Food: BB Brownies

By Jasmine And Melissa Hemsley


BB Brownies

BB Brownies

These chocolate brownies, made from black beans and maple syrup, are proof that flour-, grain- and gluten-free baking tastes amazing. You can replace the walnuts with dried cranberries if you have a nut allergy. Play around with the sweetness − less maple syrup is better for you and gives a slightly more crumbly texture – we don’t add extra sweetness if we don’t need it. If you have a sweet tooth, start with the 180ml and gradually decrease whenever you make it, adding a few drops of stevia for added sweetness until your taste buds adjust.


2 x 400g tins cooked black beans, drained weight 500g (18oz), or the same drained weight of home-cooked beans (see the method in our book)

230g (8¼ oz) butter or coconut oil at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

4 medium eggs

85g (3¼ oz) unsweetened cacao powder

150ml-180ml (5fl oz-6¼ fl oz) maple syrup

1½ tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coffee extract or use extra vanilla extract

sea salt

a few drops of stevia to sweeten, optional

130g (4¾ oz) chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to fan 170C/gas mark 5. Grease the inside of a 24cm x 20cm (9½ in x 8in) china or glass baking dish, about 6cm (2½ in) deep. Rinse the black beans and leave to drain. Melt the butter or coconut oil in a saucepan over a gentle heat, then set it aside.

Place the drained beans, eggs, cacao powder, 150ml (5fl oz) of the maple syrup, the vanilla extract and coffee extract, if using, in a food processor with a pinch of salt. Pulse a few times, then blend until smooth.

Add the melted butter or coconut oil very slowly so as not to cook the eggs, while the machine is running. Taste the batter, adding more maple syrup or a few drops of stevia if need be, then stir in most of the chopped walnuts, reserving a handful.

Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and gently tap the baking dish on a kitchen counter to even out the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the brownie feels firm but springy and its surface is cracked.

Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares. Refrigerating the brownies makes them wonderfully fudgy.

FOR A MOCHA-FLAVOURED VARIATION These are caffeine free: use the vanilla extract and replace the cacao with 75g (3oz) carob powder. Carob is sweeter than cacao so you don’t need as much syrup – reduce the mount to 150ml (5fl oz) in total.  


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