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Black Bean Birthday Brownies





Black bean brownies don’t jump off the page. Instead they linger there, catching your eye, asking, ‘I know I sound weird. But try me. I dare you.’

I love to bake, especially anything soft, chewy and dark-chocolatey. But as you know, I’m practical. I use what I have. And this week, I had several cans of black beans in the cupboard, left over from Taco Tuesday.

And there was Hemsley + Hemsley, challenging me.

I keep my Hemsley + Hemsley cookbook in my kitchen (not upstairs on the shelf like those others) for several reasons:

1. The hardback cover is yellow and cheerful
2. Hemsley + Hemsley are sisters, so naturally I connect with them, and, they have great style
3. They’re ‘home cooks and food lovers with a passion for wellness and delicious, nutrient-dense food’
4. I love bang for your buck

So I accepted the challenge. Twice. The first time I served them to my sister Jessie and our discerning friends Jenn and Jessie H. I placed the square dish in the center of the table and passed forks around. We didn’t speak for the first few minutes; we dove in like a bunch of women at a South Shore Frenchy’s.

I served them again last night. We were celebrating my nephew Elliott’s second birthday. I baked the brownies in a cast iron pan and topped them with bits of dark chocolate and toasted coconut. We sliced them into wedges, like a pizza. Elliott clapped when the brownies were presented in front of him. He blew out the candles. He cheered. Then he dug in and loved them. Perhaps he’s not the best judge; Elliot is a flirt. He loves a party, and goes crazy for candles. But guess what? My refined brownie-loving palette loved them. So much so I had to fight with my nephew for the last wedge.


Back off Elliott. Those are my black bean brownies.


Five-Minute-to-Make Black Bean Brownies (adapted from Hemsley + Hemsley)

1 x 540 ml (19 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed. If using dried beans, soak overnight, cook and use 2 cups worth of cooked beans
4 eggs
5 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
2/3 cup maple syrup
6 tbsp cocoa
pinch of sea salt

toasted coconut and chopped chocolate to garnish

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place all ingredients, except for garnish, in a food processor or blender. Whiz until smooth.
Grease an 8×8 square baking dish, pour mixture into dish and bake for 40 minutes, or so, until surface cracks a little and center isn’t too wobbly. Or, use a greased cast iron pan. Timing will vary depending on the size of the pan.

Immediately top surface of brownies with garnish so the chocolate has a chance to melt. Leave to cool.

Store leftovers in the fridge; they become really good and fudgey.