Legumes are just as versatile and delicious as any other main-course ingredient. Plus, they’re packed with fiber and protein. Discover a mix of 160 dishes made with beans, chickpeas and lentils in Jenny Chandler’s The Better Bean Cookbook (Sterling Epicure, 2014). The following recipe for black bean brownies is excerpted from “Sweet Bits.”
This book can be purchased from the Mother Earth Living store: The Better Bean Cookbook
West Coast Americans got into a frenzy of excitement about beany brownies a couple of years ago, and of course I had to find out why. To be honest, the idea of a “healthy,” butter-free, low-fat brownie seemed like a sad aberration; why not eat an apple instead? But a fabulously juicy brownie that just happens to contain beans instead of flour, making it more delicious, more nutritious and available to all the celiacs out there, well, now you’re talking.
Black Bean Brownies Recipe
• 7 ounces dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
• Generous 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
• 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 9 ounces home-cooked (or one 14 ounce can of) black beans
• 3 eggs
• 3 ounces roughly chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios or almonds
• 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
• 1 teaspoon sea salt, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 1/2-inch square baking tin or line with baking parchment.
2. Melt chocolate and butter together in a large bowl placed over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave on low. Leave to cool a little, then add cocoa and vanilla.
3. Meanwhile, blend beans with one of the eggs in a food processor or using a hand-held blender. The mixture should be as smooth as possible, otherwise the brownies will have a mealy texture. Gradually stir the bean mixture and the nuts into the chocolate.
4. Beat in the remaining eggs with sugar until light and creamy, and then fold into the brownie mixture.
5. Pour into tin, sprinkle with salt and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until just set but still a little wobbly.
6. Place tin on a wire rack and leave to cool completely before attempting to cut up into small squares. (If brownies seem very gooey, placing them in the fridge for half an hour will make them easier to slice.) In the unlikely event of leftovers, you can keep the brownies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
• Add chunks of white chocolate and dried fruit such as sour cherries or cranberries.
More Recipes from The Better Bean Cookbook
Reprinted with permission from The Better Bean Cookbook by Jenny Chandler, Sterling Epicure, 2014. Photography by Clare Winfield. Purchase this book from our store: The Better Bean Cookbook.