Dana Slatkin

Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Black Beans

Fudge BrownieEvery so often, I come across a recipe that makes me wonder, “Where have you been all my life?” If you ever fantasized about the perfect brownie — dark, rich, and not too sweet — this is it. And get this…it’s actually good for you.

Recently, my toddler was put on a gluten-free, sugar-free diet to get rid of a nasty case of eczema. One day, while surfing the Web for a treat that would satisfy his sweet tooth, I tripped onto a website called Pattycake. It turns out the writer, an adventurous Spanish-born, Canadian-raised cook named Patty who lives the bohemian life in Mexico, loves the challenge of cooking healthfully, without using common allergy triggers such as wheat, sugar, and dairy products. There are a number of wonderful recipes on her website, but this one was irresistible.

What genius cooked up the idea of putting black beans in brownies? Apparently, there have been similar recipes circulating for years. The beans replace the flour and some of the fat without adding any perceptible legume-y taste. But what I love about Patty’s version is the addition of coconut oil, which adds a fragrant, velvety richness to the brownies. Unlike the other recipes, this one uses no dairy products, and even the eggs can be substituted for Vegans. Refined sugar gets swapped with your choice of agave syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, or Patty’s recommendation, carob syrup (also called carob molasses), which you will be lucky to find either online or in a Middle Eastern market.

I have altered Patty’s recipe to fit my format and taste buds, eliminating her Mexican touch, cinnamon. If you prefer a sweeter brownie, don’t be afraid to let the measuring cup overflow. I also add walnuts (and occasionally shredded coconut) for flavor and crunch, which I feel the dense texture necessitates. But if you ask me, these brownies are downright miraculous.

So during those dark moments when the world is getting you down, remember this wondrous recipe. And be sure to thank Patty.

For another chocolate dessert that won’t ruin your diet, try my Ginger Chocolate Souffle!

The October cooking contest is off and running. Enter your favorite squash recipe to win prizes you will use all the time!

Photo credits: pattycake.ca

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  1. Patty says:

    So happy that you and your little guy love my brownies! One day I will have to try them with walnuts too – but since walnuts are impossible to find in these parts I’ll try pecans first. I’m fortunate that the local ingredients down here are so wonderful. I bet some sliced California almonds would taste great in there too… :)

  2. Shea - Eating Myself Alive says:

    I tried these last night and they’re wonderful! You’re right about letting them chill first. I tried one while still a bit warm and it was almost custard-like, but chilled it was perfectly fudgy and exactly what I was looking for. It was also fun playing “guess the secret ingredient” with my boyfriend ;-) Thanks so much for sharing this.

  3. green rose says:

    Wow! This blog is awesome. This blog does not only give us another flavor of brownie recipe but it is also an informative one. I never thought that black beans is a lot more beneficial concerning our health. I love to try this one too.

  4. dana says:

    Thank you for checking in. I am glad you are enjoying my blog. I agree about the brownies…they’re addictive! Happy cooking and best wishes,


  5. Julie says:

    Will have to try these! We don’t have any particular dietary concerns (except wanting to eat healthy!), and I don’t have tapioca starch on hand (nor know exactly what it is), and I’d rather not use corn starch if I don’t have to. Could I just use 2 T. whole wheat flour instead do you know?

  6. Julie says:

    Just made these tonight. Had to try a taste once they cooled (I *love* brownies still warm) and the small piece I had was pretty good! Will chill and try tomorrow per recommendation. Btw, I used whole wheat flour instead of the starch and it seems to be fine. Also didn’t quite have 2 c. black beans, but had some kidney beans in the freezer (I buy ‘em dry, cook ‘em & freeze ‘em to have on hand) so I finished up the last 1/2c with kidney beans. I generally figure “beans is beans.” ;)

  7. rupande mehta says:

    This sounds really good! I will make a few substitutions of my own but this looks simple & delish!

Please share your thoughts!