt), and be sure you rinse the beans well before draining. I suggest soaking them for a minute in cold water and then draining well, just to be sure they're cleaned and ready for processing. 





(5) Do not over-bake. I think all brownie recipes are better if they're slightly under-baked. This one is no exception. 



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Cleo Coyle's Black Bean Brownies

No Flour, No Butter, Just Chocolate Fudgy Goodness


Makes one 9x9-inch square pan of brownies 

Ingredients:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (do not use chips) 

2 tablespoons canola oil (or vegetable or corn oil) 


¼ cup brewed coffee or espresso 

   (deepens chocolate flavor, you won’t taste it) 

(15.5 ounce) can black beans
   (low sodium or no salt)
rinsed, soaked, drained 

4 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

½ cup white, granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon table salt or finely ground sea salt 
 
     (if using coarse salt, increase this amount to ¼ teaspoon) 


1 teaspoon baking powder


Optional additions: 

½ cup toasted and chopped nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips


DIRECTIONS:

Step 1 – Prep oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Create a sling with parchment paper (see my photo) and lightly coat the paper and sides of the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Step 2 - Melt the chocolate: Place the chopped chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl. Pour the canola oil into the mixture. IMPORTANT: Chocolate burns very easily and once that scorched taste is in your chocolate, your brownies are ruined. To prevent burning, heat the oil and chocolate in 20- to 30-second increments in your microwave. Stir between each session until everything is melted and smooth. Once melted, set aside. (I like to place the bowl on top of my pre-heating oven to keep the chocolate warm.) 






Step 3 – Prep the beans: Drain the canned beans, place them in a bowl and cover them with water. Allow them to soak for a minute, then drain them well. 

Step 4 – Make the batter: Combine the beans, coffee, and eggs in a food processor or blender/processor (the machine in my photos is an Oster Fusion, a cross between a processor and blender and not a regular blender). Process until smooth. The mixture will look like a chocolate milk shake. 




Add the brown and white sugars, vanilla extract, salt, and baking powder. Finally add the melted chocolate and mix well until smooth. (If adding optional chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips, stir them in now with a large spoon.)

Step 5 – Bake: Pour the batter into your prepared 9x9-inch square pan and bake for around 20 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven. I’m of the opinion that you should not over-bake brownies, including these. When the top surface is set (spongy but firm to the touch and no longer liquid) and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with no wet batter clinging to it, the brownies are ready. Allow the hot pan to cool for a few minutes, then run a knife on the un-papered edges to loosen any sticky bits and gently lift the parchment paper handles, transferring the brownie cake to a wire rack. Allow the brownies to cool a bit (and set) before cutting into large or small squares and…












To download this recipe for
Black Bean Brownies,
click on the image below...
Click for Free Recipe PDF.



Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
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Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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