I do love me some black beans (they make them perfectly at my local haunt Calypso), but in baked goods? That’s just weird yo.
However, I did have all the ingredients (including some deathly-black bananas in the fridge in danger of gettin’ smashed) to try out Celine’s particular variation. The recipe is really fantastic for the healthy way that I’ve been trying to eat lately: it’s wheat-free and gluten-free*, has a bit of healty fat from the coconut and extra virgin olive oil that I used, it uses turbinado sugar to sweeten (and not too much of it at that), and it even has a little protein from the beans.
How’d they come out? Different, to be sure. I thought they were on the mushy side, even after they had cooled for a couple of hours, but after I stuck them in the fridge I thought the texture was better. The texture is actually pretty similar to some kind of cheesecake, smooth and kinda fudgey, though not cakey at all. If you’ve ever had perfectly cooked black beans that are soft and almost creamy, you’ll get a sense of that in this recipe, though in a sweet rather than savory context. I liked the flavor a lot: the chocolate and banana and coconut work well together. I just don’t know if I would call this particular baked good “brownies.” I would call them delicious, though. :]
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 T. extra virgin olive oil (the flavor didn’t come through at all)
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. turbinado sugar (“sugar in the raw”)
2 overripe bananas
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c. oat flour (throw some oats in a food processor or coffee grinder, and process until it’s like a coarse flour)
2 T. buckwheat flour (I think you can use any flour here, but I had buckwheat and it’s gluten-free)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 square pan.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into the pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, or until brownies appear set and firm on top and no longer look moist.
Let cool completely before serving. The texture is better once they’ve chilled out in the fridge.
I almost never bake anything for the suggested length of time: it’s always 5 or 10 minutes shorter. But these babies did need to cook for the full 30 minutes.
When I was pouring the batter into the pan (and sampling some of the batter), I noticed that it tasted slightly of… coffee? Why would black beans taste like coffee? So a little espresso powder or instant coffee granules might be a nice addition to this. When baked, the banana flavor overwhelmed any coffee-ness, so I’m thinking of this recipe sans bananas, hmmmm. Sweets with beans have so many possibilities.
(*The oats in the recipe aren’t gluten-free. Most oats are processed on shared equipment with wheat, which means there is generally contamination, but I don’t have to be that meticulous because I’m not allergic or anything. I’m just a gluten cheater!)