These chocolate brownies, made from black beans and maple syrup, are proof that grain- and gluten-free baking tastes amazing. You can replace the walnuts with dried cranberries if you have a nut allergy.
Play around with the sweetness − less maple syrup is better for you and gives a slightly more crumbly texture – we don’t add extra sweetness if we don’t need it. If you have a sweet tooth, start with 3⁄4 cup and gradually decrease whenever you make it, adding a few drops of stevia for added sweetness until your taste buds adjust.
- 2 tins of cooked black beans (drained weight 18 oz/ 510g) or 18 oz home-cooked beans (dried weight 7 oz, soaked overnight)
- 8 oz (227g) butter or coconut oil at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 4 eggs
- 3 oz (85g) unsweetened cacao powder
- 2⁄3 - 3⁄4 cup (157 - 177ml) maple syrup
- 11⁄2 tbsp (22ml) vanilla extract
- 1 tsp (5ml) coffee extract or use extra vanilla extract
- Sea salt
- 4 1⁄2 oz (128g) chopped walnuts
- a few drops of stevia, to sweeten
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease the inside of a 9 1⁄2 x 8 inch china or glass baking dish. Rinse the black beans and leave to drain. Melt the butter/oil in a saucepan over a gentle heat, then set it aside.
- Place the drained beans, eggs, cacao powder, 2⁄3 cup of the maple syrup, the vanilla extract, and coffee extract, if using, into a food processor with a pinch of salt. Pulse a few times, then blend until smooth.
- Add the melted butter/oil, very slowly so as not to cook the eggs, while the machine is running. Taste the batter, adding more maple syrup or a few drops of stevia if need be, then stir in most of the chopped walnuts, reserving a handful.
- Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and gently tap the baking dish on a kitchen counter to even out the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top and bake for 40–45 minutes until the brownie feels firm but springy and its surface is cracked.
- Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares. Refrigerating the brownies makes them wonderfully fudgy.