I know I am the queen of using strange ingredients in baking (namely beans), but even I was completely skeptical about using black beans in desserts. They have a much more distinct flavour than navy beans or chickpeas, so I was sure you would be able to detect a hint of "beanness" in these brownies. But much to my surprise there is no trace of them - and I wouldn't kid you when it comes to chocolate brownies! These vegan and gluten-free brownies are the most rich, fudgey, gooey brownies I can remember having in a long time. Making them in muffin tins made them look like those two-bite brownies I used to beg my mom to buy at the grocery store when I was a kid, except they taste so much better! I used a variety of different toppings on these brownies so feel free to use whatever is your favourite, or just leave them plain. The best part about this recipe is that you can eat as much raw brownie batter as you want without worry, since there are no raw eggs involved. I was tempted to not even bake them because the batter is so good. You could definitely get away with using it as a dip for fruit, as a spread on toast, or even as a frosting.
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
2 chia or flax eggs (2 Tbsp. ground chia seeds or flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp. water)
2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil - You can substitute canola or vegetable oil if you don't have coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
heaping 1 tsp. instant coffee granules - Coffee enhances the chocolate flavour and makes it much richer
Topping options: chocolate chips, shredded coconut, sea salt, cayenne powder, chocolate sprinkles, chopped nuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Prepare the chia or flax egg by combining the ground chia or flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and letting it sit for 3-5 minutes until it forms a thick gel.
In a food processor, combine the black beans, prepared chia/flax egg, coconut oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, sugar, baking powder, and instant coffee until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the processor as necessary so there are no large clumps of any ingredients.
Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared muffin tins and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the tops of the brownies with the toppings of your choice. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until the tops are dry and starting to pull away from the sides of the muffin cups. If you take them out towards the lower end of the baking time, the middles of the brownies will still be gooey and almost undercooked, so take them out then if that's what you're going for. If you'd like a firmer brownie then leave them in longer.
Allow the brownies to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before gently removing from the muffin cups. They will still be fairly soft and gooey at this point, so if you want a firmer brownie then place the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before removing the brownies.
*Recipe adapted from My Little Celebration