Peanut Butter Brownies
For full disclosure, one of the main ingredients in this recipe is black beans, which could either send you running for the hills, or as I do (with a hint of disbelief - could this actually be any good?) jump with joy. I do love a bean, me. I find that the addition of a healthy element confuses things for my benefit. Is it really a dessert? Its kinda like a meal, right? This is healthy, so I can have it whenever, n'est-ce pas? While it is not a plate of raw broccoli it does have a decent nutritional profile, if you are the type that is looking for one in a brownie.
Clearly, I am that type exactly. However, despite this freakish quality, I am also a big fan of chocolate, and in my books a chocolatey beany bake is just about right for any meal, any time of day. This was evidenced by both Little Boy Green and Mrs Green having a slice for breakfast. Mrs Green faced off my slightly raised eyebrow with a breezy "that was a great way to start the day" and was in such good spirits afterwards that Little Boy Green was allowed a couple of 5-minute episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine after breakfast. 'T'was Christmas come early for the child.
I have replaced most of the oil with... wait for it... a banana. All of the refined sugar is in the form of maple syrup, the (sole) existential purpose of a certain beautiful country (not to be named). It is gluten free and all of the ingredients should be present in your pantry most of the time. The only fancy piece of equipment is a food processor making this the easiest excuse to stay home and have your cake and then eat some more.
I think this is a passable version of a brownie/ dense chocolate cake. While the beans lend it a slightly earthy flavour, it really is chocolate that is the dominant flavour, and the peanut butter reminds me a bit of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (in a good way). It would fall short of the most amazing brownie you've ever tasted prize, but it is really very tasty, and having a slice or two does not mean that a week's sugar ration has been blown. These brownies nicely straddle the line between delicious and decadent, and worthy and nutritious. This may well make the base of the next birthday cake - and will see us through many a tea time (and breakfast). Jump on this bean bandwagon - give it a whirl. The kids (and waist line) will thank you.
Ingredients: (12 or so fairly hefty servings)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 can black beans
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp oil (rapeseed)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- 1 small banana
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder, or 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 180C and line an 8 X 8 inch baking pan with greaseproof paper.
- In a food processor, blend banana, peanut butter, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract until smooth and well combined.
- Drain the black beans and add to food processor along with the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the baking pan and pop in the oven for 20-25 min.
- Let cool on a wire wrack and leave the room. It should cool completely before slicing and eating. Seriously, if you are in any way like Mrs Green, then leave the room!
Once it comes out of the oven it may look discouraging, but wait, it will deliver.
Enjoy with all ferocity!