I think the adage about a watched pot never boiling holds true for ripening blackberries as well. Every day I check on my almost-ripe blackberries and even with the crazy hot days we’ve had recently, they’re still not ripe — almost, but not quite.
The biggest surprise in these Chocolate Surprise Brownies lies in the combination of unusual ingredients that goes into making them. In addition to the usual suspects, such as cocoa and vegan chocolate chips, these chocolatey treats also include black beans, coffee, and bananas, resulting in rich brownies that not only taste great, they’re also economical, easy to make, and are lower in fat and sugar than many of their counterparts.
Chocolate Surprise Brownies are from my new book, Vegan on the Cheap and, as promised, I’m sharing the recipe below. Recipe testers pronounced these browinies “incredible” and “oooh so yummy!” When I made them for my brownie-loving husband, they disappeared in a flash. (No surprise there.)
Chocolate Surprise Brownies
(This recipe is from Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson © 2010, John Wiley & Sons.)
1 cup cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 ripe banana
2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the black beans, sugar, and oil, and blend until smooth. Add the cocoa, banana, coffee, and vanilla, and blend until smooth.
3. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces, if using.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan completely, then refrigerate for several hours before cutting into squares.