Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chocolate Brownies

Valentine's Day is coming closer, so naturally my thoughts have been turning to chocolate. The other day I tried a new recipe for gluten-free brownies. Other g-f brownie and flourless cake recipes I've tried, with almond flour, have tasted really good, but I didn't care for the texture. This recipe from Skinnytaste uses black beans, of all things, so I was a bit doubtful about how the texture would turn out.

Actually, I'm fascinated with recipes that have alternative or unusual ingredients, so for me, making black bean brownies was a great adventure and the bonus was that I enjoyed the end result.

The recipe calls for use of the food processor, so I made sure I processed the heck out of those beans and the result was pretty good, texture-wise. The comment from my other half was that maybe they weren't as sweet as other brownies and I'm thinking that's probably a good thing (I confess that I cut down just a teensy bit when adding the sugar).

Anyway, thanks to Skinnytaste, here's the recipe. About the beans, though: all the beans in my pantry are in 19 oz. cans, so after I drained and rinsed the beans I poured them into a measuring cup and removed a quarter of them before throwing them in the food processor. You'll notice a couple other unusual ingredients besides the beans: balsamic vinegar and ground coffee. Yes, I used them both. The brownies were amazing. In fact, I think I'll indulge in one right now with a cup of afternoon tea. Wish you were here to share one with me!

Amazing Flour-less Brownies
Servings: 16 • Size: 1 brownie
Calories: 144 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 26 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 4 g • Sugar: 17.5 g
Sodium: 150 mg • Cholesterol: 23 g


·        1 (14 oz) canned low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
·        2 large eggs
·        1/2 cup cocoa powder
·        3/4 cup sugar
·        1/2 teaspoon oil
·        1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (or dairy, skim)
·        1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
·        1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·        1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·        1/2 teaspoon of fresh coffee grounds or instant coffee
·        1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided (Hershey's)


Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Grease a non-stick 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Blend the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, almond milk, balsamic, baking soda, baking powder and coffee grinds in the blender until smooth and pour into a bowl. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips until combined.  Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies.

Bake the brownies until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes.  Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.
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