This all started because of our new "healthy lifestyle" (which somehow includes binging on potato chips and late at night too -- but only the good ones, of course). I read somewhere that one could make brownies using a brownie mix and substituting puréed black beans for the egg(s) and oil.
I don't usually crave sweet things, but brownies are a favorite. So, this piece of news was perfect! For some reason the idea of using beans appealed to me. Call me strange.
The problem was, obviously, that we didn't have any brownie mix in the house. Obviously. ;)
I wasn't about to run to the store and get a box of brownie mix. That requires effort. So I thought I should just take a brownie-from-scratch recipe and omit the eggs and fat, then add the puréed beans. It should work.
There it is, the secret ingredient.
I used Alton Brown's Cocoa Brownie recipe. I didn't want to go through the hassle of chopping chocolate, so just cocoa it is. I omitted the eggs -- all 4 of them -- and the butter.
It was a bit "challenging", since the first instruction in the recipe was to beat eggs and sugar together until fluffy. Hmm. No matter. I simply mixed together all the ingredients: sugar, cocoa, flour, vanilla and salt. Then, I added the black beans.
It sure looked like brownie batter. Into the 300F oven the pan went.
While I was waiting for them to bake, I started browsing online and came upon a "real" Black Bean Brownie recipe. Reading through it, I started thinking that omitting the eggs -- all 4 of them -- may be a mistake.
I believe that brownie mixes often call for just one egg. Is that correct? This recipe called for 4 eggs. Surely they must be good for something! How are my brownies to rise? (Do eggs make brownies rise?) Or do whatever it is that the eggs are supposed to make them do?
I should've searched online first before starting anything!
Well, it was too late. I checked my brownies after a while, but I couldn't tell if they were cooked enough or not! So I left them in the oven for 15 more minutes, making the total baking time one whole hour. That may have been a tad too long.
There they are after a stint in the refrigerator overnight, as I wanted them to firm up for cutting. The top had a sheen to it. Strange.
I tried a piece.
It certainly wasn't bad! But, I don't know if it was the lack of eggs, or the long time they spent in the oven, or a combination of the two factors, but the texture wasn't cake-y, nor was it fudge-y. Hence, I am calling them "bites" instead. ;)
Of course, I still prefer "real" brownies.
But, the next time I do try these again, I'll use an actual black bean brownie recipe instead of making one up myself. I don't know what's going on with this baking, I tell you.
Obviously there's no use in me giving you the recipe for what I made. So, here are a few links to real recipes. have cake, will travel has THREE versions of black bean brownies! Her recipes don't call for eggs either, being vegan. So perhaps my version wasn't too botched up. =)
Alton Brown: Cocoa Brownies
101 Cookbooks: Amazing Black Bean Brownies Recipe
have cake, will travel: Activist Mommy's Vegan Brownies
have cake, will travel: Adapted Black Bean "Brownies"
have cake, will travel: No-Bake Black Bean "Brownies"