Plain, ordinary desserts are easily forgotten. It’s the bold, risky ones–the ones that make you stop and savor each bite of complex, contrasting flavors–those are the ones that live on in culinary infamy. Take these thick, fudgy and wonderfully striking chocolate brownies, for example. Uniquely made with black beans and bravely salted with crisp, large-flake sea salt, these unforgettable brownies turn other desserts into faded memories.
Salted Black Bean Brownies
19 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups cooked)
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup packed light brown sugar or coconut sugar
? cup whole wheat pastry flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour or rye flour
2 large eggs
½ cup unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
¾ tsp. Maldon salt or other flaky sea salt, plus more sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang off over the sides. This will help with removal later.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until liquid has become a light brown, then immediately transfer it to a small, clean bowl, including any charred pieces. Set aside and allow liquid to cool slightly.
- In a food processor, combine browned butter, beans, cocoa powder, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and ¾ teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- Add flour to brownie batter and puree again until smooth. Scrape down the sides and puree again briefly.
- Pour batter into baking pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle top with more salt. Bake for 15 minutes until the top is dry. When it’s done, a toothpick inserted into the middle will still come out wet.
- Using the parchment paper, remove the brownie from the pan and place on a wire rack to let cool. Once completely cooled, brownie can be sliced.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, freezer, or simply at room temperature.