Friday, May 9, 2014

Flourless Brownies

I am totally loving this recipe right now!  These brownies are black as coal, semi-sweet, and pretty much a health food compared to last week's baking project.  Black beans, cocoa, eggs and sugar make up the bulk of these, with a few other pinches and splashes of ingredients that together create my favorite brownie that I've ever made.  When I saw this recipe on the Gingered Whisk blog, I was at the store and stocking up on black beans within the day.  And since then I've made three batches!

I added a hint of cinnamon to mine, and used a fantastic strawberry balsamic vinegar (you might think this just keeps getting weirder, but read on).  See those holes in the top that look like I picked off some chocolate chips?  Those are actually craters made by little caramel bits that have sunk into the center of the brownies.  Yum!

You might be wondering how the texture of these are...I know I was because a) I'd never actually eaten a black bean brownie though I know they've been all the rage for a while and b) not only are they made with black beans but they are also gluten-free flour-less brownies, which means I didn't really know what to expect.  The texture is moderately dense and cake-y and just a little bit chewy...intensely moist and not grainy at all if you process the batter until it's completely smooth.  I ate one when still warm and it was soft and very slightly black bean-y.  I ate one as soon as they were cooled and they were less bean-y and very good.  I ate the rest the next day when they had set up to be the best brownies ever and I would never have guessed in a billion years that there was no flour in there and that they contained any beans at all.

Flourless Brownies
Serves 8.  You can omit some of these flavorings and use a different kind of chip, such as butterscotch or peanut butter, if you like.

1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup sugar (or a bit more, to taste)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk or cream
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon finely ground coffee
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup caramel bits (on the grocer's shelf next to the chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease an 8 by 8 or similarly sized pan.  I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet.

In a food processor, mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips and caramel bits until smooth.  Pour into a medium bowl and fold in half of the chocolate chips and caramel bits.  Pour into your prepared pan.  Scatter remaining chocolate chips and caramel bits over the top of the batter.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely, preferable overnight, before serving.

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