EEEUUW! Black bean brownies with avocado frosting? My reaction exactly when I googled "St. Patrick's Day recipes" and dialed in on "dye-free green food" and this recipe appeared. We were invited to dinner, and our contribution was to be dessert following the traditional corned beef and cabbage fare. Gotta have green, right?
Of course the first recipes that appeared were for mint and chocolate swirl brownies with the full load of flour and sugar and green food coloring. No thanks. I'm ready to try something new. Black beans and chocolate had an odd appeal. Like, let's go on vacay in the kitchen and sample a different reality.
PK was doubtful. He asked what we could bring as a back-up, and called me on my cell in the grocery suggesting I pick up some good ice cream and chocolate. He of little faith!
I made the brownie recipe exactly as directed. It is thin but moist and tasty. No beans can be detected. Next time I may add more chocolate. I made significant alterations to the frosting recipe, however. But still, to me it looked like guacamole smeared on a bean cake.
PK pledged not to divulge the key ingredients until after everybody had tasted. To our delight and surprise, the dessert was a hit! It was fun to reveal that beans replaced flour and that the green frosting was avocados.
Don't wait for next St Pat's day to try this. It's easy and delish and gluten free, if you care about gluten. I think the frosting needs the powdered sugar, but the brownies could probably get by on Splenda or some other sugar sub. Have fun! And don't let the eaters in on the beans and avo secret until they're praising your culinary chops.
- 1 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp coconut oil or butter
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 3 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sweetener (I used half Splenda and half sugar to make a mounded 1/2 cup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 square baking dish with cooking spray.
- Combine the rinsed beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, sweetener and baking powder in a blender and mix until smooth. The mixture will be thick.
- Scrape into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake in preheated oven until the top is dry and edges start to pull away from the sides. Check after 25 minutes.
Minty Avocado and Lemon Frosting
- 1 medium/large avocado
- 1 tbsp softened butter
- 2 tbsp (or more) softened cream cheese
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- finely chopped fresh mint to taste (1 tsp to mix in, the rest for sprinkling on top)
- a couple of whole mint leaves per brownie for garnish
- chopped nuts (optional)
Use a mixer with whisk attachment or an immersion blender (my choice) to mix the avocado, butter, cream cheese, mint, salt, and lemon juice. Add the powdered sugar slowly until incorporated. If the frosting is too thin, blend in more cream cheese. Remember the frosting will become firmer after refrigeration. Keep the brownies and the frosting refrigerated and separate until shortly before serving. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if using, and mint. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.