Desserts and Sweets

Black Bean-Brownies


 These black beans went a long way last weekend! I purchased some black beans over the weekend for the very first time actually. I read through a recipe on the net for brownies, which used black beans as it’s base instead of flour. I was immediately intrigued by this alternative and had to try it out.

I forgot that I had to soak the beans overnight, so would have to wait another day before trying out the brownies. When I woke up the next morning, I ran into the kitchen to begin cooking the beans. I cooked them for 4 hours and interestingly enough, the air smelled of feijoada (which I will attempt to make one of these days!).

Of course, feijoada is a black bean dish, but I always thought that its flavour was entirely due to the added meat cuts, pork and seasonings. I never thought that the beans in itself released such a rich, solid and almost meaty essence. Well, I instantly became terribly sceptical about this recipe and seriously questioned how could these beans possible turn into any sort of tasty sweet treat.

 All that I can say is that after two days, the brownies are done. History!
 In essence one could look at this recipe as a sweet black bean soufflé-like chocolate confect. It produced a deliciously light and choclately rich dessert; something like a flourless cake. The chocolate taste permeates, although I thought initially that it would be lost within the black bean puree. The beans just took over the chocolate flavour. No-one (and many many people tasted these brownies) could believe that there were black beans in it!!
So  this one is for certain a keeper!!! I used a combination of syrups as I thought that this offered another dimension of depth to the recipe. I used rice syrup because of its caramel-like taste. I will be experiementing alot with this syrup in the near future!


Black Bean Brownies

You will need:
5 oz. of unsweetened chocolate
1 cup of salted butter
2 Cups of cooked drained black beans
1 tablespoon of Vanilla
4 large eggs
½ cup of Agave nectar
½ cup of rice syrup

Preheat the oven to 325F and line a 11 by 18 inch baking pan.  Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl over a water bath until just melted, stirring to blend.

Place the beans, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside.

 In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and rice syrup and beat well. Set aside.

Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir until blended well.

Add the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (They will be soft until refrigerated.)

This recipe was inspired by the book from: Baking with Agave Nectar.