Black bean brownies are all of the rage, so I really thought I'd like them, but I didn't.
They can't all be winners, right? As far as recipes go, this one was a failure for me.
And frankly, it would be unrealistic to assume everything that comes out of my kitchen is covered in awesomesauce. Truth be told, it's not. I spend time picking apart even the dishes I get the most compliments on. Jotting down my thoughts and notes in cookbooks, on scraps of paper or here on the computer on how to better the recipe the next time around. I burn chicken, experiment with foods that Handsome pushes around his plate trying to make disappear, and have on more than on occasion, watched all day for a dough never to rise. It's all about learning though - and that's why I keep coming back for more. I probably wouldn't have such a hard time consuming an expensive hobby if I didn't.
I spotted these black bean brownies on the food porn sites and penciled them into my list of things I wanted to try.
Black beans are a favorite of mine, and I love even more the idea of sneaking something somewhat healthy into a snack that Handsome may not even notice. Shh, don't tell him. Problem was, once these came out and cooled, I hated them. They weren't brownie-like in texture or taste. All I could taste was sodium. And not that, 'I just walked up and ran my tongue along a salt lick' kind of sodium. More like something that crept up on the back of your throat and just hung out there. I took another bite hoping I was just being too critical, but no. These were gross.
So, why post them then? Well, I figured what the hell, maybe someone has some tips or suggestions regarding this recipe that they could post. I'll try anything twice. 😉 The hostess of the blog that the recipe comes from loved them, and so did her family, so maybe I'm just weird.
Black Bean Brownies
Discovered on Mmm is for Mommy Adapted from Allrecipes
- 1 19oz (540ml) can black beans
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso
- ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips (in my case Reese's Pieces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
Drain and rinse the beans very well. Place all ingredients, except for chocolate chips, into blender and blitz until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with chips.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is dry and the sides pull away from the edges.
Ok, now please tell me where I went wrong. Nothing breaks a girls heart like throwing away an entire tray of brownies.
Pat Watters says
I've made black bean brownies before - a recipe I got from a friend. It's a brownie box mix and one can of black beans. Rinse the beans, puree them in a blender and add the resultant mush to the mix, stir well; nothing else, that's it! Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. They're a bit moister than my family's homemade brownies, but pretty tasty. My son had to bring in a healthy food for his HS nutrition class and this was what he chose to bring. He didn't tell his classmates the ingredients until after the taste test and still had kids coming back for 2nds and 3rds. As a caution, eating too many of these is like eating too many beans!
My initial reaction is that the whole can of black beans is where you went wrong. I love me some beans, but they just don't belong in brownies IMO. 😛
That said, you might have better results if you use an organic brand of canned beans - I find they have much less sodium than the regular commercial brands. Unless you can find a no--sodium brand of beans, you can probably omit the 1/4 tsp salt too, since the beans should have more than enough salt for a whole pan of brownies.
Good luck! At least this failure looked pretty,,, mine usually look like such a disaster that I can't even manage a nice photo. 🙂
How do you make a failure look so pretty? I certainly am in no position to give out any advice but personally, I'd never have thought beans and brownies would go together. I feel the same way about throwing away a whole recipe ... so sad after all that effort. Perhaps all the wise advise above might help for the next batch ... there will be a next batch, right?
Sandra's Easy Cooking says
My opinion, your brownies look INCREDIBLE! I love your presentation, and photo Kita! Just beautiful and tasty looking!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table says
Ok - as a lover of BB Brownies, here's what I think: not enough cocoa, use unsalted butter instead of oil, sub agave for sugar (to avoid granules since the beans make the texture unforgiving), use no sodium black beans, and add more flavor - coffee + vanilla + maybe some spices.
Here's my favorite version: https://www.sprint2thetable.com/2011/01/spice-up-your-dessert/
If you try them and don't like them I'll send you a batch of regular brownies. 🙂
Mi Vida en un Dulce says
Oh Kita, I'm so sorry for this, I cann't believe you have to discard the bownies. I never tried black beans in a brownie, but what if you add a touch of coffee? and melted chocolate? I don't know, sorry...are you sure you want to give another opportunity to this?
I hate recipe failures too. I say move on...and try a different recipe.
I think your brownies look amazing.
Oh no thats the worse! I hate when you try to be all healthy and you think maybe I did one too many subs. I have been wanting to try these for a while too. Thanks for sharing- even thoug they didnt come out like you wanted. But they look good!
They look amazing. I have never made these before but maybe next time you could use a no-sodium can of black beans? They do sound intriguing and I love a recipe where people are shocked at the secret ingredient.
Vicki @ WITK says
Bummer, I've read about these a lot and have never tried making them. I figure that if I'm going to eat a brownie, I can leave out the beans 🙂
Nothing beats a failure except a second try ( or a third).
aww sorry your brownies were are failure. maybe try again with a low sodium bean and now added salt? Love your pics tho.
I just love that you use the word, "awesomesauce". Love your blog. As Julia Child said, "The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." I'm just impressed you attempted black bean brownies! Bravo!
Jill Colonna says
No advice needed here. Photos are gorgeous for a start and love the idea of sticking smarties on them to sweeten up the sodium, lol. Never even attempted these but why not call them Blackies? Or Reddies, if you use red beans? No idea but sounds mad, anyway 🙂
I have never eaten bb brownies, so I can't help you on this one... but they look pretty good to me! I am like you though... I always try to experiment and make things "better" by taking notes while trying and retrying recipes until I am 100% satisfied!!! hehehe <3
Emily @ Life on Food says
Don't give up on Black bean brownies just yet. I have had multiple versions and they have all been delicious. 101 Cookbooks has a great recipe.
My mom first told me about these and I was intrigued. I think I had more success than you did, but, you know, they are still black bean brownies. 🙂 I don't think they stand up to the old "tried -and-true" recipes with all the good stuff like butter!!!!!!!
Aww I'm so sorry for your failure! But they sure do LOOK good 🙂
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says
I had high hopes for these. I have heard of black bean brownies before, and I wanted them to be good! Maybe some trial and error and you can come up with a winner recipe!
Amy @ Elephant Eats says
Haha, I made black bean brownies with the same results! They tasted like...well, beans. They were dry and disgusting and after forcing myself to eat 2 so that I didn't feel like I had just wasted all of the ingredients that went into it, I couldn't bare another bite. I hope the trash can wasn't insulted when I tossed them in.
Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen says
Love the honesty of this post. Hey, it happens. Nobody is immune to an occasional kitchen disaster!
The best black bean brownie recipe is at: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/black-bean-brownies-recipe/index.html
I have made it four times. Hubby didn't know about the beans for the first 2 batches. By the 3rd batch, he loved 'em so much he didn't care!