That’s what we thought too, until we met Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley of Hemsley + Hemsley. The UK-based foodies use black beans in their desserts to replace the not-so healthy stuff (and up the fibre content in the process). And you can’t even taste them.
Below, they’ve shared their black bean brownie recipe which just so happens to be free from gluten and dairy (if you opt for coconut oil). Plus, if you’re allergic to nuts, they suggest replacing the walnuts with cranberries.
While they’re pretty healthy as far as brownies go, to make them even healthier, the Hemsley sisters recommend playing around with the sweetness. “Less maple syrup is better for you and gives a slightly more crumbly texture. If you have a sweet tooth, start with the 180ml and gradually decrease whenever you make them so that your tastebuds can adjust. You can also use a few drops of stevia to reduce the amount of maple syrup you use while still enjoying a sweet taste.”
2 x 400g tins of cooked black beans or 500g home-cooked beans (dried weight 200g)
230 g butter or coconut oil at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
85 g cacao powder
150–180 ml maple syrup
11⁄2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coffee extract or use extra vanilla extract
130 g chopped walnuts (preferably ‘crispy’ activated)
A few drops of stevia, to sweeten (optional)
+ Tips and Tricks... For a mocha-flavoured variation that’s caffeine free, use 150ml of maple syrup and 75g of carob instead of cacao powder. Carob is sweeter than cacao and not bitter so you don’t need as much maple syrup.