Today I have great pleasure in sharing this fabulous recipe for Black Bean Chocolate Brownies from fellow blogger Kate Hackworthy of Veggie Desserts who has just had her first book veggie desserts + cakes published by Pavilion. Kate loves bringing the goodness and nutrients of vegetables into cakes and desserts. Her obsession for vegetable desserts started 5 years ago when she wanted to give her son a healthy birthday cake for his first birthday. It was such a success with the children and parents that the seed was sown and Kate has gone on to create her blog and a vast catalogue of delicious vegetable based cakes and desserts to wide acclaim.
In veggie desserts + cakes you can find anything from Spinach and Strawberry Swiss Roll, Avocado Lime Tarts, Parsnip Coconut Macaroons to Sparkling Carrot Lemonade. I was seriously tempted to make the Butternut Squash Cinnamon Rolls with Almond Glaze but the lure of the Black Bean Chocolate Brownies proved too much in the end!
Making the Black Bean Chocolate Brownies
Kate’s recipe called for walnuts but I substituted for pecans as that’s what I had in my cupboard and they worked really well. I also have to admit to misreading the recipe and mistakenly added half my chocolate chunks to the top of the brownies along with half the walnuts so hence the chocolate chunks sitting on top. I don’t think it mattered but thought I should hold my hand up. I baked my Black Bean Chocolate Brownies for 15 minutes and I think I could have baked them for the full 20 minutes stipulated in the recipe but having over baked brownies in the past I erred on the side of caution so my Black Bean Chocolate Brownies look even more fudgy than the ones in Kate’s book (see below).
Kate says to allow the Black Bean Chocolate Brownies to cool completely before slicing, ever the rebel I sliced mine up while they were still warm and if you are serving as dessert with vanilla ice cream then warm is the way to go (believe me)! You can also give the cold brownies a quick warm up in the microwave if you want to serve as dessert later.
We loved these gooey fudgy brownies and what I especially like is knowing that they’re not just packed full of naughty calories but there’s a lot off goodness and roughage in there and less sugar than standard brownies. Kate uses vanilla extract to boost the sweetness in most of her bakes which I think is a great tip we can all use!
I think veggie desserts + cakes is a most beautiful and inspiring book which I’m sure will make people think outside the box when it comes to vegetables. As Nigel Slater always says “a recipe is just a starting place” and once you realise that traditionally “naughty” foods can be made with healthy vegetables and less sugar then you can start to make healthy changes to your diet.
Black Bean Chocolate Brownies from veggie desserts + cakes
- 400 g/15oz can black beans drained & rinsed
- 215g/7oz drained weight
- 100 ml/3 ½ l oz/scant ½ cup vegetable oil plus extra for greasing
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 50 g/1 ¾oz/½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 100 g/3 ½oz/½ cup light soft brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- 50 g/1 ¾oz/heaped ½ cup plain all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 50 g/1 ½oz good quality dark chocolate chopped
- 50 g/1 ¾oz/½ cup walnuts I used pecans, roughly chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC/150ºC fan/325ºF/gas 3. Lightly grease and line a 20cm/8in square baking tin.
- Purėe the beans in a food processor.
- Add the oil, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla and coffee, and blend until very smooth.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse a few more times to combine.
- Stir in the chopped chocolate and half of the chopped walnuts.
- Pour he batter into the prepared pan and spread out to level, then top with the remaining walnuts.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and the surface begins to look dry.
- Leave to cool completely in the pan before turning out and cutting into squares to serve.
To see how other bloggers got on with recipes from veggie desserts + cakes check out the following:
Chocolate Cauliflower Ice Lollies
Cavolo Nero & Orange Cupcakes
Beetroot & Vanilla Sorbet
Avocado Lime Tarts
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Avocado Icing
Kale Apple Cake
Strawberry & Spinach Swiss Roll
Courgette & Poppy Seed Loaf Cake
Pea & Vanilla Cake with Lemon Icing
Pea & Mint Cupcakes with Rose Water Buttercream
Black Bean Chocolate Brownie
and if you want more healthy-ish (cough) brownie inspiration check out my Specunana Chocolate Brownies made with banana!
Book: veggie desserts + cake
Author: Kate Hackworthy
Publisher: Pavilion Books
RRP: £14.99 (UK) $16.92 (CAN)
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NB I was sent a veggie desserts + cakes by Pavilion to review and was not paid, all opinions are my own.