Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 13, 2017
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Black bean brownies

These are the full-on real deal. Nobody has ever detected the merest hint of bean in these — nor given a damn once told. Use good-quality chocolate; you’ll be happy you did.


1 c. (250 ml) rinsed and drained canned black beans (half a 19 oz./540 ml can)
1¼ c. (310 ml) broken pecan pieces (optional)
½ c. (115 g) butter
2 oz. (60 g) unsweetened chocolate
⅓ c. (90 ml) all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
¾ c. (180 ml) sugar
1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
⅔ c. (150 ml) good-quality chocolate chips or a 3½ oz. (100 g) bar good quality bittersweet or
semi-sweet dark chocolate, chopped


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread the rinsed black beans out on a double thickness of paper towel and blot them gently to remove as much moisture as possible. Leave them uncovered on the counter until you need them for the recipe.

Spread the pecan pieces (if using) on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and very lightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan set over very low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate, taking care not to let the mixture scorch. Whisk to combine then remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together, and set aside.

Place the dried-off beans and the cooled butter/chocolate mixture in a food processor, and process until very smooth, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla; process again until combined. Scrape the mixture into the flour mixture and fold gently, leaving streaks of flour still visible. Add the pecans and chocolate chips, and fold to combine.

Pour the batter into a lightly buttered (or sprayed, with non-stick cooking spray) 8-inch (20-cm) square pan and smooth the top. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes: the batter should no longer jiggle when the pan moves, but a toothpick inserted should come out chocolatey.

Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. The brownies will need to cool awhile, unless you want to eat them with a spoon directly from the pan! Otherwise, cut them when they’ve cooled and store in the refrigerator if you like a dense texture, or at room temperature if you like them softer. Makes 16 brownies.

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