I love weird-ass recipes. And black beans in brownies sounds FUCKED UP. So I have, of course, been wanting to make black bean brownies since forever.
And I know I've seen a black-bean brownie recipe posted on some vegan blog or another, but unfortunately I never ended up bookmarking it. So instead I decided to veganize a version from allrecipes.com. (If you are the person who, within the last couple months, posted a black-bean brownie recipe on your blog, and you read this, if you'd post the link in my comments, that'd rock! Please and thank you.)
I was a little bit disappointed when my brownies didn't cook all the way through--the edges started to pull away from the sides of the dishes as mentioned after 30 minutes, so I removed them. They didn't appeared to be cooked all the way, but as most of you vegan bakers know, there are tons of cookie/brownie recipes out there that don't firm up until they've sat outside of the oven for 10 or 15 minutes. So I thought perhaps this would be the case.
Unfortunately it was not.
They were mush on the inside, not even CLOSE to being cooked through. Part of the issue may have been that I chose to add some baking soda. (Looking back at the original recipe, I have just realized that one suggestion for the recipe was to add baking POWDER which I mistakenly remembered as baking SODA, so now it all sort of makes sense.) Anyways, I decided to take my lemons and make lemon bars (because lemonade is just SO over and done with).
I stirred my mushy brownies, realizing they had a kind of brownie/bread pudding consistency to them. Cool, I thought. Let's play with this a little.
So I took the warm mushy brownies and scooped them into a muffin tin, to create little molds. I then inverted them onto plates and topped them with a couple teaspoons of raspberry preserves. And weirdly, I was kind of happy with the results. They were reminiscent of the chocolate-raspberry volcanoes at Johnny Mango--deep and richly chocolate-puddingesque undercut by the slippery sweetness of tart raspberry preserves. And (since up until now I've not even MENTIONED what the fuck beans and chocolate tastes like and whether it is puke-a-licious) surprisingly YOU WOULDN'T EVER GUESS THEY HAVE BLACK BEANS IN THEM UNLESS SOMEONE TOLD YOU. Which is something that always attracts me to recipes. It's fun to bake something, have people gush over how good it is, and then be able to shout IT HAS TOFU IN IT MWAHAHAHAHA or IT HAS BLACK BEANS IN IT MWAHAHAHAHAHA or IT HAS TINY MIDGETS DRESSED UP AS ELLIOTT SMITH IN IT MWAHAHAHAHAA!
Unfortunately, the very same night I ate these, I ended up with the WORST stomachache ever. All night I was a bit uncomfortable, and then I woke up at 4 in the morning with cramps. I thought for certain that the black bean brownies were slowly eating out my insides, filling my gut with cavernous and noxious gaseous fumes. I then got even MORE concerned because when I was initially making the brownies, the black beans looked kind of peculiar to me upon opening the can. The fluid they were housed in was gelatinous and clumpy and kind of gross-looking, but I had decided to take my chances and try using them anyways. At 4 in the morning, my stomach revolting against the rest of my body, I thought to myself, perhaps using the degenerate-looking black beans wasn't the best idea.
So I ended up pitching my leftovers, which was mildly disappointing. But I didn't want to chance that the black beans WERE in fact Evil Black Beans sent to destroy my stomach.
So yeah: probably not the most rousing of recommendations: EAT THESE WEIRD BROWNIES WITH BLACK BEANS IN THEM AND REJOICE IN YOUR STOMACH'S REVOLT! Then again, perhaps it wasn't so much the fault of the recipe as it was mere coincidence and/or Killer Black Beans.
I would definitely like to make these again sometime, leaving out the baking soda (or adding in baking POWDER) to see what they would be like in actual brownie form. I would also like to make them again in the fucked-up way they ended up coming out, to try them on a healthier stomach, as they WERE quite interesting in flavor. AND GLUTEN-FREE!!! I forgot to even mention that. One of the main reasons I wanted to try these out is that they are gluten-free, and one of the guys in my class this semester can't have gluten, so I always feel bad when I bring in treats because he can't eat them. So I figured I'd try these out.
The one major change I would make is to make sure the black beans are BLENDED THE FUCK DOWN. Because it's slightly disconcerting to be chewing on a decadently chocolate dessert to find a black-bean skin stuck in your tooth. THAT will definitely creep out the folks you're feeding these to. So I've accounted for that in my recipe adjustments below. You also will want to serve these warm--if you don't, they coagulate. So if you have leftovers, make sure to reheat in the microwave before serving.
And now I give you the assignment of trying these out on your own, that way I know whether there IS some sort of toxic combination in the ingredients that will send EVERYONE's stomach revolting against them or whether it was just a freakish coincidence that I got a stomachache from these. I also can't decide whether they were actually tasty on their own or whether it was partially the novelty that made me think they were good (as in: "Wow, for having black beans in them, these weren't so bad"). So if you DO end up trying these, let me know what you think. If they make you throw up everywhere, I am not legally responsible.
Thank you, and good day.
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Egg replacer equivalent for 3 eggs
- 3 T. vegetable oil
- 1/4 c. cocoa powder
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 3/4 c. white sugar
- 1 t. instant coffee
- 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Raspberry preserves
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
Throw your black beans in your blender/food processer, and blend as much as possible (they'll probably start sticking to the sides). Use a spoon to get all the beans off the sides of your processer. Add the egg-substitute, oil, and vanilla extract, and blend the SHIT out of them again until there is not an intact bean in sight. (This is important, because, good lord will it gross people out biting into an intact bean while chewing on their dessert.) Add cocoa powder, salt, sugar, baking soda, and instant coffee and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
Take a large spoon and stir until they are a brownie-like, pudding-esque consistency.
At this point you can just scoop out the "pudding" as is or you can transfer the brownie pudding into muffin tins to give them a little bit cuter shape. Either which way, top with a generous amount of raspberry preserves and chow down.
If you refrigerate the leftovers, make sure to reheat in the microwave before serving.