Look at these dark, fudgy brownies, all studded with walnut nubs. But look closer: these have a very, very unusual ingredient. Do you know what it is? Hint: these brownies are gluten-free.
It's black beans! Yes, these brownies are composed of pureed black beans, along with agave nectar, unsweetened Scharffen Berger dark chocolate, a bit of ground coffee, and lots and lots of butter. (They're definitely not vegan!)
This recipe comes from Heidi Swanson and 101 Cookbooks, although the recipe is actually reprinted from a cookbook about baking with agave nectar. It calls for about a cup and a half of agave nectar, as well as the black beans, so it's definitely not your Betty Crocker brownie recipe.
The result is a really, really fudgy brownie, with a dark chocolate taste and not too much sweetness. They are also very soft; Heidi suggests leaving them in the fridge. We definitely agree; leave them in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to cut and serve.
We like these — with one caveat. They are better a day or two after baking. Honestly, the first night we baked and tried these, we weren't that impressed. They were just so low on sweetness, and the fudgy texture wasn't there yet. They were a little soft, a little crumbly, and just flat dark chocolate.
But after a day or so, it seemed like the flavors really bloomed, and as they firmed up in the fridge the chocolate and walnut tastes mellowed out in the nicest way. They are definitely a new favorite for when we need to bake gluten-free, and we're sure that if you love dark chocolate you'll love these too.
• Get the recipe: Amazing Black Bean Brownie Recipe
Have you ever tried these amazing black bean brownies?
(Originally published November 3, 2009)
(Images: Faith Durand)