When I first became vegan, black bean brownies seemed like a dish requiring some heroic amount of culinary prowess that I could never hope to achieve; I began to view them as the “boss level,” only mastered after I’d been schooled in other desserts and ready for the Bowser of baked goods. In the meantime, I had a lot of questions: was it actually possible to make brownies with beans? Were they palatable? Or was it more like bean dip studded with chocolate chips and baked at 350?
I am glad to report that my first attempt yielded rather disgusting results! I honestly expected success and proceeded to follow none of the instructions provided by the recipe: I used a potato masher instead of a blender (A MOST GRIEVOUS ERROR), added ingredients that weren’t called for (pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spices and oats), substituted maple syrup for sugar and didn’t throw in enough chocolate chips. The final product was, surprisingly, edible, although I’d never want to eat it again; the masher didn’t take it’s job very seriously and, despite pulverizing those beans for twenty minutes straight, there were large pieces throughout. Gross.
This recipe is a huge improvement! The beans (properly blended this time!) lend to the texture (a bit like brownie meets fudge) rather than flavor. In fact, you don’t taste them at all! The key here is using the proper equipment for a bit of time (I usually blend the ingredients for about 5 to 8 minutes so everything is smooth). The avocado frosting is optional. I usually just sprinkle chocolate chips/walnuts/coconuts/whatever I have on hand over the top before popping them in the oven (but the frosting is super chocolaty and delicious, so why not?).
1 15 oz. can (or 1 3/4 C ) black beans, drained and well rinsed
2 flax eggs (2 1/2 T ground flax + 6 T water)
3 T coconut oil, melted
3/4 C cocoa powder
1/4 t sea salt
1 t vanilla
1/2 C sugar, pulsed in a food processor
1/2 C chocolate chips
1 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned
1/2 C powdered sugar
2 T coconut oil, melted
1/2 C cocoa powder
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a square pan with PAM.
- In your food processor or blender, pulse sugar until you achieve a more refined texture.
- Add to the sugar all other brownie ingredients (except chocolate chips), secure the lid (for real, kids, things can get ugly) and blend on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until the mixture is super smooth.
- Pour into prepared pan, smoothing with a spatula. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake for 20 minutes.
- While you’re waiting, place all the frosting ingredients into your cleaned/rinsed food processor and mix on medium speed until there are no discernible chunks of avocado. You may need to add either soy milk or additional powdered sugar to get the consistency you’d like.
- Allow the brownies to cool for an hour or so before frosting them. Cut and serve!