I like to make a dessert that provides a satisfying “sweet” without the sugar rush. These brownies fit that requirement. They are also high in protein (from the black beans and tofu) and high in antioxidant rich flavonoids from the cocoa. The frosting is made without any refined sugar–I use dates for the sweetening.
Black Bean Chocolate Brownies
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup sucanat sugar (can use optional brown sugar if sucanat is unavailable. Sucanat is dried sugar cane juice, which retains the molasses content of the sugar cane, along with other micronutrients that are typically lost during sugar refining).
¾ cup rinsed black beans
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup grain-based coffee substitute granules (such as Pero, optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 of 12-ounce package firm tofu (silken preferred)
1/2 cup soy or almond milk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
vegetable oil spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Stir flour, sugar, cocoa, coffee substitute granules (if using), baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Purée tofu and black beans in a food processor or high speed blender until completely smooth, then blend in nondairy milk, vinegar, and vanilla.
Add tofu mixture to dry ingredients and stir just enough to mix. Spread batter into a vegetable oil sprayed or nonstick 9″×13″ baking dish. Bake until top springs back when pressed lightly in the center, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan 10 minutes.
Chocolate Cardamom Frosting
5 Medjool dates (pitted and chopped)
¼ cup raw cashews (optional)
¼ cup soy or almond milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cocoa
2-3 pinches of fresh ground cardamom (see blog post about grinding fresh cardamom)
Pinch of salt
Bring water in small saucepan to boil. Add dates and cashews and turn stove to low. Simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until dates are soft. Cashews should plump up. Add date and cashew mixture into blender and add all remaining ingredients. Blend for 20 seconds. Taste for sweetness and texture. Blend longer and add slight amount of soy or almond milk if needed for smoother texture.
After baked brownie has cooled, can spread the frosting on top or keep in separate glass dish and spread on top of brownie prior to serving.