~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, November 16, 2009

Black Bean Brownies with Orange Zest

Black Bean Brownies with Orange Zest... Well, here it is! Finally, the long awaited Black Bean Brownie Recipe...at least for me anyway:). You see, I have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time now, but didn't have the guts to make it until recently. Many of you may have seen this recipe, others may have even tried it, while others may be thinking, "No way!". Come on, with a name like that?...I wasn't about to waste my time... I mean, really,.... bean brownies?!! I know, I know... but that's exactly what I was thinking. The recipe for black bean brownies has surfaced all over the blogging world and many have raved about it. There are all sorts of variations, some use different sweeteners, some use coconut oil, others don't use any leavening, but the main ingredient is always black beans. The first time I heard about it, I thought very little of it. You see, I love brownies and don't care to mess around with the ingredients too much. But, as time went by, I thought about it again. I mean we all love to eat healthier, don't we? So, why not make healthier brownies and eat them without so much guilt. Well, I decided it was high time that I tried them for myself. I knew instantly that I would add some additional flavors to the basic recipe, so I chose to bring in the orange flavor. I love the combination of orange and chocolate,.... though you can do a variety of flavors such as: peppermint/raspberry/mocha/Irish cream/Kahlua flavor. I also knew that I would like to use some sort of of leavening. I had seen too many pictures of the brownies that didn't use any baking powder/soda... and they all looked too flat. I came across this recipe that used baking powder to give the brownies some height. Because I chose to use the extra dark cocoa, the brownies baked darker in color than normal and were probably more chocolaty in flavor. The recipe uses the regular cocoa, so feel free to use that.
Ok, so how did I like them? Well, I thought they were very good. I did think they were a bit grainy, which I kind of expected. So, if you can get past that, I think you will like them. I did not taste the beans in the brownies at all! They were chocolaty, moist and fudgy. The orange flavor really stood out and I think was the key ingredient. There was something about the brownies that made me go back and grab another piece....trying all the time to see if I liked them or not:)! My only problem with this recipe, is that it uses 3/4 cup of white sugar. Somehow, I have mixed feelings about them being extra healthy. I feel that the brownies could definitely be healthier if I used another natural form of sweetener...maybe honey, date sugar, etc. I am not a big fan of artificial sweeteners. I would love to make them healthy enough so that I could eat a piece without worrying about the sugar content. Eventually, I would like to experiment with them. If you do try these, and use another type of sweetener, will you let me know how they come out? Even if you try them with the regular sugar, I would love to now what you think of them.

You will need:adapted from here with a slight variation.
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed very well
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used EXTRA DARK...therefore the EXTRA DARK chocolate color:)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided
1 TBS grated orange zest
1/2-1 tsp orange extract
I think this brownie needs additional flavoring to bring it over the top...
I chose to do mine with orange flavor but you can easily add a variety of flavors such as:
add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, subsitute chocolate chips with Andes chocolate chunks
add 1 TBS Irish cream and 2 tsps instant coffee
add Kahlua flavoring
add raspberry flavoring
add nuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8 X 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. I like to use parchment paper for mine...just as an extra precaution.
Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor Process until smooth and creamy. I used my VitaMix for this to ensure absolute creaminess, but you don't need to. Just process until smooth. Add the eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, orange extract, orange zest, baking powder, and salt.
Process until smooth.
Add ¼ cup of the chips and pulse a few times until the chips are broken up a bit.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips(or nuts if using).
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine was done in 30 minutes. Cool in the pan before slicing.
This would be extra good with some vanilla ice cream.


Sailaja Damodaran said...

want to grab a piece.yummy

megi said...

Ellie, I have been wanting to make a black bean cake or brownies for a while now, I am not sure if I have canned black beans, if I do, I'll make it today, will let you know how it turns out. Thank you for the recipe and the detailed post.

Ellie said...

Megi, I would love to hear how you like the black bean brownies. I know there are a few variations out there. Would love to see how you make yours. I just know you will come up with something great:)...

megi said...

Ellie, thank you so much for this recipe, it was excellent. I made a few really minor changes, I used the same amount of Sucanat instead of sugar and coconut oil instead of canola oil. No one could tell there were beans in it! I'll definitely be making it again.

Ellie said...

Megi, So glad you liked it! Just LOVE your substitution.

I think that adding Succanat and coconut oil was brilliant...with those adjustments, it would actually be a healthy brownie:).

Thanks for the feedback... glad no body could tell it had beans:)...

Anonymous said...

I just made these for my father. He tried them and wanted to know what was in them before he commented so he could compare! But I wouldn't tell before he said whether or not he liked them!He said he did but they were too hot (tried straight from the oven). I found they were a wee bit spongey - not sure why? I only cooked them for 25 minutes and they were definitely done! Thanks for the recipe. I omitted the orange but added 1 tsp coffee.

Ellie said...

Anon, So glad you tried the recipe... love how you kept the secret till the end:). I think they probably taste better colder? But glad your father still enjoyed them... as for them being spongy? Hmmm, maybe because they were hot?, as they cool they settle more to being fudgelike.

But glad the recipe was a success nonetheless... and thanks a ton for stopping by and sharing your feedback. Oh, and I LOVE your addition of the coffee:)...

Anonymous said...

More feedback from Anon ;)
I realised when writing up the recipe that I left out the baking powder! I think that will have been why, as this is what helps them 'rise', correct? I stupidly copied the recipe incorrectly when I initially scribbled it down! Oh well, I'll just have to make more, haha!

Ellie said...

Welcome back Anon:)... So glad you found the mistake.... we all manage to do that every once in a while:). I know I do!

But, yes that would definitely help the batter rise more. Glad you have a reason to make it again:).