Salted peanut and black bean protein brownies

I have a thing about nut butters and can quite literally consume them out of the pot like a yogurt. Whilst I believe that not all calories are equal, in the sense that a nutritious calorie is better than an empty one, it has to be said that wolfing down tubs of peanut butter might be pushing things a bit far. The 1kg tub of peanut butter currently in my cupboard HAD to be used because it was disappearing by the tablespoonful! This brownie packs a really peanut-y punch all whilst being relatively high in protein and it ticks quite a few healthy boxes for me: it’s vegan, gluten-free, filled with nutritious ingredients and is free of refined sugar cane.  


Cake ingredients


  • 250g of soaked, drained and pureed dates
  • 2 x tins of drained black beans (470g)


  • ¼ tsp tonka bean (optional but I love it)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 90g coconut palm sugar
  • 30g powdered peanut butter (this is high in protein and low in fat)
  • 20g cacao powder (I use unroasted for maximum retention of nutrients)


  • 70g 100% cacao mass/liquor
  • 50g coconut butter


  • 2 tbs ground flaxseed mixed with 3tbs water – leave to stand for 10 minutes
  • 150g ground almonds


  • Peanut butter (use a natural one that is 100% peanuts)

Topping ingredients

  • 1 tin of coconut cream (thick part only)
  • 130g cacao mass/liquor
  • Maple syrup to taste
  • Roasted salted peanuts to sprinkle
  • Xylitol crystals to sprinkle


Step 1

Blend ingredients A

Step 2

Add ingredients B and blend with A

Step 3

Melt ingredients C and fold into the A+B mix

Step 4

Fold ingredients D into the mix

Step 5

Grease a 20cm square tin with coconut butter and heat oven to 180°C

Step 6

Spread out half the cake mixture in the tin and top with a layer of peanut butter

Step 7

Top with the remaining cake mixture and bake at 180°C until the edges of the cake pull away from the tin but the cake is sticky when you insert a skewer.

Step 8

Allow the cake to cool and then make the topping by heating up the coconut cream to boiling point.

Step 9

Take the coconut cream off the heat and add the cacao mass. Leave it standing so that it gently melts in the coconut cream. Refrain from stirring as it might curdle. One the cacao looks really soft you can add a dash of maple syrup and stir carefully with a whisk being careful not to over-whisk: you just want the ingredients to amalgamate.

Step 10

Pour on top of the cake, sprinkle with crushed salted peanuts and xylitol crystals (optional). Leave it to fully set in the fridge. It will take a while!


Once set you’ll be able to slice the brownies into neat squares and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They must be refrigerated as otherwise they will go off due to the natural ingredients. They’re best eaten at room temperature so plan your treats ahead of time!