Wholesome Black Bean Brownies

It was Helen, who does my Pilates classes (for her sins!), who posted me a link the other day for some brownies made with black beans. It got me thinking which later, got me creating. I came up with this recipe last weekend and can genuinely say that it was very thoroughly tested: I am currently taking a biomechanics qualification and took the cake in for my fellow participants. The cake promptly disappeared and everyone said it was yummy – they were either being very polite or it is, indeed, yummy. I think it’s pretty good and very simple to make too!


For the cake

  • 150g melted very dark chocolate (85% or more) – I use Real Food Source chocolate
  • 100g almond butter
  • 235g can of drained black beans
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g date puree (soak the dates overnight, drain and then blend before measuring out 200g)
  • 20g cacao powder
  • 20ml of maple syrup
  • 40g ground oats (blend oats until they look like flour)

For the topping

  • 1 tin of coconut cream
  • 100g of 85% chocolate chopped into pieces
  • A dash of maple syrup if you have a sweet tooth

Step 1

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie with the almond butter. Stir so that they amalgamate

Step 2

Blend together the black beans, the eggs and the date puree before stirring in the chocolate and almond mix.

Step 3

Fold in the cacao powder, maple syrup and ground oats.

Step 4

Spoon into a 20cm square baking tin that has been greased with coconut oil and then bake at 180°C. It’s cooked when a skewer comes out clean half way between the edge and then middle of the tin.

To make the topping

  • Spoon the thick part of the coconut cream into a saucepan and perhaps add 1 or 2 spoonfuls of the watery part.
  • Bring this to the boil and then pour it over the chocolate pieces in heat resistant bowl.
  • Stir gently until the chocolate melts forming a smooth ganache – you can add the maple syrup too if you wish.
  • Sometimes the mixture will curdle if you mix too vigorously. Don’t worry – you can salvage it by heating up a small amount of the coconut water from the tin and then whisking it vigorously into the ganache. It should return to a smooth, glossy, ganache.
  • Pop the ganache onto the top of the brownie and decorate with coconut flakes, goji berries, pumpkin seeds etc.