I don’t understand the need for things to taste bad, ever. Just because it’s gluten free, or vegan, doesn’t mean it should have to be dry or coarse or washed out. Gluten free and vegan meals (and desserts, in this case) can be AWESOME. What I love about this recipe for brownies is that there’s no filler. There’s just chocolate, peanut butter, and a few things holding it together. Black beans are the secret hero here, giving the brownies their structure and moist texture, but somehow managing to stay in the background. All you taste is the chocolate and peanut butter, but the black beans make these brownies so moist and delicate. I added some peanut butter coconut whipped cream for some extra decadence, but these are delicious all on their own.
Note: The texture on these brownies is very delicate, so I used cupcake liners as a failsafe. If you don’t want to use them, just heavily grease and flour your cupcake tin.
1 3/4 cups canned black beans, well rinsed and drained
2 1/2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
6 tablespoons coffee, cooled
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease a cupcake pan and line with cupcake liners. Rinse, drain, and dry the black beans on paper towels.
Prepare flax egg by combining flax and coffee in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
Add everything else and puree until incorporated (about 2 minutes), scraping down sides as needed. It should look loosely spreadable, like a soft frosting, not runny. Use a disher (a spring loaded ice cream scoop) to fill each cupcake tin about 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are firm and pulling away from the sides. Remove from oven and cool completely, in the pan. Carefully remove the brownies from the pan (careful, they’re on the delicate side!). The centers should be nice and fudgy with great flavor. Top with peanut butter coconut whipped cream.
INGREDIENTS (PEANUT BUTTER COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM)
1 can coconut milk (full fat is necessary, I used Native Forest)
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Set the can in the fridge overnight so that the coconut fat solids separate from the coconut water. Open the can and carefully scoop out the thick coconut cream. With an electric whisk, beat the cream, peanut butter, agave, and vanilla extract on high until peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. If not serving immediately, place the bowl of whipped coconut cream in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and then beat it again right before serving it.