Brownies with a secret

Black Bean Cacao Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl
I'm here - just not posting on a regular basis.  I occasionally think of something to post, to share, to inspire you and me, and then I let the moment slip away.  It's been an odd year, good in some ways, i.e. getting married this past June; stressful at my full-time day job - it's so time to leave, it's been time to leave for over a year.  I teaching again, part-time at Sur la Table, in Marlton, New Jersey.  I mostly love the gig.  I wish the money were better, then again, who doesn't want more money?  If I could do it full time and make a decent living, I'd stop being a bookkeeper and be a Chef-Keeper instead!

Onto today's inspiration which comes directly from the class I taught this morning.  Because the recipes I use have been the intellectual property of Sur la Table, or their partner companies, I don't always feel that I can blog about what we've been making.  Today I feel that this recipe should be shared to a wider audience.  It is a brownie recipe that is gluten free, dairy free, low-fat and low-sugar.  Plus it's so fudgy delicious it was hard to stop eating.  Taking a moment to blog is allowing me a breather from the temptation of finishing off the batch I took home today.

I have not made many gluten free baking recipes before.  Finding this one and seeing how well it works makes me very happy.  I'm not about to adopt a gluten free diet but it sure is nice to have a variety of recipes to mix it up.  I'll be able to make this for friends and not stress about the taste or worthiness of it! This recipe comes via Sur la Table via Health Magazine. It's been tested by a variety of organizations and now by me.  It works!

The brownies use a "secret" ingredient - Black Beans!  There are also dried dates; maple syrup; cocoa powder or raw cacao for a true super food; baking powder, and not much else.  We made our batch with peanut butter swirled on top of the batter. You can omit the peanut butter or substitute a nut butter of choice.  I found the recipe to be forgiving and versatile.  What could be better? A recipe that tastes great and is easily adaptable.  Winning!

Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 - 15 ounce can of Black Beans - drained and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pitted dried Dates - about 3 ounces or 6-7 dates
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (in Solid form); OR - Extra Virgin Olive Oil; OR - a Neutral oil such as Canola or Grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup - divided
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Cacao Powder or Unprocessed Cocoa Powder (Not Dutch Processed)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate - 70% or higher, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup smooth peanut butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. Line an 8x8 square pan with aluminum foil, allowing the foil to over-hang.  Grease the foil, set aside
  3. Blend the black beans in a food processor until they are well chopped.  Add the dates, oil, 1/2 cup maple syrup, cacao powder, vanilla, baking powder and salt.  Puree the mixture until it is smooth and well combined.  The mixture should look dark and glistening.
  4. Add in the chopped chocolate and pulse a few times to mix in. 
  5. Spread the batter into the baking pan.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter with the 2 remaining tablespoons of maple syrup.
  7. Microwave for 10 seconds to soften.  Mix well (it may look separated and curdled at one point; don't panic, just keep mixing.  It will come together.) 
  8. Drop dollops of the peanut butter mixture all over the top of the brownie batter.  Use a butter knife or skewer and swirl the peanut butter mixture throughout, creating a marble pattern.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes, until firm.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.  For cleaner cuts, let cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting.
  10. Yields 12 brownies.


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