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Vegan Planet: Chocolate Surprise Brownies

Friday, April 30, 2010


Chocolate Surprise Brownies

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.

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Comments: delightful...I am drooling for this brownie. I copied the recipe so I can make it...Thanks!

I tried making black bean vegan brownies a few weeks ago and they came out terrible! I followed the recipe to the tee, but they just didn't come out good at all! I had one and threw the rest out! So sad :(

Here's to hoping these come out better! Thanks, they look delish.

Thanks, Millie. I hope you like them.

Stephanie, this recipe took some trial and error but got a thumbs up from everyone who tried them. I hope they turn out well for you too!
These sound right up my alley, thanks for posting the recipe!
These sound very good. I love baking and trying new things like this. I was wondering when to add the cocoa into the recipe? It doesn't say in the directions, unless I'm just completely missing it. That's possible! :)

Good catch, Kate Noel! Thank you. I've made the correction in the post. The cocoa goes in just before the banana (ingredients are usually added in the order given).
Thanks Robin! It's good to know the ingredients are listed in the order they go in, too. That makes it easy.

I made the brownies tonight for my semi-veg friend and they were tasty, but not nearly as chewy and gooey looking as your photo. (Once again, still very tasty!) I am a high altitude veg living in the Rockies. Do you know anything about high altitude substitutions in vegan baking??? Though I have always had a love for cooking, I admit I am a newbie at baking.
Hi Emily, I have no firsthand info about high-altitude baking (lived near sea level much of my life!)but you might want to check out a book called "Pie in the Sky: Successful Baking at High Altitudes." In the meantime here's a link to a chart for high-altitude adjustments:
You may have to experiment with the adjustments to get them right for your location, but hey, that just means more brownies for you!
These are delicious. They have a very sophisticated dark chocolate-mocha taste, most likely due to all the coffee in them. FWIW, I used Whole Wheat Pastry Flour instead of A/P, and the texture and taste was still lovely.

I was browsing the book store for recipe books recently and came across Vegan on the Cheap. I opened it up to a random page which happened to be Big Stick Pepperoni. I was so intrigued that I kept looking through, even though our family was only just *thinking* about cutting out meat and dairy. It was fantastic!! Even though the book broke my only rule for purchasing recipe books (has to be a photo for each recipe) I bought it anyways!

Yesterday, I made the Creamy Mushroom Gravy, Big Stick Pepperoni, and these DELICIOUS brownies. The were SUPERB!

I have to admit, I was expecting them to be terrible, but they were the best brownies I've ever had! I'm happy to announce that today they are going to my grandmother who loves sweets but refuses to eat healthy things. Just don't tell her they're full of beans and bananas...
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